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Article updated: 2/1/2012 11:33 PM
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Stevenson's Miller charts a daring future
 

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Stevenson's Miller charts a daring future
  • JOE LEWNARD/jlewnard@dailyherald.com Stevenson's Carl Miller, at left wrapping up Maine South quarterback Matt Alviti, is planning a college football at the Air Force Academy.

    JOE LEWNARD/jlewnard@dailyherald.com Stevenson's Carl Miller, at left wrapping up Maine South quarterback Matt Alviti, is planning a college football at the Air Force Academy.

 

His 6-foot-3 frame figures to keep Carl Miller from piloting a jet for the U.S. Air Force.

"I might be a little too tall to fly, from what I've heard," said Miller, 210 pounds, muscular and tough.

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The Stevenson senior will settle for flying around the football field. He's sky-high after verbally committing to the Air Force on Monday -- about five months after the military academy offered him the chance to head to picturesque Colorado Springs, Colo., and play football for the Falcons, who have been earning bowl bids with regularity in recent years.

"At first, when they offered me, I was kind of hesitant about it," Miller said. "But the more I learned about it and the closer I got to the coaches, the more I liked it. The coaches are great. And the whole academics and getting a job right out of college, you can't really beat that. "

It's tough to top the snowcapped-Rocky Mountain scenery of Colorado. Miller took official visits to North Dakota and Air Force. On national letter of intent signing day Wednesday, Stevenson celebrated the Division I commitments of Miller, his football teammates Jake Hurcombe (Eastern Michigan) and Matt Micucci (Northwestern, preferred walk-on), soccer player Katie Krejsa (Dayton) and golfer Nick Geissler (Bucknell). Fencer Sally Park stabbed a scholarship offer from Northwestern.

Like his classmates, Miller, a tough inside linebacker, smiled for cameras.

"Ever since I visited Air Force, I kind of knew in my heart that was somewhere I wanted to go," Miller said. "The campus is beautiful. I stepped off the plane and I was just like, 'Wow.' It's beautiful.

"It's going to be hard to get me to come back home," he added, laughing.

Miller had a grandfather and uncle who were in the Marines. Another uncle played college football at a mid-major.

"He was getting recruited by West Point," Miller said. "He said if he could have done it all over again, he would have chosen an academy. That was a big push for me."

Air Force has been to a bowl game the last five years and, like Stevenson, the football team expects to win every year. Which makes it appealing to Miller, who started three years on varsity and the last two falls was a leader on a defense that helped the Patriots advance to the Class 8A state quarterfinals.

"They've really got a winning way there," Miller said of the Air Force. "It's hard not to want to be a part of that."

Understandably, he's anxious to zoom to the Air Force -- and strap on his football gear. He does not plan on attending a prep school his first year.

"Hopefully I can do some good things in their summer camp and find myself on special teams or something like that," Miller said.

"The more I got to know (about the Air Force Academy), the more I loved it," he added. "I'm excited to get out there and get after it."

Micucci to get his kicks at NU

After considering some Ivy League schools, Vanderbilt and Iowa State, Stevenson senior kicker Matt Micucci decided to accept a preferred walk-on opportunity at Northwestern.

"They didn't sign a kicker in my (graduating) class, so I think that's the best fit for me," Micucci said.

He figures he can't go wrong with NU and the opportunity to potentially be a member of head coach Pat Fitzgerald's squad.

"I love what Coach Fitz is doing with the program," Micucci said. "He's the best coach I've ever met."

The strong-legged Micucci had nearly a perfect season kicking the football as a junior, going 50 for 50 on PAT kicks and booting 6 field goals in 7 attempts. Last fall, he had the added responsibility of serving as the Patriots' starting quarterback and threw for 1,500-plus yards and 12 touchdowns. He also punted.

He played with a strained hip flexor during the season, too.

"When you're getting hit, it's a lot different from just coming off the bench to kick," Micucci said.

With a 4.2 GPA, 30 ACT score and plans on earning a degree in engineering, Micucci should be a good fit for Coach Fitz.

jaguilar@dailyherald.com

Where they're headed:

Football

Player High school Pos. College choice

Jake Hurcombe Stevenson OL Eastern Michigan

Jordan Kos Carmel FB Winona State

Mikey Kuhn Stevenson DL Wisconsin-Oshkosh

Jack Lynn Lake Zurich LB Minnesota

Luke Mathewson Libertyville DE/TE N. Dakota

Matt Micucci Stevenson K Northwestern

Carl Miller Stevenson LB Air Force

Mike Parker Libertyville DL Grand Valley State

Quinton Quarles Grant DL Robert Morris

Dillon Sandberg Libertyville OL Robert Morris

Sam Styler Libertyville LB Illinois Wesleyan

Shane Toub Carmel C Dayton

Jarret Wood Vernon Hills RB Winona State

Boys soccer

Player High school Pos. College choice

Patrick Schultz Warren D Marquette

Brady Walsh Warren G Marquette

Girls soccer

Sarah McHugh Carmel MF Northern Iowa

Katie Krejsa Stevenson F Dayton

Chloe Juergensen Warren MF Morehead State

Baseball

Alex Young Carmel P Texas Christian

Boys golf

Nick Geissler Stevenson Bucknell

Boys track

K.J. Matuszak Carmel Wisconsin-Parkside

Girls track

Shannon Baucus Carmel Charleston

Megan Paul Carmel Arkansas

Girls volleyball

Megan Mowery Carmel St. Francis

Taylor Pippen Carmel Southern Illinois

Fencing

Sally Park Stevenson Northwestern

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