August 5, 2004

Clemson picks up HUGE commitment

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Tigerillustrated.com first reports the verbal commitment of Manning linebacker Josh Miller to the Clemson Tigers. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound blue-chipper, who's also our No. 1 rated linebacker in the state, had offers from Florida State, South Carolina, Maryland and Virginia Tech before committing to the Tigers this afternoon.

This afternoon in a phone call to Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden, linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator David Blackwell and running backs coach and recruiter Burton Burns, Manning All-American linebacker Josh Miller made a verbal commitment to Clemson, a pledge that takes place less than one month after he returned from Florida State's camp.

The big-time defender, who is commonly known by his coaches and teammates as "The Horse," was the leading rusher for the 3-A Monarchs last season, collecting nearly 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Again this fall Miller will be the Monarchs' featured back, though he will spend more time on defense where he projects on the next level and also where he worked out as a linebacker at Clemson's camp in June.

"I'm just relieved that this is over with. Clemson is just where I want to be, and I feel like this is meant to be," said Miller. "I feel like the coaching staff cares about me. It's a good situation for me, plus I know a lot of people up there, so I feel very comfortable with Clemson right now."

"Josh is an outstanding player, and more importantly an outstanding individual," said Manning offensive coordinator Brian Joyner. "I can tell you that Josh is very firm in his commitment to Clemson. He has told me it doesn't matter how many more offers he receives, he is not planning on taking any other official visits."

Miller's most notable attributes are his speed, range, quickness, instincts and athleticism. He also wraps up well in the open field and delivers a hard punch upon contact.

The Manning standout is the No. 1 rated linebacker in the state by Tigerillustrated.com, and is also the No. 4 rated prospect in South Carolina overall regardless of position.

Already Clemson has secured commitments from the state's No. 1 offensive tackle in Jamarcus Grant (6-5, 320) of Mullins, the state's No. 1 offensive guard in Thomas Austin (6-4, 286) of Camden, and the state's No. 1 center in Barry Humphries (6-3, 296) of Belton-Honea Path. Arguably the state's No. 1 two-way star in Rendrick Taylor (6-2, 210) of Bennettsville has also committed to Clemson.

Miller's pledge, the first at the linebacker position, is one of no less than three commitments Clemson is expected to take at the position for this recruiting class.

Other top linebacker targets for the Tigers include Jacksonville, Fla. - First Coast star Ryan Stamper (6-2, 215), Valdosta, Ga. defender James Neal (6-0, 217), Antonio Clay (6-1, 210) of Jeffersonville, Ga. - Twiggs County, Antonio Coleman (6-2, 220) of Mobile, Ala., Tavares Kearney (6-1, 210) of Tucker, Ga., Darius Dewberry (6-3, 211) of Fort Valley, Ga. - Peach County, Avery Vogt (6-1, 223) of Miami, Fla. - Coral Reef and Derek Nicholson (6-2, 228) of Winston-Salem, NC - Mt. Tabor.

Miller's head coach is Mr. Robbie Briggs.

Clemson commitments to date
1. Durrell Barry (TE 6-5, 242, 4.7) Summerville - Fork Union, Va.
2. Phillip Merling (DL 6-5, 265, 4.8) Memphis, TN - Fork Union, Va.
3. Barry Humphries (OL 6-3, 291, 4.96) Belton-Honea Path
4. Rendrick Taylor (WR 6-2, 210, 4.6) Bennettsville - Marlboro County
5. Tyler Grisham (ATH 5-11, 183, 4.45) Birmingham, Ala. - Spain Park
6. Tony Nelson (RB 5-10, 190, 4.5) Germantown, MD - Northwest
7. Paul Muse (TE 6-5, 245, 4.8) Jacksonville, Fla. - First Coast
8. Hadrian Lewis (DB 6-0, 180, 4.55) Summerville - Stratford
9. Quentez Ruffin (OL 6-4, 287, 4.9) Tallahassee, Fla. - Leon
10. Thomas Austin (OL 6-4, 286, 5.1) Camden
11. Jamarcus Grant (OL 6-5, 320, 5.1) Mullins
12. Josh Miller (LB 6-1, 215, 4.5) Manning

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