There may be a Powercat on his high school helmet, but Blue Springs (Mo.) High junior running back Darrian Miller recently made it clear that he prefers Jayhawks.
Late Wednesday night, Miller, 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, posted on his Facebook page that he had committed to Kansas. “Darrian Miller is now a Jayhawk,” the post read. Fifty-seven comments — most of them congratulatory — and 27 “likes” followed.
Early Thursday morning, Rivals.com confirmed that Miller had, in fact, notified KU assistant coach Reggie Mitchell of his decision while attending the KU-Kansas State basketball game Wednesday night.
“It had been on my mind since I went to their Junior Day,” said Miller, the Simone Award runner-up in 2009. “But I just didn’t really know when was a good time (to commit). After talking to coach Mitchell a little more at the game (Wednesday), I just felt there was really no reason to wait. People have asked me about de-commitments and whatnot, but I honestly don’t see that in my future. If I had any doubt in my mind, then I wouldn’t have made the decision. No one pressured me. This was really just me.”
For Miller, a Darren McFadden (Oakland Raiders) type of back, who rushed for 2,798 yards and 37 touchdowns in 14 games during 2009, the decision to commit to Kansas was as much about going with what felt right as it was about keeping the Kansas City-area talent close to home.
“That’s what I’m trying to do,” Miller said. “And I’m trying to bring a few with me.”
For KU coach Turner Gill, Miller represents the first big catch in the Class of 2011. Recruiting analyst Jon Kirby, of Rivals.com, said he expected Miller to be ranked near the top of the list of running backs in Missouri when the rankings for the Class of 2011 are released.
“And let me tell you something,” Kirby added. “It’s a very good class for running backs in Missouri this year.”
In committing to Kansas, Miller follows in the footsteps of Blue Springs High senior Keeston Terry, a four-star wide receiver in the Class of 2010, who signed with KU in February.
The Kansas staff also is recruiting Miller’s teammate, junior cornerback Bernard Thomas.
In addition to Kansas, Miller received offers from Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Kansas State. In the end, Miller said he decided it was time to look into trading in the Powercat.
“Just one more (year of that),” Miller said. “But I can handle it.”