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Jeff Sentell/DawgNation
Christen Miller is an elite defensive line prospect in the class of 2022.

Christen Miller: Elite in-state 2022 DT feels ‘vibe is immaculate’ about UGA

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry offers the first Dawgnation read on impressive Class of 2022 defensive line prospect Christen Miller of Cedar Grove High School in Metro Atlanta. 

Christen Miller. Crazy. Different. Energy. Fun. Special. Tireless.

There’s a whole grab bag of words there that can apply to that massive 6-foot-5 and 280-pound defensive tackle prospect at Cedar Grove High School. It is easy to see why Georgia offered the young man and sent him an early edit on September 1. That’s when schools could first reach out per NCAA rules to the 2022 class.

Here’s the thing: Meet him one time. You won’t forget him. He won’t let you. Miller will meet you with an LED smile with his arms out wide. He’s a hugger with a reach that might want to try to swallow the sun.

He’ll leave you thinking that he’s going to kill it in every job interview just as much as he’ll have you believe he can be part of a championship defensive line rotation one day in college football.

It makes a reporter wonder whether or not he should write about him. Or hire him. Or at least give him a job reference or three based on all that positivity.

“That’s Christen,” Cedar Grove coach Miquel Patrick said. “He’s always like that.”

“Every day,” said Cedar Grove sophomore ILB Raul Aquirre, who also has a UGA offer. “You didn’t catch him on a good day. He’s that way every day.”

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Christien Miller is rated as the nation’s No. 9 DT for 2022 by 247Sports. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Georgia has offered. Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, FSU, LSU Michigan State and Tennessee have also joined in, among others.

Those options will unlock his future. He has every right to be positive, but that’s not the reason. He shares why. It is his faith in God.

Was he worried about not having a season?

“Our coaches made us feel like we still had to keep working no matter what,” he said. “I knew what the outcome was going to be. I knew that God was going to give us a chance to come out and play. We just had to execute on making ourselves prepared.”

Check out his sophomore highlight tape. It will include a sack from the defensive end spot working against 2021 Under Armour All-American and Alabama commit Terrence Ferguson in the Peach County game.

What motivates him to excel in football?

“The things we go through on a daily basis with social justice,” Miller said. “It is motivating for me to keep going hard for my people, to keep persevering and to keep moving the right things forward. That’s my biggest ‘why’ for why I play football.”

Miller fractured his kneecap in his sophomore season. He missed almost the entire season. But he looks back and better than ever. What inspired him through all of that?

“Really God,” he said. “I remember going through my injury. I didn’t know if I wanted to go through football anymore. There were a lot of emotions going through my mind when I was at my lowest. God made me realize that ‘I’m putting you through the hardest struggles to see what you are going to do’ and he’s still looking at me today. Even with all of this when quarantine first stated.”

“He wanted to see if I was still going to keep working hard through quarantine through football. Or if I was going to lay down. I had to keep working. I feel like God is pushing me through everything now so he can see if I might deserve the blessings which could come later.”

Did we mention he’s 6 feet, 5 inches and athletic enough to be a hybrid defensive end and play out on the edge? He’s also athletic enough to be the backup left tackle on the other side of the ball for the 3-time defending state champion Saints.

FSU is actually recruiting him as an offensive lineman. They like his promise on that side of the ball that much.

Did you know the weekly DawgNation.com “Before the Hedges” program is now available as an Apple podcast? Click to check it out and download it. 

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Christen Miller is about as fun-loving and vibrant a high school football player as one will come across these days. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

The expected recruiting hits about Christen Miller 

When it comes to Georgia, he said something about the school we haven’t published on DawgNation.com before.

“Georgia I feel like the vibe is immaculate,” he said. “Just the vibe and the love that they show is crazy. I love it. Georgia is a fit for me, but just as I told you, I still have to look around and see what else might be a fit for me.”

He said he’s right at the halfway point of his recruiting journey. The Georgia push had been led by defensive line coach Tray Scott and head coach Kirby Smart.

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Christen Miller and his Cedar Grove team will have a stiff test this week against Class 7A Milton on Friday night. It is one of the top games in the state this week. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

“I posted my [edit] and coach Kirby retweeted it,” Miller said. “Then he hit me up the very next day. Coach Kirby and I were talking. With coach Scott, he shows a lot of love to me, too. It feels like I am talking to my family with those two. That’s because they are family.”

Georgia Tech and Nebraska are also up there for Miller.

The 4-star ranks as the nation’s No. 19 DT prospect and No. 222 overall recruit (247Sports Composite rankings) for the Class of 2022. That’s good, but his pure 247Sports rating (No. 9 DT/No. 114 overall) shows more of the type of prospect ceiling that was clear when DawgNation visited his practice recently.

“My decision really is in God’s timing,” he said. “At this point in time, I don’t want to rush it. But I realize this is not about me. It is what God has for me. I want to make the right decision at the right time. So I feel like when God gives me the A-okay, he’ll do that because it is time. Because I will know it is time. When he tells me, I am going to go with it. That will forever be the answer.”

He’s thinking about a major in two lanes of life. They both fit here: Computer programming and Drama. He can see himself getting into acting. With his natural charisma, he wouldn’t be wasting a blessing if he chose that life.

What is he looking for in a college fit?

“Somewhere that I am comfortable at,” Miller said. “Somewhere where I feel like I am good with the coaching staff even though it is not all about the coaching staff. I want to be somewhere that they accept me for me and I can be comfortable in that.”

“I want to be somewhere that I can grow as a football player and a leader but also as a young man on and off the field and in the classroom. Especially in the classroom. That’s the main thing. That’s someplace where I need to always continue to improve on.”

He seems driven to succeed. With action. Not just great interview answers.

“That kid right there is ahead of his time with his maturity, man,” Patrick said. “He looks at life from a different lens than your normal 16-year-old. He’s very mature for his age. Very outgoing. Very articulate.”

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Christen Miller will call his coaches two times every night after practice once he watches the film. Just trying to get better in advance of his next practice day. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

He brings to mind former Cedar Grove All-American Antwaun Jackson Jr. from the 2016 class. Jackson signed with Auburn, but since transferred to Ohio State. Cedar Grove gives out his old No. 52 jersey to only very special talents.

Miller qualifies. He’s only scratching his potential just having played for two full years.

“He’s just as twitchy as Antwaun,” Patrick said. “He reminds me a lot of Antwan as far as leadership skills and how they handle themselves off the field. But then when you turn on that film, he is going to give you a lot of Antwaun as well.”

He should pop off the film in 2020. Those rankings he currently holds are just going to be the jump-off point.

“The 2019 Christen Miller was the base model,” Patrick said. “Now you are about to get the souped-up SRT8 model.”

Miller is one of those players that will call his coaches after every practice. He will call his coaches because he’s seen the film before they have.

Patrick gets those calls. At least two times every night.

“It will be ‘what did I do wrong on this play?” or ‘what can I do differently tomorrow to improve on what we did on our inside run or pass pressure’ or something like that. That’s an everyday thing for that kid.”

Let’s be frank here. Very few kids do that. Miller has made it a habit.

A quick reminder here: Miller is wired like that. And he’s 6-foot-5 and about 285 pounds after a full breakfast and lunch. 

The Cedar Grove connection at Georgia keeps representing. Miller said he hears from Netori Johnson about the many benefits of coming to play for Smart at Georgia.

“Netori always hits me up,” Miller said. “I hit him up. Makes sure he is doing good. He shows love even when I was hurt with my knee or he was busy. So that’s my guy.”

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4-star DT Christen Miller of Cedar Grove says he already feels like part of the family with the staff at Georgia. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

SENTELL’S INTEL

(the recent reads on DawgNation.com)

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