COLUMBUS — There have been some rocky moments in the last few months for Ohio State commitment Jack Miller.
After committing to the Buckeyes in July of 2018, the 6-foot-4, 213-pound quarterback turned his focus entirely to preparing himself to be a college quarterback. He began his junior season playing better football than he ever had before.
Then a rash of injuries left Miller hurt for a good portion of the last year. He missed the second half of his junior season with a knee issue and was forced to sit out the Elite 11 Finals in June because of back issues. He’s missed five games of his senior season, too, as he and a revamped offensive line at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale try to keep him upright.
So, yes, Jack Miller has been hurt. The real injury though was sitting idly by as people around the country made assumptions about him as a player and person based on the physical ailments he was fighting through.
“I’ve never really cared too much about what people have to say,” Miller told Lettermen Row on Monday morning. “Because I know they’ll all have their opinions no matter what.
“But being out and not playing really sucked.”
Miller is playing again, and he’s days removed from one of the biggest wins of his high school career, posting 305 yards through the air while tossing three touchdowns in his third game back from the shoulder injury that had forced him out most of the year. It was the old Miller — the confident Miller — who showed exactly what he’s capable of being when he’s afforded the chance to be it.
So, perhaps it was fitting that as that game ended, Miller took off on a flight to Columbus to put an end to any other games people think he’s playing. There is no change of plans for Jack Miller in his recruitment, and there’s never been one. He’s always wanted to be a part of the future for the Buckeyes.
And he’s not concerned about Ohio State’s pursuit of any other quarterback in the Class of 2020.
It’s what he’s said all along, all the way back to April. But if a reminder is needed, Miller is happy to provide it.
“I’m not swaying at all,” Miller said. “It’s also gotten on my nerves how people think I’m going to decommit just because they offered another kid.
“I’m not worried about anyone coming in and I will not be. I have no concerns at all. I’m ready to compete with anybody.”
And competing is something Miller will have to do. He’s on track for early graduation and has been accepted into Ohio State, which means the plans to enroll in January haven’t changed either. That’s why last weekend in Columbus meant so much to the country’s No. 10-ranked pro-style quarterback — and so much to the Buckeyes coaches.
It was a valuable chance to reset the expectations on both sides, and it was an opportunity to do it in person without the risk of social media noise getting in the way or distorting the message. This was Jack Miller and Ryan Day, two quarterbacks who have talked about being quarterbacks for two-and-a-half years now. This was a chance for everyone to be on the same page but also to remind each other that the page never turned in the first place.
“I got to talk to [Ryan Day and Mike Yurcich] on Sunday morning,” Miller said. “We talked and they told me that I’m still their guy. They told me that that I’m going to need to grow up fast and be ready to grow and learn right when I get on campus. The plan hasn’t changed.
“Ohio State always feels like home. I’m solid and I’m here to stay.”
And the Buckeyes can now remain confident that at least one 2020 quarterback will be signing in December.