COLUMBUS — Jack Miller spent 17 months committed to Ohio State before he was able to sign.
The four-star quarterback stayed committed through the turmoil of the 2018 offseason, a change at head coach and two changes of position coach. So even when the Buckeyes decided to take a second quarterback in Miller’s recruiting class — one with a higher rating than Miller, no less — it would’ve been foolish to expect Miller to pack up and decommit.
He’s at Ohio State to compete to win a job.
“I never really thought it was a big deal,” Miller said. “I think we’re both here for the same goal. We want to win a national championship here. And that’s going to be the goal, whatever it takes. And if he’s the guy or if I’m the guy, it doesn’t really matter. We’re both gonna just work our tails off and do whatever we can for the team.”
Miller and C.J. Stroud will be forever linked and compared to each other because they came into the Ohio State program as two top-tier quarterbacks ready to take over after Justin Fields leaves for the NFL. Both early-enrollee quarterbacks certainly believe in themselves as players. And both want to play, not wear a headset and play sparingly in blowouts.
That Ohio State would take two quarterbacks in the class wasn’t always the case. But then Dwayne Haskins left for the NFL a year early. Then Tate Martell and Matthew Baldwin both transferred out of Ohio State. And the Buckeyes were left with just three scholarship quarterbacks last season — and one graduated. Ryan Day wants four scholarship quarterbacks on his roster, so Miller couldn’t be the lone signal-caller in the class.
“I really enjoy competition, and I mean, it’s best at Ohio State,” Miller said. “I’ve been committed here for two years and I really never wavered. I never really thought about going anywhere else and just have always known this was the place for me.”
Once committed to Ohio State, Miller still had two seasons of high school football to play. Only he didn’t get to play much.
Injuries set Miller back multiple times during his final two seasons. It was hard for him to stay healthy and on the field. His recruiting ranking slipped a little. But that doesn’t bother him. He knows what he is capable of, and he’s ready to compete.
“I’m guessing things were skewed because my injuries, but I never really looked at it like that,” Miller said. “I knew that I had to get better and I had to be better than what I was, so I just really went into every single day working my tail off and trying to get better. I’m still doing that. That’s still my mindset is just get better every single day and try to be the best version of me possible.”
Now healthy and at Ohio State, Miller can focus on getting better and competing for the backup quarterback job, something he and Stroud both enrolled early to obtain. After a pandemic-shortened spring, both young quarterbacks lost most of their first spring at Ohio State.
But it doesn’t seem to matter which of the young quarterbacks comes out on top and becomes a backup. Miller believes Ohio State is the place for him, no matter where he is on the depth chart this fall.
“I think with the portal and everything, I think they made it pretty easy for players to just pick up and leave and there’s nothing bad about it, I think but I know Ohio State is the place for me right now,” Jack Miller said. “So we’re really just focusing on this year and what we can do.”