BURLINGTON, N.C. -- Signing day is the day so many high school athletes work towards, but only a few actually get to take part in. The best of the best athletes get the opportunity to take their sport to the college level.
Christian Miles is a senior at Williams High School in Burlington. He signed on with Guilford College, but he had to deal with a lot to get to this point.
"Be gracious for what God has given me and thankful for it," explains Miles.
When Miles was a sophomore he lost a teammate and a friend, Harry Cohen. Cohen died from an accidental overdose. Miles was the backup quarterback.
"I can`t explain what kind of feeling [it was]. It was it was just real bad," he said.
Towards the end of the season, Miles started to feel bad.
"[I] came home from practice one day, heart was racing, couldn`t breathe, didn`t feel like me. It didn`t stop for like an hour."
Miles’ parents took him to several doctors who told him if he wanted to keep playing football he'd have to have heart surgery.
"He said the heart defect was from birth. It had always been there but we never had a reason to check," explains Kim Miles, Christian's mom.
"All that was going through my mind is, ‘Am I going to lose my son?’" explains Chris Miles, Christian's dad.
Miles’ parents told their son the decision to of whether or not to get the surgery was up to him. Miles decided to do it.
"Before surgery I think I had my low point to where I might not be the same where I was before, I might not make it through surgery," remembers Miles.
He made it through, finished off his final two years with the Bulldogs and then signed on with Guilford College's football team.
"I felt happy as I've ever been. It felt like Christmas morning as a little kid. Something I didn`t think I was going to do. It's unspeakable how happy I am," explains Miles.
A proud football player who has proven he's got what it takes and that he plays with heart.
Miles is planning on studying environmental science.