There was a huge shadow looming over the field at Edgewater High school for the past few years, especially during the 2011 football season.
It was a shadow bigger than that of what one would ever consider to be cast by a 5-foot-9, 180-pound Pig.
This was no ordinary Pig, however. Alton Howard left his mark at Edgewater as a high school all-American wide receiver. He’ll be heading to the University of Tennessee this summer, visions of more shadows in his head.
And ready to emerge from the piccary shadow is another standout wide receiver. Tim Miller is a little bigger than Pig and he was standing even taller than his 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame on Monday night (May 28) when his coach Dave Wensyel called to tell him Louisville had offered his first NCAA Division I-A college football scholarship.
“I feel great now,” said Miller, who had just talked Monday morning about being somewhat disappointed during the course of spring practice as he watched numerous other receivers from the Orlando area pull in offers. “I’ve been waiting on this all spring. Like I said earlier today, it was frustrating, but to finally get that first D1 offer feels great … finally. And when the first one comes they say be ready to get more. I’m ready.”
Numerous scouts showed up at Edgewater High on Friday night to see the Eagles host Winter Garden West Orange in the spring finale for both teams and Miller took advantage of the opportunity to impress. He caught five passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns -- 66 and 20 yards each -- as he quickly cast some light on his own shadow.
“I think that helped me a lot,” Miller said of his Friday performance in front of the college recruiters. “I had already heard from a few schools and they kinda knew about me and what I could do, but to have a big-time performance in a game, I guess that showed them even more.”
It was a little weird for Miller, the No. 32-ranked player in the Sentinel's 2013 Central Florida Super60, in his first experience out from under the shadow of Howard. Last season, protected from the spotlight of coverages by Pig’s ability to draw double-teams, Miller quietly caught 25 passes for just over 500 yards and eight touchdowns, averaging 21 yards per catch.
On Friday, he broke out on his own for the first time, but he showed a glimpse of the future.
“It does feel kinda weird without Pig on the other side,” Miller said. “It’s weird because now I am the main focus of the offense when it comes to passing.
“Now I’m real excited … ready for the season.”