North Caddo’s standout wide receiver Miller motivated by grandfather’s memory to become first member in LSU’s Class of 2023

North Caddo head football coach John Kavanaugh probably would have taken the under on the amount of time required for his Class of 2023 four-star wide receiver Omarion Miller to commit to LSU once the Tigers extended a scholarship offer.

After picking up an offer following LSU’s camp on June 6, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Miller made it official Monday, committing two days after attending the Tigers’ ‘Boys from the Boot’ recruiting weekend.

“I’m surprised he made it that long,” Kavanaugh said. “I’m excited for my guy. He’s going to school where he wanted to.”

Miller became the first member in LSU’s Class of 2023, choosing the Tigers over scholarship offers from Arkansas, Louisiana Tech, Miami, UL-Monroe and West Virginia.

He’s the No. 124 overall prospect according to 247Sports. No. 16 wide receiver and No. 7 prospect in Louisiana.

“I would like to thank Coach O and (LSU wide receivers) Coach Mickey Joseph for believing in me,” Miller said on his Twitter account. “Without them none of this is possible.”

Given the accounts Kavanaugh’s heard from Miller, there was only one school he always wanted to play for.

One of the driving forces in Miller’s life was his grandfather Dexter Long, who Kavanaugh said passed away following the end of the 2020 football season because of complications from COVID. Long was instrumental in getting his grandson to watch LSU football games, a tradition that continued until his death last year.

“He’s told me stories about him and his grandfather and their family watching LSU games as he grew up,” Kavanaugh said of Miller. “Initially, as he kind of burst on the scene, I think he pretty much let everyone know LSU was where he wanted to be, and it pretty much fell into place for him.”

Miller had positioned himself to start as a freshman at North Caddo, a Class 2A program located 30 minutes south of the Arkansas border, but suffered a broken hand on his first day of practice and was sidelined the entire 2019 season.

Miller, who’s been timed at 4.58 in the 40, made a complete recovery to enjoy both a standout football and basketball season, helping both teams to the state playoffs.

He averaged a hefty 27.8 yards per catch with 29 grabs for 807 yards and eight touchdowns for North Caddo (5-4) which reached the state regionals before losing to General Trass, 56-54 last season.

Miller also averaged 20 points in basketball where North Caddo was upset in the first round of the state playoffs.

“He would have started for us as a freshman and probably everyone would have known about him 12 months earlier,” Kavanaugh said. “He’s a tremendous basketball talent, too. He’s just an electric athlete. He gets to the rim so easily in basketball. Super talented kid. Good kid. Well mannered. Just a great young man. His mother’s done a fine job raising him with a lot of help from her dad.”

Kavanaugh said his offensive coordinator Reagan Smith, who previously served in that role at Parkway High where he coached Carolina Panthers wide receiver Terrace Marshall of LSU, compared Miller favorably with Marshall at this stage of his career.

“He said Terrace probably has more top-end speed at this point,” Kavanaugh said. “But Omarion’s ball skills are just insane. He can high-point the ball. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Kavanaugh said Long took a bigger role in helping raise Miller when he lost his father after he reached junior high school.

A great deal of their time spent together dealt with watching LSU football games, where the Tigers reached the apex of college football in 2019 with a 15-0 record and national championship.

It further compelled Miller to want to play for LSU.

“He’s just told me his family grew up watching LSU and that was the school he was always a fan of,” Kavanaugh said. “His grandfather watched the games with him. There was a place in his (Miller’s) heart. It’s also an exciting offense to play in these days. With the national championship in 2019, it just seemed like that was the IT program. That was the place for him.”

Miller had other attachments to LSU’s program, having developed a close friendship with current LSU wide receiver pledge DeColdest Crawford of Shreveport’s Green Oaks while playing together for the Louisiana Bootleggers’ 7-on-7 team.

While the excitement of LSU’s offer was certainly tempting, Miller wanted to attend LSU’s recruiting weekend in Baton Rouge, then returning home to discuss his future with his mother.

“He could have pulled the trigger this weekend and we wouldn’t have been surprised,” Kavanaugh said. “He wanted to take a minute and just breathe and make sure it was the right thing to do. He said he’s a 1,000 percent committed which I fully believe. It was a matter of him visiting with his mom and making 100 percent sure before he made a lifetime decision.”

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