Two Bulldogs who are dual sport athletes and good students are having a busy summer. They are preparing not only to compete for the Dawgs but both would like to play football at the next level.
The big man, Kwayde Miller, will only be a junior next school year, but the 6’8” tight end in football and center in basketball has been to three football camps conducted at Division I universities.
Miller has been to camps at San Diego State University, the University of Southern California and the University of Notre Dame. San Diego State has offered to save a scholarship for Kwayde. USC and Notre Dame are among the elite football schools in Division I, which is now called the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Miller played frosh football and made the varsity his sophomore year. He has earned two varsity letters in basketball. He plays tight end for the Bulldogs but is projected to play tackle or guard in college.
Athletes must pay to participate at the camps. Miller was impressed with the facilities at USC and SDSU, but liked the weather in the Midwest. Notre Dame is in South Bend, Ind. He will have to visit South Bend in the winter.
Miller is not sure if he will make an early commitment if he is offered a scholarship from more than one top school.
“I would like to evaluate everything before I make a commitment,” he said. “I want to explore all of my options.”
USC is on probation by the NCAA. When asked if that will have an effect on his decision Miller said, “most likely.”
The sanctions placed on USC will not adversely affect Miller’s playing career since he has two years of high school left and USC’s sanctions from playing in bowl games are two years.
Miller really liked the competition at the camps. The food at the camps must have been pretty good. Miller said that he has put on 10 pounds so far this summer.
Miller’s parents, Karl and Kristie Miller, have been supportive. “They have always stressed to work hard and get good grades.”
He feels that is good advice for all athletes. Miller has yet to take the SAT test but has a 3.2 grade point average. He plans on a career in sports management, but also is considering coaching.
Miller is devoting most of his time this summer to improving his football skills. He is weight lifting and attending summer passing league games.
Bryson Garcia is getting ready for his senior year. And it has been and will remain a busy summer.
Garcia has earned three letters in basketball and one in football. To improve his chances of getting a football scholarship or being admitted to a prestigious university, Garcia attended five football camps this summer and one last summer.
Last summer, he participated in a football camp at the University of Notre Dame. At the time Charlie Weis was the head coach. Kwayde attended the camp this summer. Notre Dame has since hired Brian Kelly to coach football.
This summer Garcia attended camps at San Diego State University, The University of San Diego, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of California at Davis.
Garcia has been generating much interest from several Ivy League colleges regarding his football skills.
“Columbia and some of the Ivy League schools have shown interest,” he said. “Columbia wants me to take an official visit next year.”
Garcia has the grades to qualify. He has a 3.5 grade point average and will take the SAT one more time to improve his score so that he qualifies for any institution.
Garcia wants to major in math in college and is undecided about a career. He says that coaching would be high on his list.
He, too, enjoyed the competition at the camps.
“Some of the athletes are amazing,” he said. “At one camp there was a quarterback who was 6’6” and about 220 pounds. He threw bullets. One thing that I have learned from the camps and the recruiting process is that grades come first and skills come second. Colleges won’t look at you if you don’t have the grades and good SAT scores.”
Garcia has been playing in summer passing leagues and working out with weights. When asked what he will be doing during the two-week CIF dead period, Garcia replied, “I will be going to the ASB leadership retreat.”
Garcia will be in the ASB Leadership class when the 2010-11 school year begins in August.