Jack Miller never had the luxury of playing high school football under the radar. That’s not an option when one of the top college programs in the country offers you a scholarship when you’re just 14 years old.
That very early offer was viewed with some skepticism when the Buckeyes’ head coach Urban Meyer made the offer, but two years later the wisdom of that pre-emptive strike has become obvious. The incoming junior at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale just accepted Meyer’s offer and announced his commitment to the OSU program yesterday.
We don’t report on many commitments, but this one is necessary since it closes the loop on a story we did report on when Meyer surprised all the insiders in college football by personally calling a recruit not yet in high school and making an offer. That’s something that Meyer, whose general recruiting philosophy is to add just one quarterback to each class, never does.
Another good reason to cover this commitment story is the elite status Miller has attained in just two years of prep football. The four-star prospect is ranked in the 247Sports composite as the No. 3 pro-style quarterback in the Class of 2020, and No. 4 overall at that position.
By the time he gets to his senior year, the 6’4″, 210-pounder could well be considered the best in his class.
And that senior year may end for him soon after football season wraps up. He has expressed an interest in finishing his studies by December so he can be on the Columbus campus in time for spring drills.
That additional exposure to the offensive system will come in handy since the Buckeyes have a roster full of young quarterbacks who will still be on board when Miller shows up, all with a head-start to a starting job ahead of the youngster from Scottsdale. A sophomore, Dwayne Hawkins, is expected to be the starter this season and he has a true freshmen and a redshirt freshman lined up behind him.
Of course, there’s still lots of time for Miller to re-consider his commitment and, as so many early commits do, find a different landing spot. He has 18 other offers in his back pocket, including top programs like Michigan, Alabama, LSU, and Auburn. And if he decides he wants to stay home to play in front of family and friends, he has offers from University of Arizona and Arizona State.
But his loyalty to the OSU program seems to be deep-rooted and his decision well thought-out. He committed after a June 22 camp for Buckeye prospects, but he also had made several visits to the campus over the last two years. He has been very open about how much he liked the program, coaches, and campus.
The fact that OSU took such an early interest in him also had to count for something.
And now Miller has removed the big distraction that recruiting at the highest level brings, free to concentrate on his last two years at Chaparral. He would like to return to the success he enjoyed as a freshman, when he was playing at Scottsdale Christian Academy. That year the dual-threat QB broke a couple of state records, throwing for 3,653 yards and 53 touchdowns, and rushing for another 1,200 yards.
When he transferred to Chaparral for his sophomore year he got off to a rough start, missing the first two games of last season while waiting on the results of a transfer hardship appeal to the Arizona Interscholastic Association.
But the future Buckeye is poised for a break-out season as a junior, playing with the comfort of a young man who already knows where his path through college will begin. It begins in Columbus.