The Hurry Up is your nightly dose of updates from the Ohio State football recruiting trail, keeping tabs on the latest from commits and targets from around the country.
“I always knew I was gonna be a Buckeye”
When Jack Miller was a freshman at Chaparral High School, he was floored as he watched Ryan Day walk onto the practice field in the spring, an Ohio State shirt clinging to his chest making Miller admittedly a bit starstruck.
“Our coaches after practice told me to go to talk to him,” Miller told Eleven Warriors on Thursday night. “Later that week, him and Coach (Urban) Meyer called me and offered me. That was a really surreal moment for me. That was probably my first really big offer.”
Miller and Day had an instant connection, and their relationship grew quickly as the former record-setting quarterback made a lasting impression on a player who would soon break some quarterbacking records himself.
“How personable he is and how easy he is to talk to definitely stood out the first five minutes I was talking to him as a freshman,” Miller said. “His football mind and how much he knows about football really shows. I think it shows every single Saturday. I mean, he’s a genius. He’s who I wanna play for and who I wanna get developed by.”
Miller committed to Ohio State about a year and a half later in July of 2018. Even though LSU and Ole Miss had caught his eye, he never truly believed his home would be anywhere else but Columbus.
So that’s why he still smiles talking about what will soon become his college program. That initial surreal feeling, even all this time later, still hasn’t quite worn off.
“It’s super special,” Miller said. “I’ve known I was gonna be a Buckeye for a few years now and really was just comparing every school to Ohio State when I visited. I’ve known for quite some time I was gonna be a Buckeye so it’s nice now that it’s official.
“It’s a standard of excellence. What they demand from every single person in that program, I feel like is excellence – whether it’s on the field or off the field. Whatever you do in your life, they obviously care about their players as well.”
Miller continued: “It’s been awesome getting to know them on a personal level, not just a football level. Being able to really develop our relationship before even getting there. I’m just super excited to get up there. … The way they care for all their players and what you learn – Real Life Wednesdays and the internships that are available and the connections you get from being at a place like Ohio State is really beneficial for me.”
As he says this, Miller sits in a ballroom of his family’s hotel resort, The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, in Scottsdale, Arizona. His father is the regional vice president at Fairmont Hotels and the general manager of the Scottsdale Princess, which is hosting Ohio State coaches and players for this year’s Fiesta Bowl.
It’s this same place where Miller got his first taste of the Buckeyes four years ago, as an eighth-grade Miller saw Meyer lead his team into the hotel lobby before defeating Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl at the end of the 2015 season.
“He had no clue I was even gonna be playing football in high school so that was pretty crazy,” Miller says of his first meeting with Meyer.
But Miller did play football in high school, and he played it well. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound quarterback wrapped up his career last month, finishing by completing 114 out of 193 passes for 1,621 yards and 15 touchdowns in seven games after bouncing back from multiple injuries. That run included leading Chaparral to wins in the final two regular season games – a touchdown pass on the final play of the game to beat Liberty, 36-35, and upsetting Pinnacle, one of the state’s top-ranked teams, in a 28-21 battle that had Miller beaming as he reminisced about it.
That’s all in the past now, as Miller took time on Thursday to look toward the future. After officially signing his national letter of intent last week, in about two more weeks, Miller will shuffle off from the Phoenix area and into a Columbus dorm, enrolling early and beginning his Buckeye career.
He already feels accepted by the coaching staff and the players, and getting to know them at the hotel has helped with that.
“It’s pretty crazy,” said Miller, who also attended a couple Buckeye practices this week. “I’ll be walking around and see them, shake their hands and say ‘what’s up?’
“(I’ve felt their embrace already), but I feel like I’m gonna feel it more in a couple weeks. They’re all super good guys, and you can just tell how good the coaches do with them.”
It’s easy to see the enthusiasm spread across Miller’s face when he talks about the program. He remains as excited today as he was when he first saw Day walk into that practice and shake his hand.
“I’ve always known,” Miller says, “that I was gonna be a Buckeye.”