Jaylen Miller was extremely excited when the University of Tennessee first extended him a committable offer more than a month ago, talking openly about the interest from the Vols being the one he had been waiting on.
The 6-foot-2, 260-pound defensive end from Gaffney, S.C., followed through with that initial thrill Wednesday by giving Tennessee and new coach Butch Jones his commitment and sending in his signed scholarship papers. Miller officially visited Knoxville along with Carl Lawson and Davin Bellamy three weeks ago, and he liked it so much that he visited unofficially again the next weekend. Though UT fans believed him to be a strong lean to the Vols, Miller made fans wait until National Signing Day to deliver the good news.
Lawson and Bellamy won't be signing with the Vols on Wednesday, but getting Miller more than softens the blow.
While Miller isn't the elite prospect many UT fans were hoping for coming off the edge, he's a really good player with a positive work ethic and a frame that makes him very versatile. Though he possesses the body type to bulk up a bit and play inside, Miller also has the burst and speed along the edge to get pressure on the pass rusher. He reminds me a lot of another Miller the Vols got from the same area a few years ago -- Corey Miller. Though the duo aren't related, there are some similarities in their game.
Early offers from schools like Florida and LSU poured in for Miller, who wasn't ready to do anything. Late in the game, those schools had bigger targets to fill -- as did the Vols -- so he fell off a bit. But a strong senior season renewed UT's interest, and he inevitably chose the Vols over schools like Georgia Tech, N.C. State and Maryland. While Miller wasn't hotly pursued by the previous coaching staff, Jones and his new staff made him a priority, and Miller rewarded the persistence with a commitment.
Miller is universally rated a three-star prospect universally, and is the nation's No. 35 strongside defensive end according to the 247 Composite rating, which rates a prospect industry-wide. He gives UT its 19th known commitment, and he'll immediately come in and compete for playing time along the front. He joins four-star commit Jason Carr as UT's only defensive line commits in this class so far, though the Vols are waiting on a decision from three-star Malik Brown and could pursue others after today if any names arise.
Welcome to Big Orange Country, Mr. Miller!