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Miller: CanesHoops Big Man Commit Knew Miami Was a Fit

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When center Rodney Miller committed to Miami on August 10, no one saw it coming. Miller hadn't scheduled a public announcement for the media to cover, where he would pick the hat of his college destination and leave other programs who had been recruiting him in the lurch. He hadn't posted pictures or gushed about his official visit three months earlier on social media, nor for had he done so for other schools who he visited unofficially. Despite being predisposed to attention at nearly seven feet tall, Miller doesn't seek it for his own ego. So, that afternoon, Miller posted a simple message declaring his intentions on Twitter - only after quietly notifying other programs that while he appreciated their interest, he had decided to commit to Miami.

Rodney Miller

"It's a beautiful campus, great environment, and it had a family type of feel of feel to it, so I just fell in love with that", Miller said. "The coaching staff - Coach Larrañaga, Coach Caputo, everybody on Coach's staff are really great people and did a great job getting all of the information out to me. So I feel like Miami was the best choice for me, and I'm just happy to have made that decision."

Miller felt a strong lure after his official visit, but spoke publicly only in pleasantries - giving no indication that he'd found his future home. When word came that he had planned a September visit on his own dime, curiosity was peaked, but still no recruiting analyst called Miami a favorite. Thinking it over a month before his visit, Miller knew for sure on the morning that he committed that he didn't need to retrace his steps - he wanted to be a Hurricane. Miller became the first player from the prestigious Oak Hill Academy in Virginia to commit to Miami since Eric Wilkins, who joined the program in 2002.

A consensus four-star recruit across all of the major recruiting services, Miller chose Miami over offers from Wake Forest, UConn, Seton Hall, Georgia Tech and others. Rather than playing on the highly visible AAU circuit, trying to convince Duke and other blue bloods who had shown interest that he was worthy of an offer,  Miller spent the summer working out to prepare himself for the college opportunity he knew he already had.

"I have offers because of my talent and height, so I needed to work on my skill work", Miller explained. "I felt like I needed to really step back and hone my skills and be in the gym most of the time instead of playing (games constantly)."

Miller is a big recruit for Miami, both literally and figuratively, and he will be expected to contribute with Tonye Jekiri's impending graduation after this season. He knows that he has a unique package for a recruit in 2016.

"I'm a classic back to the basket center, which you don't find too often", Miller said.  "I'm developing a skyhook, and I can also step out a little bit, shoot a 14 or 15-footer, solid from mid-range and free throws. I'm a pretty good free throw shooter. Physically, I'm going to try to develop my body and get ready for college."

While Miller knows that he has to improve physically to battle inside in the ACC, he believes that his background at Oak Hill will help him adjust quickly to the next level.

"It's not a normal high school. You play top competition across the country, so it definitely gave me an edge", Miller told us. "Playing against top competition makes me better, even practicing against my teammates makes me better, because it's some of the top players all going at it. It's a war every time we practice and it definitely gives me an edge going into the ACC."

Miller thinks Oak Hill will have him ready for college off the court as well.

"I'm getting the semi-college experience being away from home, so I know many people struggle being away from home but that's definitely not me. I adapt very well", he said.

A strong student, Miller plans to major in business at Miami. But before he takes his talents to Coral Gables, he and his teammates have other business to attend to.

"Every year, (the expectation is) to win a national championship", Miller declared. "We lost the last two years in a row in a championship game, and that can't happen again. Our expectations are winning a national championship as a team. My goals are to win a national championship my senior year and to be the best player I can be."

With a drive to win on the court and a healthy perspective off of it, Rodney Miller seems like a prototypical Jim Larrañaga recruit. If Coach L can develop his raw talent and size in the same way that he helped Julian Gamble and Tonye Jekiri, Miller may very well develop into an all-ACC caliber player and low-post cornerstone for the Hurricanes.

Once again a big shout-out to SOTU's hoops Consigliere, Josh Frank (@JoshDaCane) for his help preparing this article.