Clemson has come into Ohio and taken a 2022 Buckeyes target who holds an offer from the in-state powerhouse.
Blake Miller, a four-star OT from Strongsville High School, committed to the Tigers on Wednesday evening, giving Dabo Swinney and Co. their first commit in the 2022 cycle.
Miller, who released a top-five list last Tuesday featuring Ohio State, Clemson, Michigan, Florida and Auburn, told Eleven Warriors why the Tigers were high on his radar shortly after releasing that list.
“Obviously, they’re definitely a very, very strong program,” Miller said. “Apart from that, Clemson you can tell that they really care about their players. They look at it from a family aspect at Clemson which, to me, is really awesome.”
When Eleven Warriors met with Miller in July, he said that he was taking an “unbiased” approach to the recruiting process and that the Tigers' atmosphere was one reason he had them up against the home-state Buckeyes.
“Clemson definitely stands out to me because just the atmosphere and everything down there is just, the whole town eats, sleeps, breaths college football and breaths Clemson,” Miller said. “Clemson football is so big down there. And plus the coaches, the way they do things down there, to me, is very special. The coaches truly care about their players.”
Right up until his announcement, Ohio State held four Crystal Ball predictions to land the 6-foot-6, 315-pounder who's ranked No. 210 overall, No. 24 at offensive tackle and No. 9 in Ohio.
Instead, Miller has chosen the same path that Fairfield (Ohio) star Jackson Carman – a fellow offensive lineman – did in the 2018 class by leaving Ohio to make his mark at Clemson. Though Carman, a former five-star ranked No. 17 overall and No. 2 at OT, is a much bigger deal for the Tigers to land than Miller, it's still somewhat a similar situation. The Buckeyes had offered him a scholarship and most believed he'd eventually end up choosing to play down the road for the team his parents have rooted for their entire lives.
Miller said in the past that he had heard the comparisons between his own recruitment and Carman's recruitment, but he said he was not putting much stock into them.
“I’ve heard (the comparisons) made once, but I try not to look at it like that,” Miller said. “Just because they got him doesn’t mean that I’m surefire going there. The same thing with Ohio State, just because I’m an in-state kid doesn’t mean I’m surefire going there. I just look at it as the place that’s best for me regardless of location.”
Offensive line, and especially offensive tackle, is a major need for the Buckeyes in the 2022 class. Miller was being recruited at both offensive tackle and offensive guard. With him off the board, Ohio State has a bevy of other targets it'll chase, such as Kiyaunta Goodwin, Zach Rice and Gunner Givens, in addition to in-state prospect Aamil Wagner out of Wayne High School.