June 1, 2009

Magnificent Miller feels Vols' energy

Only one thing slowed four-star defensive end Corey Miller Monday at the University of Tennessee's one-day camp for offensive and defensive linemen: leg cramps.

It sure wasn't any of the offensive linemen charged - in vain - to thwart the relentless pass rush of the prep standout from national powerhouse Byrnes High School in Duncan, S.C.

"The experience was great overall," said Miller, who made his fourth trip to the Knoxville campus. "All the coaches are really exciting every time you come up here. (Monday) morning, I think I had a good showing. (Monday) afternoon I was a little disappointed with the cramps and all."

Still, the camp was revealing to Miller - who's grown to 6-3.5 and weighs 229 -- from a standpoint of seeing and interacting with Tennessee's new coaching staff on the field. A repeat visitor under the Vols' previous coaching staff, Miller couldn't help but notice a change energy with the new guard.

"It's just a totally different feeling. Coach Lane Kiffin, he came here and set the spark and had everybody on fire, had everybody hyped," said Miller, who boasts 228 combined tackles in two years of varsity competition. "He had (Ed) Orgeron, Monte Kiffin, (David) Reaves and everything has kind of exploded from that. It was great."

Miller has exploded nationally - he's rated the No. 4 weakside end by Rivals.com -- and it doesn't hurt that Byrnes is regarded as one of the most successful, well-coached programs in America. It's Miller's work every day for Byrnes that helps him dominate in prestigious camp settings like Monday's affair at Tennessee.

"One-on-ones are what we work on a lot, especially at Byrnes. And we believe that a guy can't move faster backwards than you can forwards," said Miller, simply untouchable in key drills Monday. "So we take advantage of that and work on our first three steps. It always works, and coach (at Byrnes) keeps on us all the time. He's one of the greatest coaches I know.

"From past experience from people at Byrnes who have already gone to college, they say it's great and pretty easy to go along with (the transition). It's just a great opportunity to already be in the position at Byrnes to work hard before you even get to the college level."

Miller's collegiate options include a veritable Who's Who among college football programs, but he's got four frontrunners at the moment. And Tennessee ranks even higher than the top four.

"Yeah, they are" in his top three, Miller said. "I'm keeping an open list of five, Florida State, Cal, North Carolina and Tennessee. I don't really have a fifth right now. I'm kind of focusing on these four right now. There's not a top list, but Tennessee is pretty high on my list."

High enough for an official visit this fall?

"I'm going to try to. I think it's going to happen," he said.

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