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Football: DE from Canton commits to UNT

Profile image for By Brett Vito / Staff Writer
By Brett Vito / Staff Writer

Sam Miller had a lot to consider before deciding where he would continue his career after his senior season at Canton this fall.

In-state schools like Houston, UTEP, Texas State and UT-San Antonio had all offered the 6-foot-3, 220-pound defensive end a scholarship, as had Kansas State and Oregon State, a pair of distant schools in power leagues.

Once Miller got a good look at North Texas over the weekend, he had a clear idea of where he wanted to play and committed to the Mean Green before leaving town.

“It wasn’t that hard of a decision,” Miller said. “North Texas is only an hour and a half away from home. I wanted to stay in Texas. I felt comfortable at North Texas and know I will get a good education.”

Oral commitments are non-binding. Feb. 4 is national signing day.

Miller, who was recruited by UNT offensive line coach Mike Simmonds, became the second member of the Mean Green’s 2015 recruiting class. UNT previously picked up a commitment from Tyler John Tyler receiver Rodney Bendy.

UNT is conducting a series of top recruiting targets on visits that began over the weekend and will continue today.

Miller was a first-team All-District 15-3A selection as a junior last season.

UNT’s coaches told Miller that they project him as a weakside defensive end. How he develops over the next year will determine if he will play as a freshman or redshirt to give him more time to grow and adjust to playing on the college level.

“The defensive line coach said he won’t give me anything that is too much to handle,” Miller said of Kevin Patrick. “If I can handle the pressure my first year, I will play. He will do whatever it takes to help me fit in.”

UNT had one senior on its post-spring depth chart at defensive end in starter Daryl Mason. Sophomore Malik Dilonga is slated to start at the other end spot.

UNT head coach Dan McCarney has emphasized developing a deep rotation of players along the defensive front throughout his time with the team. UNT posted 39 sacks last season with 15 different players contributing to that total.

Miller could end up being a part of that rotation early in his college career.

The senior wanted to commit to a school before the beginning of the 2014 season and believes he found the right fit after getting a closer look at UNT.

“When I got there with the staff and the school, I felt comfortable,” Miller said. “I felt like the coaching staff will make me into a better person and football player.

“I’m excited about it.”

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.