This story originally appeared on SECCountry.com.
Coynis Miller, a 4-star defensive tackle from Jackson-Olin High School in Birmingham, Ala., grew up wanting to play for the Crimson Tide. Ever since he can remember watching football, his dream was to play for Alabama.
The Crimson Tide have offered Miller the opportunity to play for them, but he is still exploring all of his options. Just because his childhood favorite school has offered doesn’t mean it’s a guarantee for him to attend the university.
“It’s a great opportunity because they have a great program and they produce their players to be ready for the next level,” Miller told SEC Country. “Growing up and watching them play and knowing I have the opportunity to play there is a great feeling.”
Defensive tackle is a big priority for Alabama in the Class of 2018 and Miller is aware of that. Before Mario Cristobal left for Oregon, he was Miller’s primary recruiter. Cristobal made it crystal clear that signing several defensive tackles in this recruiting cycle was going to be a priority. While that does help Alabama’s chances a bit for Miller, it’s not the most important reason he’d choose to play for a school.
“Knowing that they need defensive linemen, I feel like I could make a big impact there, but it won’t weigh too much into my decision,” Miller said. “They still have to recruit me. I’m not just going to go there just because I am a fan. I’ll have to fit with them in their system.”
The 6-foot-4, 290-pound prospect said communication with Alabama has dropped off a bit since Cristobal left the Crimson Tide. Miller has been in contact with his new primary recruiter, offensive line coach Brent Key. He said he and Key are starting to build a “great” relationship since he’s taken over his recruitment.
The coaching change has allowed Florida and Michigan to take advantage. Miller said the Gators and Wolverines are recruiting him the hardest.
“Sometimes I hear from Alabama every day and then sometimes once or twice a week and then sometimes I don’t hear from them at all,” Miller said. “Florida keeps in contact just about every day and Michigan is about the same as Florida.”
Miller said the Alabama staff has told him that he is a priority and he’d be welcomed into the class if he wanted to commit. He won’t be making a commitment until after his senior season, he said.
The state of Alabama’s No. 9 overall prospect said he’s been clocked in the 40-yard dash at 4.63 seconds, which is outstanding for a player his size. That was when he weighed around 270 pounds, so that may fluctuate a bit when he runs again next month at The Opening regional in Atlanta because he’s gained 20 pounds.
Although Florida and Michigan are recruiting Miller the hardest right now, it’s going to be hard for those schools to beat out Alabama if he remains a top priority for the Crimson Tide. The team rarely misses out on elite prospects from the Yellowhammer State if it wants that player in its class.