Miller sees success for ’13 recruits
METUCHEN, N.J. — As Dorian Miller posed for photographs after signing his National Letter of Intent yesterday, his father, Jeremy, confirmed what Rutgers football fans have hoped for.
“Jersey’s keeping him home,” Jeremy Miller said.
Dorian Miller always kept Rutgers close to home. He had no choice.
“I always felt if I went away and Rutgers won a national championship, I would feel like the worst person in the world,” said Miller, who lives about 15 minutes from Piscataway. “They were with me from the beginning. So for them to be successful and I’m just sitting at home watching the game, it would be the worst feeling.”
Kyle Flood, then Rutgers’ offensive line coach, recruited Miller as a freshman, when the Knights gave Miller his first offer. Flood also recruited Miller’s brother, Dejuan, a former wide receiver at Oklahoma.
When Flood took over as head coach Jan. 30, their relationship remained fluid.
“I’ve known him for almost four years now, even more than that,” Dorian Miller said. “From the beginning, I kind of had a big, big school type of mindset. Once I got deeper into the recruiting process, I knew Rutgers was where I was going to be.”
Dorian Miller said he initially flirted with traditional powers like Alabama and Notre Dame, receiving around 15 offers in the process. But he remained loyal to his first offer, announcing on MSGVarsity on Nov. 20 he would join the Knights. Miller officially committed to Rutgers on Sept. 28, according to Rivals.
He is the only offensive line commit in Rutgers’ 2013 recruiting class.
Reports surfaced Monday that Junior College lineman Ali Kassem became the second, but Kassem offered a verbal commitment to NC State hours later.
“Every year, there’s going to be different numbers at different classes,” Flood said yesterday. One thing you don’t want to do is say, ‘Well, we have to take another one.’ We’re going to find the players that are right for us.”
At 6-foot-3 and 295 pounds, Dorian Miller offers another road-grading body for a 2014 move to the Big Ten. Flood said Big Ten membership eases concerns from recruits when he makes in-house visits, but Miller offered loftier claims.
“This class is definitely a class that’s going to get a Big Ten Championship there and try to win a national championship,” said Miller, who took an official visit last week. “We’re coming with a mission.”
Flood said he continues to look for national championship-caliber players. Miller, a four-year starter, aided Flood’s search.
Miller joins an already crowded offensive line pool in Piscataway, where five commits from 2012 redshirted. Two starters, including All-Big East First Team guard Antwan Lowery, graduate following the 2013 season.
Flood said Miller figures into the team’s line plans early on, but the capacity remains to be seen.
Miller could benefit from Flood’s pedigree.
Lowery credited Flood for his turnaround season, when he started all 13 games for the first time in his career. Several players from last year’s recruiting class pointed to Flood for keeping it intact despite little time to do so.
Miller appears eager to contribute.
The Metuchen High School tackle said he is ready to immerse himself in the program, which received recruiting boosts from Miller’s native Middlesex County.
Nadir Barnwell, the Knights’ highest-rated recruit, played at nearby Piscataway High School. Another projected defensive back, T.J. Taylor, committed from South Brunswick.
In Metuchen, Jeremy Miller has waited long enough. He reminds Dorian to put on his Rutgers hat after signing his letter of intent.
“Rutgers is different now,” Dorian Miller said. “It’s not what it used to be.”
For updates on the Rutgers football team, follow Tyler Barto on Twitter @TBartoTargum.