Ohio State Defensive Line Target Christen Miller Soaking in Limelight at All-American Bowl As Feb. 2 Decision Nears

By Garrick Hodge on January 6, 2022 at 10:10 am
Christen Miller

Ohio State’s top two remaining targets in the recruiting class of 2022 are both defensive tackles, and they’re both in San Antonio for the All-American Bowl this week.

Hero Kanu plans to announce his commitment on Saturday at the All-American Bowl, and it’s very likely he’ll end the day wearing an Ohio State hat. Christen Miller, on the other hand, is going to take things all the way down to National Signing Day, then make his college decision and sign on Feb. 2.

“Yes sir, that’s the plan,” Miller told Eleven Warriors Wednesday. “That’s what it’s going to be now.” 

Ohio State and Georgia are believed to be the main two schools Miller is considering, even though he has a final five of Oregon, Florida A&M and Miami. While it’s clear Ohio State and Georgia are the frontrunners for Miller’s services, neither will get a crack at making a final pitch in person. Miller said he will take his remaining official visits to Oregon from Jan. 14-16, Florida A&M on Jan. 23 and Miami from Jan. 28-30. 

“I’ve been to Georgia like 20,000 times, I’ve been to Ohio State like 20,000 times,” Miller said. “So I was like, ‘You know what, I’m going to put them to the side and go visit these schools that I want to go see.’”

Just because Ohio State and his hometown Bulldogs will not be getting another visit doesn’t mean they aren’t still being heavily considered. With the Buckeyes in particular, Miller couldn’t help but rave about defensive line coach Larry Johnson.

“Coach J, that’s like my uncle, man,” Miller said. “Coach J has a big factor in my recruitment because of the guy he is, a good Christian man and a good coach. We don’t even have to talk about the people that he produced, we know those guys. It’s the love he’s got for me and my family and the love he’s got for his job so it’s love from those aspects.” 

Hearing a defensive lineman recruit rave about Johnson is nothing new, and it’s a pitch the Buckeyes make to every recruit who plays in the defensive trenches. But OSU is also trying to sell Miller on something unique to most athletes: its theater program. Miller has consistently expressed his desire to be an actor one day and said Wednesday OSU has consistently tried to sell him on the theater courses it offers, which he considers to be “a great program.”

His love for acting started young.

“When I was a little kid, I always liked Disney Channel and being on TV,” Miller said. “I did a lot of auditions and I made a couple, but I turned them down for football. Getting older and getting into high school, it showed me you don’t have to limit yourself. If you want to be an actor or a rapper or anything, you can do it all. I started building that love back up. When I go to college, I’m going to be in theater/arts as one of my majors.” 

Miller has yet to hear from newly hired defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, but expects to after this week is over. The 6-foot-4, 285-pound prospect, who is ranked as the No. 107 overall prospect and the 19th-best defensive lineman in the 2022 class, will consider three aspects from each school over the next month as he makes a decision.

“I want to go somewhere where I can have a great education,” Miller said. “Number two, I want a family environment, I want to be part of a brotherhood. I’m a family type of guy. The third thing, I want to go somewhere I can get that bling, I’m used to winning rings. So I have to keep that going.” 

A four-star defensive tackle, Miller suffered a leg injury in his final game at Cedar Grove High School (Ellenwood, Georgia). Considering he’s still on the mend, he will not play in Saturday’s All-American Bowl, but still wanted to make the trip to San Antonio to support his friends he’s made in the recruiting process and for the experience.

“My leg feels great, I’m doing better,” Miller said. “I’m taking it day by day. I’m hurting a little bit, but I’m taking it day by day.” 

Miller said he enjoyed watching his “Georgia goons” practice, referencing Georgia defensive line signees Marvin Jones Jr. and Mykel Williams, but also was impressed with what he saw from Ohio State defensive lineman signee Caden Curry.

“I saw Caden Curry out here (Wednesday),” Miller said. “Man, Caden, he’s got so much upside. He plays defensive end, he plays defensive tackle, wherever you want to put him at, he’s going to play and go dominate.” 

Ending the interview, Miller smiled and said “Go Bucks” (along with every other school he’s still considering). It’s clear the hopeful actor and star football player loves the limelight, and he certainly will soak in as much of it as he can over the next month.

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