Some people call him the space cowboy, yeah, some call him the……oh forget it. I’m sure everyone expected that reference.
Anyway, we continue our summer series with a look at Ohio State defensive end Steve Miller, a once highly touted prospect out of the revered Canton McKinley High School and current junior on the Buckeye roster.
Miller came out of high school as the sixth ranked player in Ohio and the 16th ranked defensive end in the nation in 2011, ultimately signing with the then Tressel led Buckeyes very early in the process. Miller had garnered significant fanfare during his career at McKinley, a place known for its athletic history and its rough and tumble idolatry of the sport of football. Among those accolades, he accrued two first-team all Ohio honors, 260 career tackles, played in the Under Armour All-American Game and had offers from the likes of USC, Notre Dame, Florida, scUM and Nebraska among others.
According to Miller, it was ultimately the atmosphere at Ohio Stadium and his lifelong fandom of the Bullets in Columbus that helped his decision be so easy. Specifically, the rumor was that Miller attended the USC game at night and was absolutely blown away with the fans’ energy and couldn’t wait to play in a place with such energy. After all, only a ‘joker’ would think otherwise right? Okay I’m almost done with the bad song allusions.
Fast forward to today, and Miller has probably not played as much as he would have liked in his first two seasons in scarlet and gray. He has seen the field in nine games total in those two seasons, two as a Freshman and seven as a Sophomore last year, gathering four total tackles and one sack that came in the Central Florida game.
The good news? There has been plenty of positive mentions about Miller from the coaching staff the last two springs. He was listed as the backup for some guy named John Simon coming out of last spring. The only problem was there were a couple guys coming in that would take plenty of time away. Incoming Freshmen Adolphus Washington and Noah Spence immediately forced themselves into a good deal of playing time last season, inevitably stalling other players’ chances, Miller among them.
Ultimately there is still time for a guy with such talent as Miller to still contribute. He has played completely as a special teams guy with time as a backup on the line, and was very impressive in last year’s spring game at the Stadium. It has seemingly been difficult to adjust from being such a force in high school where he would easily bull rush through his competition, to playing against lineman that are impossible to bull rush in college. That being said, a player coming from such a storied program should be used to pressure and competition, so as before, there is still time and there should be optimism in his corner.
As with last year, it’s obvious with Urban Meyer that there is incredible talent coming in every year on the defensive line through recruiting. Therefore, hopefully Miller can pounce on a chance to play while there is still time.
No matter what, people will keep talking about him babaaaayyyy, hopefully he’s not doin things wrong, doin em wrooonnnnggg (in practice that is—I’m done now).