Most of the time when a prospect is able to make a commitment, it is a special day. However, in certain cases, it’s made to a school or on a certain day to make it even more memorable. Thus is the case with Michigan’s newest family member, Jack Miller.
“Michigan is a program that I wanted from day one,” Miller told GoBlueWolverine. “When you think about programs you can see yourself playing for, Michigan was always one of those. When I got the offer a couple of weeks ago, I was really jacked up. Basically I really just wanted to not act on emotion and evaluate everything and make sure it was the right place, to do a little more homework on it and make sure. After doing it, it was time do it, so I did.”
After receiving his Michigan offer, Miller all but moved into Schembechler Hall with the number of unofficial visits and information gathering trips he took.
“I live in Toledo, and it’s only about 45 minutes away, and that’s part of the whole process. Getting up there and evaluating and getting a feel for the coaches and the environment. I went to camp the one day, not to work out but to get a feel for the coaches and hang out and watch the players. It was just part of the whole evaluation process. And (Tuesday) I was up there and committed in person. It was nice. I had to be in Ann Arbor anyway, so I called the coaches and asked if I could swing by. I knew I wanted to commit and so it worked out perfectly.
Miller’s mother, who has been an instrumental piece in his life, quickly found out the news and was just as excited, if not more, that Miller had pulled the Maize and Blue trigger.
“She was excited and she was all for it. She has liked Michigan since day one. When we went to the junior day back in February or January she liked Michigan from then. Then they pulled through with the offer and she got a chance to get up there with me and interact with the coaches and get a feel for the environment. The things that are important to her, Michigan has. It’s a great school, the atmosphere, and it’s not far from home. The football side, she obviously lets me handle all of that. But everything was perfect on her checklist and on mine it was a great fit. She was thrilled.”
Miller also got a chance to meet the other commitment for the Wolverines, quarterback Kevin Sousa, and the Michigan coaches used Miller as a tool in pushing Sousa as well.
“The quarterback from Florida committed? I met him! Like I said, I was there and committed and then we got to talking and they were using me to put pressure on him saying ‘We got one! We need to get another here!’ So that’s great.”
The coaches as well were completely thrilled to add Miller to the fold -- when the time came, it was joy all around.
“They were thrilled. I sat down with Coach Frey and we were watching a little film and I didn’t tell him or Coach Tall, who recruits the Toledo area, that that was my plan to commit. Then Coach Rod took me into his office and I talked with him -- then I committed and it was all hugs. They kept saying welcome to the family.”
Sitting down with both the offensive and defensive line coaches often shows a power struggle, especially over an already two-way lineman, but Miller knows who has the lead.
“I think right now, offense has the advantage. They have me at center/guard. Mainly center because they like that I can snap the ball. But I also give the ability to play the defensive line if there was a need or if something like that was to happen.”
Millers next step is donning what’s known as the Ricardo Miller role and begin applying pressure to anyone the coaches want him to and becoming this class’ unofficial recruiting coordinator.
“I am going to do that, and I think that’s one of my best attributes, the ability to relate to people and just talk and be very personable. I’m all in for Michigan. A commitment to me means just that, I’m heading to Michigan in a year. If they want to use me as a recruiting tool, which I’m sure they will because we kind of talked about that, then I’m all in for that. I think the next step of process is doing stuff like that, and to put my recruitment to the side because it’s over. I’m going to worry about my senior year and just go from there.”
One name most Wolverines tie in with Miller is his long time best friend, Strongsville tight end, Ray Hamilton. And sure enough, Hamilton will soon feel the pressure from Miller.
“Pretty soon (laughing). It’s kind of ironic, he’s actually coming to visit me (Wednesday, June 30) and stay a couple nights here in Toledo. We’re going to go have a good time here, so it’s kind of ironic that I committed a few days beforehand. By this time tomorrow night, I’ll be over it. We both have to go to the right place for us, so in this situation if it happens to be Michigan then that’s great. That would be a hell of an adventure. I’m going to recruit him, I won’t lie. I’m going to try to get him on board for Michigan. I know it’s one of his top schools and we’ll see if we could put him over the top.”
As far as anyone else goes, he will wait until further direction is given from the coaches.
“We’ll see. Whatever the coaches tell me. Whoever the coaches give me, I will -- and obviously local guys here in Toledo who have a shot to play at Michigan and also Cleveland because I know the area and know the guys so well. Whoever they want me to go after, I will. We’ll see who all I can start recruiting.”
Part of the reason the day became even more memorable for Miller, was doing it to honor his late father.
“It worked out for a number of reasons. As I was evaluating and talking to people, today (June 29th) happens to be my dad’s 42nd birthday. How coincidental that I committed on the day of his birthday and then Ray will be coming over. I promise you I didn’t shape it up like this, but it all fell into place. I thought about it, but not until recently, when a couple of days ago I said that would be kind of cool. It took care of itself.”
While it may not have been planned, it made an already special moment even more cherishable.
“It was. He was my football mentor my whole life, from grade school up until the first two years of high school. It was really special. It fell into place this way and I couldn’t be any happier.”