Memphis Academy of Health and Sciences (Tenn.) Cameron Miller did not get to play last fall due to COVID restrictions in the area, but that has not kept him from being one of the most sought after pass catchers in the country. The talented wide out discusses the challenges of not being able to play, and his recruitment here.
"It was kind of upsetting a little bit that I didn't get a chance to play this season, but I just have to stay on my grind and just focus on the next thing ahead of me. I couldn't worry about us not playing. So the only thing I really worried about was getting better and just preparing for the next season and getting ready for the next level," Miller said.
So what did Miller do during the down time to stay on top of his game?
"You know the next level is all about speed and just quickness. So, I did a lot of agility work, footwork, and just a lot of catching the ball as I play receiver, but it was hard not being able to play this year," he said. "Just a lot of speed work because I'm not that fast. I want to get a lot faster, and my footwork very well done because that's going to be important going on to the next level. I think getting my footwork and speed is going to be the ultimate thing for me to go to the next level and be great at, and just catching the football a lot."
Despite COVID shutting down his junior season, Miller still remained a priority for schools across the country.
"The thing that sets me apart is I am just a go-get-it type of guy. I'm the one that's trying to go get it done in any way I can," he said on what sets his game apart from others. "I try my best to go get a jump ball; most likely, I'm going to win that jump ball. That's how I put my mind to any jump ball, basically. So they just like the way I can run. I'm six-two, and I can run, I got good hands, and I got a good reach where I'm able to catch the ball and make plays on my own in space."
Several schools remain in the race for his services including, Memphis, Mississippi State, Florida, Alabama, and Tennessee, among others.
"I love Memphis that just my hometown area, where I'm from, and also where my dad went to school. It's always a big honor to be offered somewhere where you're at. They're just recruiting very hard. They're trying their best (to keep me home.) I'm talking to them almost every day," he said on the hometown Tigers.
Mississippi State is a receiver friendly offense, something that Miller has taken notice of, while they have recruited him hard.
"Dave Emerick, and Steve Spurrier, the receiver coach, I talk to them a lot. They are recruiting me very hard and trying to get me to come up there whenever the chance that I can come up there. It's been a good time and experience getting recruited by them," he said on the Bulldogs. "That's special for a receiver. You know you are probably going to get the ball 2-3 times or even more in a game because they are going to throw the ball 40-50 times. As a receiver, you should be happy about the system and the play calls when the air-raid comes in."
Florida is another school that threw it all over the field last season while using receivers with a skill set much like Miller's. "I talk to coach Billy Gonzales, the receiver coach. He was sending me all the numbers that the quarterback and receivers were doing. That was special what they did last year, but this year they just exploded with more offensive power. Coach Billy has just been telling me I can fit in their system. You are going to get the chance to get the ball, and they are going to play you regardless," he said.
Alabama produced a Heisman trophy winner last fall and after this year's draft will likely have produced four first round picks at the receiver position in two year's time.
"It is a blessing to be recruited by a school like them. They are a powerhouse, especially from what Nick Saban has produced there," Miller said on Alabama. "You know if you go there, you will play the best of the best, and you will be one of the best because if you're not, you are not going to fit in there. That's one of the things they tell me. If you want to be the best, play like the best, then come to Tuscaloosa. That is something I keep on my mind because I know I want to be one of the best, and I want to compete with the best. That is my mindset with anywhere I want to go."
Tennessee prioritized Miller under Jeremy Pruitt's watch, and Kodi Burns and Josh Heupel have quickly done the same.
"I had talked with Kodi Burns even when he was at Auburn. He loved me and my film and how good of a person I was. He called me as soon as he got the job at Tennessee. He explained how fast the offense was going to be and how explosive they were going to be," Miller said on the new Tennessee wide receivers coach.
"I've always known Coach Heupel at UCF and how explosive his offense can be and score 40-50 points in the blink of an eye. That is something I like. I like scoring and winning. That is something I think Coach Heupel can bring back to Tennessee," Miller added.
Tennessee hosted a "Heup House" zoom call last week featuring multiple top targets and Miller joined in.
"It was a good experience because I had never experienced anything like that. It was a good thing that Coach Heupel got all of the coaches and their top targets on that call so they can explain what they are going to do at Tennessee," he stated.
Miller was joined by several other in-state targets on the call, all of who have built a close relationship over the years and talked about playing together.
"The most important part is we talk about winning anywhere we go," he said of their conversations. "The appeal (with teaming up at Tennessee) is that we can bring back the winning the back at Tennessee. As for me, I am just looking at a system that can score points, throws the ball, and can be balanced all game.
When could a decision come for the talented pass catcher? He said, "I have looked it over a lot, and I probably won't make a decision until after my season. I have some schools that would take my commitment, but I didn't get to play last year, and I feel I have some things to prove on the high school level; that's just me. I think I might wait until the season starts or after the season. "