In The Arena: Wayne’s Miller will be a Buckeye…
That’s when Braxton Miller announces his decision.
Several weeks ago he made it.
On May 23, we did our cover shoot for the recently released Ohio High Top 200 and upcoming MVP Magazine Football Preview at Wayne High School.
Warriors head coach Jay Minton and Miller – the country’s No. 1 quarterback according to Scout.com – were there.
So was Miller’s father Kevin, decked out in a red Ohio State hat and matching t-shirt.
Miller was candid about the fact that a decision would be coming in “weeks” and that he “already knew” where he was going. His head coach backed up those remarks.
“In his heart he knows,” Minton said.
Those who play under Minton often follow their hearts to Ohio State.
During a 17-year stay in Florida, Minton coached former Buckeyes Greg and Steve Bellisari at Boca Raton High School. At Wayne, Minton has coached OSU alumni Marcus Freeman, Will Allen and John Hollins.
Minton, however, has never coached a recruit of Miller’s status.
“We’ve been fortunate enough to have some big time guys here who were recruited very heavily and in Florida I had some great recruits,” Minton Said. “But it was nothing like this. This has been a neat experience and we’ve tried to make it fun for (Braxton). He and his family have handled it great. They pledged at the beginning not to make it a dog and pony show.”
The process could have gotten out of hand for some less heady or grounded players. Miller’s hasn’t allowed it too.
The fact that Miller is Wayne’s biggest recruit ever speaks volumes. The fact that he’s one of Dayton’s most anticipated signees ever is another. Perhaps no Miami Valley player since Keith Byars has attracted as much attention as Miller. Curtis Enis was big. So was Big Daddy Dan Wilkinson. But they weren’t “Braxton” big.
“I didn’t know it was going to be this big at all,” Miller said of his recruiting. “Coming out of middle school I just wanted to score TDs. But when I came out and started as a freshman here that was real big. I mean it’s big to start as a freshman at Wayne. Coach Minton’s really helped me out with my QB skills and all these big time colleges coming here has just been nice. It’s put a smile on my face and my parents.”
Miller will hopefully put a smile on Buckeyes fans faces come Thursday and if he doesn’t it would be a huge coup.
Minton told Bucknuts.com that Miller’s final two choices are Ohio State and….Florida. Ouch.
Hopefully Miller’s heart doesn’t point him south. And it’s highly unlikely it will.
The reality is that when Miller commits to Ohio State, the Buckeyes will vault up a few spots in the national recruiting class rankings. And his commitment might lead to another – that of Springfield linebacker Trey DePriest.
It’s no secret that DePriest and Miller are childhood and lifelong friends. Northmont assistant coach Tony Broering said he can remember the duo tagging along at pee-wee camps in Springfield during his stay as head coach at Springfield South. Broering said the duo stood out then.
Although Miller appears to be an Ohio State lock, DePriest isn’t. He wants to see Florida and Alabama – and maybe some others.
What Ohio State fans want to see is Miller donning the Scarlet and Gray.
Thursday they should get their wish.
Also in attendance at the MVP photo shoot with Miller and DePriest were Centerville defensive lineman Michael Bennett, who’s already committed to Ohio State, and Northmont junior linebacker Kaleb Ringer who made no apologies for his obvious interest in the Buckeyes as well.
Said Miller when wrapping the afternoon event: “I wish we were all on the same team. That’s a state title right there. Automatically. But I enjoy (hanging out with these guys). I like meeting other teammates – future teammates.”