Orlando First Academy offensive lineman Chris Miller committed to FIU on Monday during an unofficial visit to the Miami campus.
“I committed about an hour ago,” Miller said via cell phone from Miami on Monday afternoon. “I was just down here for a visit and they offered me when I camped with them [June 8] when they were at the Bucs facility in Tampa.”
Miller committed to the Panthers over offers from Old Dominion, Georgia State and Florida A&M.
“I love the school. It has a great campus,” Miller said. “I like the coaching staff and I know that they have everything I’m looking for and they will get me where I want to go. I’m possibly going to go into business and they have a really great business school.”
Miller, the No. 51-ranked player in the Sentinel's 2014 Central Florida Super60 was recruited by FIU’s Orlando-area recruiter Kort Shankweiler, who was very busy this offseason scouting out the Orlando area. FIU has extended at least 20 offers to area football players in the 2014 and 2015 classes.
He said Shankweiler, the tight ends and offensive tackles coach at FIU, and his father Steve Shankweiler, FIU’s offensive line coach and run-game corrdinator, were both ecstatic about the news.
“They like that I’m a good student … they like that a lot,” said Miller. “They also like the way I move for my size and they said that being athletic isn’t really something you can teach.
“The O-line coach and also Coach Shankweiller, his son, they were both jacked up. They were really excited.”
Miller finally blossomed into a Football Bowl Subdivision prospect after helping pave the way for a TFA running game that averaged 260 yards per game last season in going 12-1 and advancing to the Class 3A state semifinals. His first season playing football was during his sophomore year.
He said he didn’t envision himself being committed heading into his senior season.
“I honestly didn’t … I was still looking around [during spring football] and hadn’t really gotten many offers. I only had the one from FAMU at that time,” Miller said. “It’s really nice because now I can just focus on the upcoming football season and school, and I don’t have to worry about finding somewhere to go play.”
Miller said he will start off working as an offensive tackle for the Panthers.
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting and now on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.