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You don't have to go back very far to find someone who most recent commit Donnie Miles resembles and that's former strong safety Da'Norris Searcy who graduated after the 2010 season.
The similarities are uncanny actually.
While Searcy hailed from Towers HS in Decatur which is practically a suburb of Atlanta to the southeast. Miles is from Suwanee, North Gwinnett HS which is located to the northeast of ATL. The two schools are only separated by about 32 miles.
Physically, they seem almost like carbon copies of each other. Both listed at roughly 5-11, 200-pounds. Searcy bulked up a little bit at UNC and played at roughly 220. I expect Miles will likely do the same thing. Because of his thick build, I expect Miles to grow into the Ram (hybrid LB/DB) position in the 4-2-5 defense. A little hard to say which had the higher upside coming out of high school but I think Miles might be a little bit faster and definitely played against better competition than Searcy at the same age.
On the prep level, both double as running backs and defensive backs. As a senior, Searcy "recorded 71 tackles, including 21 solo stops, eight tackles for losses and three sacks. He also rushed for 1,607 yards and 16 touchdowns." During his junior season, Miles rushed for close to 700 yards with 9 TDs, caught 24 passes for close to 270 yards and added 2 INTs on defense and had several pass-breakups in addition to roughly 60 tackles."
From a ratings standpoint, there was quite a disparity on where the recruiting services had Searcy ranked. One service had him as a 2-star because his speed was a question and another had him ranked a as a 4-star. In hindsight, splitting the difference while leaning towards the high side would be the most accurate. Searcy was a multiple year starter for solid ACC team, was taken in the later rounds of the NFL draft and totaled roughly 30 tackles in his rookie season with the Buffalo Bills. Miles currently has an '89' rating from 247Sports which is just below a 4-star which he might attain before the rankings season is over.
At UNC, Searcy played a traditional strong safety role which saw him drop into coverage more so than hang around the line of scrimmage. However, one of Searcy's best games as a Tar Heel was in the Tire Bowl game against West Virginia where he recorded 10 tackles and 2 sacks while playing much closer to the line of scrimmage and with much more of the responsibilities of the Ram position. I foresee Miles potentially growing into this position although he may start out at the 'Cat' or weakside safety position that Clint Heaven will begin at, I think Miles will eventually end up growing into the Ram position which I think Searcy would have been perfect for had he been in a position to play it at UNC.
It really is amazing how similar both players are.
This post has been edited 3 times, most recently by Jon Leggette on 3/19/2012 at 1:30 PM
Comparable to an NFL draft pick and a multiple year starter is not a bad place to start. He may even do better with the Ram position being available to him. Just a great pick up regardless!
I agree with ya snuca. I would not be upset if he ended up like Searcy...starter and NFL draft pick. That said...I think he has the physical ability to exceed those expectations and be a real force in the Ram position.
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