Around approximately noon ET on Saturday, one SEC school will receive welcome news from Coynis Miller.
The 4-star defensive tackle from Jackson-Olin High School in Birmingham, Ala., has a choice among Auburn, Alabama and Florida. Miller will make his decision publicly sometime Saturday morning — I’ve been told 11 a.m. Birmingham time — via an AL.com commitment video, much like Asa Martin and Shedrick Jackson.
Miller visited Auburn last weekend for the last game before his decision. After calling Florida his leader for months, he admitted how close the choice became between the three programs.
“It’s a tough race,” Miller said. “It’s close. It’s real close. It’s just something I needed to talk over with my family to make sure I was making the best decision for me.”
It’s no surprise Miller had trouble making the decision.
He’s always expressed interest in leaving the state, hence the late takeover by Florida. Still, the two in-state schools are tough for any top target to turn down when Alabama and Auburn prioritize you on their respective recruiting boards.
Strong arguments can be made all three ways for who Miller would/should choose.
But, as someone who has been tracking Miller’s recruitment for more than one recruiting cycle, he’s spoken enough times about why he’s interested in each of the three schools. Here’s what he has to say about each in conversations during the last year and a half.
“ They really want me. They’re showing high interest. Coach (Brent) Key, if he’s not calling, he’s texting me every day. We have a great relationship. … It won’t play none (growing up an Alabama fan). If that’s not where I fit, I don’t belong there. I can’t go there just because I’m a fan. … Just how they play and they need defensive linemen. They’re going to lose like five or six guys. That just gives me an opportunity to go in and play. … I think it was just the intensity. The atmosphere — that was my first time going to a night game there. I think that’s probably what it was.”
“ Summertime. Auburn gave me an offer. That was my biggest offer. That just got them started rolling in. … I was surprised at first. I didn’t think they would come that early. Coach (Rodney Garner, in charge of the defensive line) told me if I kept working they would come, but I just didn’t know they would come that early. I was surprised. … I really wanted to see them practice. This is my first one. I liked it. The players really got after it, and the coaches were really getting after them. Coach G (Garner), he’s a great coach. He’ll push you hard and make sure you do everything right. I liked seeing that. … One thing that I did probably, coach (Gus) Malzahn came and put me on the field. I got to see the plays up close, seeing how they’re supposed to do. … They just came out strong. They just played hard. They’ve improved since the first game I came to. I think the offense is doing a great job moving the ball. The defense is playing well. It’s been a lot of improvement.”
“ Florida. We’ve been talking a lot more. I’ve been talking to them a lot. … It’s just something special when I went down there. I loved it. I barely wanted to come back. There’s just something special about them. … They showed me a lot of love when I went there. They were begging me to get down there. They were patient with me. When I got down there, they just showed me a lot of love. It was just fun and a great experience. It’s better in person. … My mom, my nephew and a couple of other folks went down there with me. They loved it. They love the coaching staff there. I think they loved it. … They told me that if I picked Florida that they were going to make that drive every week. They’re just really supportive and I believe them.”
My crystal ball pick has been on Auburn since July 17. It probably could’ve been made confidently when Miller spent half of his spring break on the Plains just watching Auburn spring practices and hanging out with Auburn coaches and players as a de facto student-athlete on an extended visit. Miller’s relationships with Rodney Garner, T.D. Moultry and Asa Martin will prove to be too much for Miller to ignore. Relationships and visits tend to tell the recruiting story, and in Miller’s case, they couldn’t be more obvious. He received his second offer ever from Garner, and the Tigers have stayed on him from start to finish. His last game visit went to Auburn, which was telling. Miller chooses the Tigers, and they jump into the top 20 of the national rankings.
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