Polk County's Zach Miller headed to Carson-Newman

Polk County's Zach Miller headed to Carson-Newman

February 5th, 2014 by Stephen Hargis in Sports - Preps

Polk County running back Zach Miller holds a bible as he poses for a portrait in the locker room of the high school in Benton, Tenn. Miller is the area's current leader in rushing yards, and the senior also recently became a minister at 17.

Photo by Doug Strickland/Times Free Press.

It's a match made in heaven. Or at least on a Baptist college campus.

Polk County two-time all-state running back and linebacker Zach Miller will sign today with Carson-Newman University. Miller, who already is a part-time preacher, will major in pastoral studies and was being recruited also by East Tennessee State and Division III member Maryville College.

"As I was thinking about where I would sign, my mind went back to something a coach at Carson-Newman said while I was on a visit there," Miller said. "The coach told me that if I was just worried about being good in football then Carson-Newman might not be the right fit, but if I wanted to become a better Christian and get to play on a winning football program, then that's what I would get.

"That was the only place recruiting me that talked about faith, and that was really important to me."

The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Miller likely will play linebacker or defensive end for the Eagles, a longtime NCAA Division II power.

He led the area with more than 300 rushing attempts last season, finishing with more than 1,800 yards and 23 touchdowns.

"They got themselves a really good, hard-nosed player," Polk County coach Derrick Davis said. "But more than that, they got a real good kid coming to their program. It's well-known what type of kid Zach is and how hard he plays, so I think this is just a real good fit all around."

Contact Stephen Hargis at shargis@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6293.