Our David Mays caught up with Gardner-Webb CB Christian Miller to see what the incoming Runnin’ Bulldog signee is all about.
CSJ’s David Mays: You played at Hilton Head (S.C) High School under B.J. Payne. You also played on Team USA U18 National Team, in the International X Bowl. Can you describe your time at HHHS, then with Team USA and how you believe they have prepared you for collegiate football ?
Gardner-Webb CB Christian Miller: I had a great time at HHHS. Playing for Coach Payne was an amazing experience. Coach Payne is an old school Coach with great values. He pushes you to the limit! Also, Coach Payne is well connected in the HS football community.
One way playing at HHHS prepared me for college is discipline. I drove an hour to and from school each day. Many times our practice and off-season programs started at 7:00AM. I am proud to say that I never was late or missed a practice during my time at HHHS.
Playing for Team USA was a dream come true for me. There’s nothing like representing your town, state, and country. I got a chance to meet a lot of players from around the nation. As a Dallas Cowboys fa, a highlight of the game was playing at AT&T Stadium.
Mays: What one moment either with HHHS or Team USA that sticks out to you?
Miller: It’s hard because I’m torn between HHHS and Team USA. I remember last season we had played a game against a Georgia local powerhouse (New Hampstead). They were loaded with a lot of D-1 talent and the local press stated that I was going to have to bring to shutdown these trio of talented players. I stepped in the moment and shutdown their number 1 receiver. I was the Defensive MVP, unfortunately, we loss the game.
Mays: You also played in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. What was that like and what did you take away from that ?
Miller: The Shrine Bowl was a nice experience. You get to practice and play against the top players from SC and NC. More importantly, you get to give back to the community by supporting the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital. It’s heart-warming to see the smiles on the kids’ faces when we visited.
Mays: You allowed less than 50 yards passing against you your Senior season. Your Junior season, you didn’t allow a touchdown pass. That’s very impressive. How do you maintain that, “lockdown” mentality?
Miller: I watch a lot of film on teams as well as the top collegiate and NFL talent. I believe DB’s are a rare breed! You have to have that DAWG in you. I’m always up for a challenge no matter who it is.
Mays: You had 18 Division 1 offers, what made you select Gardner Webb over them ?
Miller: Honestly, I didn’t pick Gardner Webb until the end of my recruiting process. I am glad that I waited to commit. Eight of the teams I had offers from experienced coaching changes. I didn’t want to be a part of a team where the coaches didn’t recruit me, but accepted me. Coach Reardon (Runnin’ Bulldogs Defensive Coordinator) had offered me when he was at EKU, but he was hired with Gardner Webb’s new coaching staff.
As soon as I stepped on campus, I knew it was the right place for me. I really like how Coach Lamb relates to his players. The entire coaching staff is high energy and eager for success. Also, there’s an opportunity for me to play immediately. Gardner Webb offered the complete package!
Academically, I received a full ride athletic scholarship and a presidential scholarship for my grades. Lastly, I want my family to be able to see me play on Saturdays.
Mays: What is GW getting in Christian Miller ?
Miller: Their getting a hard working results driven individual that thrives in a team environment. I am coachable and respect my coaches opinions.
Mays: Who do you follow and try to model your game after ?
Miller: Jalen Ramsey – You have to be confident to play DB. I don’t mind getting physical on the Island.
Mays: What are some of your personal goals and what are some of your teams goals ?
Miller: I want to earn the opportunity to contribute early and often while and crack the starting lineup. Also, I want to be an honor student. As far as the team, I want to help turn around the program. We all want to be part of a winning program.
Mays: You mentioned to me that people are sleeping on Gardner Webb and that this team is better than most think. Can you expand on that? (Don’t answer this if you don’t want too. I know this was just between us in a dm, so don’t answer this if you don’t want too)
Miller: I would not say so much as sleeping, but after going 3-9 we have something to prove! Last year’s team was a young squad. There’s a lot of returning talent.
Mays: What are you watching on Netflix or Hulu right now?
Miller: All-American on Netflix.
David is a former writer on SB Nation (BuildingTheDam), covering all sports at Oregon State. David also conducted field interviews with students athletes across all sports at Oregon State. Before that, he wrote for Know It All Football. He is a huge sports fan and loves college football and is the brains behind the Twitter handle HardcoreFCS.