The University of Miami has picked up their recruiting of late on what could be their next great playmaking wide receiver—Charlie Miller from Vero Beach High School.
The 5'11", 185-pound receiver caught 40 passes for nearly 1,000 yards and scored 10 TD in his first 11 games of organized football. A standout point guard on the basketball team, Miller's elusiveness, 4.4 speed and 38" vertical leap translated nicely onto the gridiron this season.
"If Miami offers they'd probably be No. 1 on my list," Miller said. "They've been my favorite team since I can remember. Coach (Al) Golden and coach (Paul) Williams came by last Wednesday to watch basketball practice." Miller said.
There is no doubt the Miami coaches were also dropping in on Rivals.com three-star DE commit Dwayne Hoilett, who had been committed to Miami since June. Hoilett, like Miller, is a core member of Vero Beach's back-to-back district champion basketball team.
"Dwayne is trying to get me down there with him," Miller said. "But I don't know if I will get an offer yet."
Miller currently holds scholarship offers from Minnesota, University of Central Florida, Georgia Tech, Florida Atlantic University, Iowa State and Northern Illinois. Of the six schools who’ve offered him a scholarship, there are three he’s seriously considering.
“Minnesota, UCF and Georgia Tech are who I’m really considering,” Miller said. “I like the atmosphere in Minneapolis, as well as where it is located. I like UCF because it is close to home, and I like Georgia Tech because they have great academics.”
With basketball occupying his athletic schedule now, he’s leaving in no hurry to make a decision on where he wants to play football in college. He's made an official visit to Minnesota and will make another to UCF in December.
“I’ll just let the decision come to me,” Miller said. “When it’s the right time, I’ll decide.”
University of Wisconsin and Miami have kept in close contact through the season but haven’t offered Miller yet—that is very likely to change.
Wisconsin’s top receiver recruit, Amara Darboh, just committed to play for the University of Michigan over the weekend. Vero Beach coach Lenny Jankowski, a good friend of Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema, told the Badgers they were wasting their time recruiting anyone but Miller at receiver for their next class.
Of Darboh, Jankowski told Bielema, “Look, I’ve never seen your top receiver recruit play, but I can guarantee you that Charlie is better.”
Look for Wisconsin to offer Miller before Christmas.
If Miller does end up committing to Miami, it will go further in re-opening a quarter-century-old Vero Beach High School-to-Coral Gables pipeline. The list of Fighting Indians who went on to play football at “The U” includes some of the best athletes ever to roam the halls of Vero Beach High School—WR Dale Dawkins, TE Randy Bethel, RB James Stewart and DE Kenny Holmes to name a few.
Along with Dawkins and Bret Velde, Miller would join current Hurricane Shawn O'Dare on the list of Vero Beach footballers to play WR at "The U".
"There is no other tradition like the University of Miami," O'Dare told me in an interview.
"The fact that there have been several Fighting Indians that have made the same jump as I have into the Hurricane family makes me proud to have attended Vero Beach High School."
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