Raising Arizona: 2020 Pledge Jack Miller Helping to Pave the Way As Ryan Day, Buckeyes Target the Southwest

By Andrew Ellis on February 17, 2019 at 8:30 am
Jack Miller is already putting in work for Ryan Day.
Bijan Robinson, Kelee Ringo, Jack Miller via @cocoabeach_28

Several recruiting hotbeds have come and gone dating back to the time when Cleveland's Glenville High School was the foremost Buckeye feeder program. We briefly saw Las Vegas' Bishop Gorman take center stage and prior to that it was Detroit's Cass Tech in the spotlight before Kerry Coombs' departure. 

Other programs have withstood the test of time with Urban Meyer at the helm and now Ryan Day will look to keep schools like Fort Lauderdale's St. Thomas Aquinas and Jacksonville's Trinity Christian Academy as a big part of Ohio State's recruiting efforts.

Over the next year, you're bound to hear a lot about Washington D.C.'s St. Johns College High School. That's for good reason considering three of Ohio State's top targets are suiting up for the Cadets. But those of you following the Class of 2020 will also want to pay very close attention to what's going on in the southwestern portion of the country.

Day and the Buckeyes have certainly had some success in California with players like Wyatt Davis and Chris Olave all heading to Columbus over the past few years. However, the Southwest isn't an area that's typically as rich in talent, and Ohio State doesn't often need to focus on a state like Arizona. 

That is changing with the 2020 class, and the reason for that change is likely due to an influx in talent and the early pledge from one of the top quarterbacks in America—Scottsdale Chaparral's Jack Miller

Miller is the country's No. 3 pro-style passer and No. 66 overall prospect. At 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, he's been Ryan Day's top 2020 quarterback target from the jump, and getting him in the fold last July – over schools like Alabama, Florida State, and Michigan – was a major win for Ohio State's next recruiting class. 

It seems like every cycle there's that one Buckeye commit who goes out of his way to lead the class and help the coaching staff assemble top talent from across the country. This happened way back in the Class of 2014 with Damon Webb leading the charge and most recently we saw five-star wideout Garrett Wilson leading the way for 2019. 

For the Class of 2020, it's looking like that honor is going to go to Jack Miller and five-star tackle Paris Johnson Jr. as the two cornerstones of the class have already put in plenty of work. The former is doing so from nearly 2,000 miles away and certainly seems to be helping with Day's recruiting efforts out West. 

The Buckeyes are involved with four of Arizona's top recruits while two of them – Miller and tailback Darvon Hubbard – are already committed. Hubbard also made his pledge last July, but the various recruiting outlets seem to view him quite differently. 247 Sports lists him as the country's 90th-best prospect while Rivals has him as a three-star and outside of the top-250. An Akron, Ohio native, Hubbard was a teammate of Miller's before transferring to Surprise's Willow Canyon High. Right now I'd say it's looking iffy as to whether or not the tailback pledge remains in Ohio State's plans moving forward. 

The state's No. 2 prospect is another tailback, but this one is of the five-star variety. Bijan Robinson was offered by Ohio State back in November, and he's likely running alongside California's Kendall Milton as the top running back target for 2020. He rushed for 2,400 yards and 35 scores while averaging 14 yards per carry as a junior. UCLA is the crystal ball favorite (with just one submission) but Chip Kelly doesn't exactly have things rolling for the Bruins at this point.

Arizona's top-ranked player is five-star cornerback Kelee Ringo. The Tacoma, Washington native now resides in Scottsdale but the hometown Huskies are still viewed as the frontrunner in his recruitment. Ringo debuted at No. 2 on our initial 2020 big board, but after building an early relationship with Alex Grinch, it will now be up to Jeff Hafley to help reel in one of the nation's best cornerbacks. 

Jack Miller's status as not only a Buckeye commitment but a player that seems to be set on doing some recruiting of his own may go a long way in the class. After a small signing day haul for 2019, we're thinking this class gets back up to the usual number and approaches the mid-20's; meaning that there will be plenty of opportunity.

With Miller doing everything in his power to help out in his own state – along with Day and Hafley's ties to the West Coast – Ohio State's next recruiting class could have a bit of an Arizona feel to it.

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