Looking Back: Steve Miller

The career of Steve Miller was certainly not what people expected when he came out of Canton McKinley as a highly rated prospect, but he was a solid, dependable contributor his entire time in Columbus. Bill Greene looks at Miller as a high school player.

Steve Miller

School: Canton McKinley, Ohio.

Projected position: 2011 Defensive end.

Size: 6-foot-4, 245-pounds.

Ranking: Five-star prospect.

Recruiting: Committed to Ohio State.

Overall rank: Number-nine defensive end in America.

MY FIRST MEMORY: I first saw Stevie in game action at the Herbstreit Classic as a sophomore in his second varsity game. His team got demolished by a team from Indiana, but Miller could not be blocked. At the time he was a 210-pound defensive end, and was very similar to what I saw out of Ryan Shazier at the same age. Just a blur coming off the edge, and you could see he was going to fill out, which he did as he matured. As he got bigger every year, he became a better overall football player, but never had the same speed and quickness he had at the lower weight. I still thought he would be an impact player at Ohio State, but this one is on me for having him as a five-star recruit. But, Steve Miller is a five-star person and the people at Ohio State love the kid. It's a miss for me, but a hit for Ohio State and their fan base.

MY PROUDEST MOMENT: After his senior season of high school there was a tremendous amount of turmoil at McKinley, and a segment of the Bulldog following was in the midst of ousting head coach Ron Johnson. This was a terrible mistake, as has been proven out in the years following his firing. McKinley is now on their third coach in four years, and the program has spiraled downward at warp speed following Johnson's departure. In the middle of the chaos, and against the wishes of the folks who wanted Johnson gone, Steve Miller wrote a letter of support that was the epitome of loyalty and respect, something the McKinley administration knew nothing of. It took guts and character on Miller's behalf, something Steve has an endless supply of. You have to understand that Miller is one of the quietest kids I've ever covered, and a person that is very non-confrontational and not one to be in the middle of a broiling mess. But Miller did what was in his heart, and took a very unpopular position among a large segment of the McKinley fan base. I will never forget his act of kindness and support for his head coach. Steve Miller is good people.

RON JOHNSON ON MILLER IN 2010: "Steve is the gold standard for Canton McKinley, for what we want in a defensive end. He has every physical attribute we want, and when you combine that with the mental preparation, high character and a fine student in the classroom, he becomes pretty much the perfect football player. I've been in this profession a long time, and I've never had a better high school player. It was great having Stevie come through here first, before Se'Von Pittman and our other talents, because he shows everyone the way we want our kids to be at Canton McKinley. He is what we want in the classroom, in the community and on the football field. He isn't loud at all, but do not doubt the fact that he is our leader, and the others look to him for leadership. We are very proud of Steve Miller at Canton McKinley."

MY GREATEST MEMORY: Without question it's seeing Miller rolling down the sideline with an interception off Blake Sims, and giving Ohio State a two-touchdown lead late in the third quarter against Alabama. Ohio State had tons of big plays in their two-game playoff march to the national title, but none bigger than this one. The fact that a kid who was looked at as a bust and a disappointment would have this moment to remember forever is why we love sports. Football karma gave this moment to Steve Miller, and nobody will convince me otherwise. And seeing him flying down the field with the football brought me back to the speed I saw out of Miller as a high school sophomore, and what I expected to see throughout his college career. It didn't happen often for him, but for about four seconds Steve Miller was the toast of college football, and he helped put Ohio State into the championship game. That memory will be etched in Ohio State history until they stop playing college football. Couldn't happen to a better man than Steve Miller.

Steve Miller's senior highlights at Canton McKinley:

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