May 27, 2001

Red Devils' Miller, Smith draw interest from Gator

Folks around this part of the state know how good Justin Miller and Bo Smith are on the football field.

Especially those who have tried to tackle the pair of running backs, or keep from being pulverized by them when they are playing on the defensive side of the ball.

Justin Miller

But, the word is getting out on the two Owensboro High School standouts.

Big time.

As in University of Florida-big time.

You've heard of the Gators. A Top 10 program. Near constant BCS bowl game participant. National television exposure several times a year.

A Florida recruiter was in Owensboro on Wednesday to put eyeballs on the Red Devil duo.

Bo Smith

He did so with about two hours worth of film and a meeting with OHS coach Gordon Powers.

May is the month when college football teams can make initial visits to high schools of prospective players.

John Hunt, an offensive tackles coach for the Gators, was making three stops in Kentucky this week. One at Louisville Male, another at Fort Thomas Highlands and a third at OHS.

Male is the Class 4-A state champion. Highlands is the three-time defending 3-A champ. OHS lost to Highlands in the last two 3-A championship games.

The Gators could see Miller as a slot back, Smith as a safety.

Imagine Miller on that little swing pass that Florida likes to run.

Think of Smith rattling helmets of Tennessee wide receivers on pass patterns.

A massive football power like Florida wants to use this time of year to gauge interest in potential recruits.

Considering how there are literally a couple hundred top-notch prospects in the Sunshine State alone, if Florida ventures outside of the state line, it wants to make sure a kid is truly looking to be a Gator.

The speech goes something like this:

If you're interested in us, and don't mind going that far away to school, then make an official visit.

"They have to know you're interested, and I'm really interested," Miller said Thursday at the regional track meet. "They said as long as we stay interested in them, when the time comes that we can take official visits, then we could come down."

"It was real exciting with it being Florida," Smith said. "I was surprised."

Both the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky have already offered both Miller and Smith football scholarships.

U of L coach John L. Smith has started working on a pipeline to OHS by signing Buster Ashley after the 1999 season. Ashley will get heavy playing time on the offensive line this coming year at U of L.

With some of the high-profile football schools already in the mix with Miller and Smith, UK might be fortunate to get an official visit, considering its current sad situation.

Smith has already made the requisite ACT scores for freshman eligibility. Miller will take the ACT in June, but has a strong GPA in upper-level courses at OHS.

When May ends, college recruiters can't have contact again during the summer. By the end of Owensboro's football season in the fall, both Miller and Smith could be measuring just how big-time they want to go. is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
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