Christian Miller wants to blaze his path

Son of former USC star staying out of shadow

ainelson@thestate.comFebruary 20, 2013 

Spring Valley linebacker Christian Miller, right facing

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com Buy Photo

  • BEST IN THE STATE Eight players from South Carolina are on the Rivals’ 250 list of the country’s top prospects:

    34. Donnell Stanley, OL, Latta

    91. Christian Miller, LB, Spring Valley

    96. Shaquille Davidson, WR, Gaffney

    132. Kevin Crosby, Ath., Bamberg-Ehrhardt

    137. Dexter Wideman, DL, Saluda

    168. Jacob Park, QB, Stratford

    212. Kalan Ritchie, TE, Goose Creek

    244. Jae’lon Oglesby, RB, Daniel

Two weeks ago, Christian Miller watched as Spring Valley teammate Joey Maxberry signed a National Letter of Intent to play college football and imagined himself sitting in the same seat in a year.

Now, he’s imagining himself seated at that table pulling on a baseball cap of Florida orange.

Miller committed to Florida on Saturday, choosing the Gators over nearly a dozen other programs, including South Carolina and Clemson.

Spring Valley’s junior linebacker is one of the state’s top 2014 prospects and one of the first to announce a commitment to an out-of-state school.

“Everything fit really well, academically and athletically, and I can see myself playing there for four or five years,” said Miller, a four-star prospect on SCVarsity.com.

“It’s one of the top schools in the SEC and the nation, and my dream is to win the national championship and I believe I have a chance to do that there,” he said.

Miller elected not to attended South Carolina, where his father, Corey Miller, was a star linebacker.

“It’s not about where your family played, it’s about where you fit in, and I honestly like the opportunity of going somewhere where I can make my own path, not have as big a shadow to fall on me,” Miller said.

Corey Miller feels that decision will help his son avoid some of the stress of unfair comparisons and heavy expectations that come with his legacy.

“It would have been so awesome to see my son put on the garnet and black and run out to ‘2001,’ but it’s probably best for him to do it on his own somewhere else,” the father said. “The schools that were recruiting him were the best in the country, so he had good options.”

Christian Miller said he is looking forward to spending time working out with his Vikings teammates this summer instead of on college visits.

Vikings coach Miles Aldridge praised Miller as a leader for the Vikings on the field, in the weightroom and in the classroom. But, Aldridge said, “he is a long ways from a finished product, and he’s so young, so there’s a maturation process that’s going to carry over to all aspects of the game for him.”

As a junior, Miller led the Vikings with 156 tackles and 14 sacks.

Corey Miller said he got a kick out of listening to college coaches assess his youngest son — the boy he put to bed bedside his oversized helmet as an infant and put in Pop Warner pads and helmet at 5-years old.

“I knew when I saw the growth that this kid was a tremendous athlete, and I know what they see in him — his best days are ahead of him,” Corey Miller said.

And now that Christian Miller is blazing his own path, it is his father who will be following along.

“I told him wherever he went, that’s where Dad was going to go,” the father said. “I’ll wear his colors and, as hard as it will be, I’ll do the Gator chomp. I’m a Gamecock, but that’s my son.”

The State is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service