ABC 27's Scholar Athlete of the Week: Wakulla's Denzel Miller

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Posted at 7:07 PM, Nov 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-17 19:07:51-05

CRAWFORDVILLE, Fla. (WTXL) — It's the second round of the postseason this week for high school football teams, and the Wakulla War Eagles are playing their best football at the best time. Senior Denzel Miller is a big reason why.

"Junior year, he got hurt," said head coach Scott Klees. "Dislocated his elbow, but played through it."

Sometimes all the motivation you need, is the reminder of what you couldn't do a season ago.

"My mindset really was to break my record of interceptions and to help our team get past the semifinals, which we couldn't my junior year," said Miller.

Record broken? Check. Miller has nine interceptions on the season, which is tied for the most in the state of Florida.

"When the balls in the air, I'm sorry quarterback. It's not going," he laughed. "It's not going the way you want it."

It's not just defensively where he shines.

"He's just not good at everything, he's great at everything," said Klees. "He makes big plays in big-time situations."

Miller leads the War Eagles with five receiving touchdowns, and he's also a threat on the ground.

"I'm going to do whatever I have to, whether I'm hurt, dislocated shoulder, it doesn't matter," he said. "I'm going to go out there and play until the clock runs down."

That never-quit mentality carries over to the classroom, where Miller leads with a 3.4 GPA.

"Before you could play or go outside, you had to get the homework done, and that was it."

"That comes first before football," added Klees. "He's just one of the examples we have that does what he's supposed to do in the classroom, but also does what he has to do on the football field."

With that, Miller is looking to leave a lasting impression.

"A record of a beast," he said. "That's what I claim myself to be when I get on the field. I wonder who's going to outlast me and who's going to be the last man standing on the field."

The last man standing, and if he can help it, the last team.

Miller said his goal is to play football in college, where he plans to study business with the goal on one day owning his own landscaping company. Miller and the War Eagles are at Raines this Friday for the regional semifinals in Class 5A.