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Template:Infobox college football player Ricardo Miller (born April 2, 1992) is an American football tight end for the Michigan Wolverines football team. He was the first player to commit to Michigan’s 2010 recruiting class and enrolled at the University of Michigan in January 2010.

Early yearsEdit

Miller was born in Hampton, Virginia but moved to Orlando, Florida with his family as a second grader.[1] Both of his parents, Anne Reagor-Miller and Derek Miller, are retired military personnel who worked to instill "strong discipline and work ethic" in their children.[1] Miller's mother noted that his coaches always said he was something special as an athlete.[1] She described her son as a workaholic relentlessly striving to improve himself: "He's always in overdrive, always giving 110 percent. I've never had to make him do things because he takes the initiative to do it himself. Hard work and commitment pays off, and now he’s learning that."[1]

Dr. Phillips High SchoolEdit

Miller first gained attention as a wide receiver for Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando. He played two years of varsity football at Dr. Phillips from 2007 to 2008.[2][3] His coach told a Florida newspaper, "Sometimes, we have to keep him from working too hard. He does everything to the max."[1] Miller participated in the University of Michigan football camp in the summer of 2008, where he was named one of camp's top five stars.[1] After he helped lead Dr. Phillips to the championship at the University of Central Florida's annual seven-on-seven tournament in June 2008, the Miami Herald touted him as one of the "impressive rising juniors" in the tournament.[4] As a junior, he weighed 205 pounds and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.59 seconds.[1]

Early commitment to MichiganEdit

At the beginning of his junior year at Dr. Phillips in September 2008, Miller gave an oral commitment to the University of Michigan. The Orlando Sentinel described him at the time as a "standout" who played "a major role" in Dr. Phillips' strong start in the 2008 football season.[5] A Michigan assistant coach attended Dr. Phillips' victory over Seminole High School,[5] and Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez called the following Monday with a scholarship offer. Miller, whose mother is a 1985 graduate of the University of Michigan, gave Rodriguez his verbal commitment on the spot.[1] He was the first player in Michigan's 2010 recruiting class.[2] Miller told a Florida newspaper that Urban Meyer was the first college coach who attempted to recruit him, but he had his heart set on Michigan.[1] Miller received scholarship offers from 30 universities, including Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, LSU, UCLA and Notre Dame .[1][5] Miller said he chose Michigan because "I felt this is where I can make my mark at the beginning of my football career and be a part of a great tradition and family."[6]

Ann Arbor Pioneer High SchoolEdit

In June 2009, after his junior year of high school, Miller moved with his family to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Miller said that he decided to move to Michigan a year early to acclimate himself to Michigan.[2] He told the Detroit Free Press at the time, "To be able to have the chance to get used to the cold and going to the (Michigan) games on Saturday is something I am really looking forward to. It’s going to be great being up there in that atmosphere with Michigan right across the street."[2] Miller added, "I am going to be around the (Michigan) coaches a lot and very early," he said. "I am graduating early and starting the process earlier, so it should be a good transition for me."[7]

Miller spent the fall semester at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School.[2] At the time, ESPN.com published a feature story on Miller and noted:

"Ricardo Miller isn't your typical transfer student. The 6-foot-3 210-pound wide receiver arrived in Ann Arbor only days before summer workouts began. His reputation as a big-play receiver preceded him; he became a household name at Orlando's Dr. Phillips High School, where he had 34 catches for 615 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior."[3]

During the 2009 football season, Miller played wide receiver for Pioneer High at Hollway Field, which is located across the street from Michigan Stadium. Miller told ESPN that playing in the shadow of the Big House inspired him: "On the days when I'm not going 100 percent or I'm slacking off, I'll just look at that big block M and that will give me the lift that I need to pick it up."[3] He scored his first touchdown on a 55-yard touchdown pass in Pioneer's 45-0 win over Dexter.[3] He caught three touchdown passes in a 41-6 victory over Monroe and played games against fellow 2010 Michigan recruits Jeremy Jackson (Ann Arbor Huron High School) and Devin Gardner (Inkster).[8] He helped lead 2009 Pioneer team to a 7-2 record with 23 catches for 493 yards (21.4 yards per catch) and eight touchdowns.[6] Scout.com rated Miller as a four-star wide receiver with "an unbelievable physical package."[6] Scout.com’s Midwest Recruiting Manager Allen Trieu said of Miller: "He has great size and has worked hard in the weight room. He is stronger and physically ahead of where a high school senior entering college should be … For someone with his size, he has good straight line speed and shows the ability to snatch the ball out of the air."[6]

University of MichiganEdit

Miller became an early enrollee at Michigan in January 2010.[9] After national signing day in early February, Miller expressed confidence in himself, predicting he could be the next Braylon Edwards:

"I feel most certain I can be the next Braylon Edwards. I'm not saying this because I'm arrogant or cocky. I just feel that the work I put in on the field and off the field, and the type of player I already am with my height and my hands ... Braylon Edwards was an idol to me. He's known for going up and getting balls and being very versatile with his route running. So with that in mind I just feel I can be the next No. 1 receiver that everybody will talk about."[10]
He said that getting the No. 1 jersey worn by Edwards and other Michigan receivers was a milestone and "something I've used as motivation for all the years I've been playing football."[10]

In addition to his talent as a player, Miller earned praise for his efforts as a recruiter for the Michigan football program. Miller told The Detroit News, "I felt like I was a leader of my class. And what do leaders do? They recruit. They recruit troops. My fellow recruits are troops, and I wanted to have the best army, the best team we could possibly have." After national signing day in early February 2010, the Detroit Free Press reported:

"The freshman wide receiver embraced it like no one else. He was the first member of the 2010 class, committing in September 2008, and took control from there. By his estimate, he called 50 other players in the past two years to try to persuade them to attend Michigan, including some in the 2009 class -- a year before he could even sign his letter of intent."[11]

In February 2010, The Macomb Daily wrote that Miller "has tremendous upside and should make an immediate impact" at Michigan.[12] ESPN.com calls him "an intriguing prospect that is essentially a wide receiver with H-back size and toughness" who "could easily develop into a 225-pound hybrid player with a ton of versatility."[13]

Miller redshirted in 2010.

ReferencesEdit

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  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Template:Cite news
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Template:Cite news
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  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Template:Cite news
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Template:Cite news
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  10. 10.0 10.1 Template:Cite news
  11. Template:Cite news
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  13. Template:Cite web

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