Thursday, August 27, 2009

Does ex-Panther Minter have the best DT in the state?

He thinks so, and the kid’s name is Ainsley Miller.

You remember ex-Carolina Panther safety Mike Minter, always smiling, always running his mouth, one of the most popular and most quotable members of his NFL team. Now Minter is at the other end of the spectrum, as head coach of Concord First Assembly’s private school varsity football team.

But now Minter may be even more quotable as he praises his young—and for the most part unknown—stars. Starting with 6-foot-4, 270-pound senior defensive tackle Ainsley Miller, who also plays OG.

“You know he’s ready right now,” Minter said of Miller’s college potential. “He’s really light on his feet. He could probably play linebacker at the next level, be a guy in the Levon Kirkland mold.”

Minter adds that his big guy has “4.7 or 4.8 speed” in the 40-yard dash, excellent for a player of that size.

Then Minter, who sometimes lets his enthusiasm bubble over, added, “He’s easily the best defensive tackle in the state.”

You could see for yourself Friday night, when Concord First Assembly plays host to Durham Mt. Zion and talented wide receiver Tehvyn Brantley.

Minter said Maryland and New Mexico are aware of Miller and have been calling, but the biggest problem as far as in-state schools go is his lack of college contacts. He’s building them, he said, but he’s also just getting started.

Minter did call Nebraska, his alma mater, about Miller, but the latter doesn’t want to play that far from home.

Now, if another coach at a very small school was telling me this, I would likely blow it off. But don’t you think that maybe Minter’s long career in the NFL gives him credibility when it comes to judging talent?

So I listen when he bubbles up again.

“He’s a phenomenon,” Minter said. “He hasn’t played football that long, no more than three years, tops. But his potential is out of this world.”

--Stan Olson

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Unknown said...

What year is this kid?

Stan Olson said...

Sorry, Michael, he's a senior. I'll add that in...