Saturday morning was a day like no other. Considering its mid July and the weather by 10:00 a.m. was low seventies with a nice breeze making it ideal for a 50+ team 7-on-7 event. While this may not have been the greatest collection of teams I've seen together, the competition was strong and several prospects caught my eye along with the many others in attendance. When all was said and done, Huber Heights Wayne "freshman" Braxton Miller blew away those watching.
Standing over six feet, Miller has the build of an older player and the skills to match. It's very rare I write about a freshman at this stage but Miller blew away any thought of me holding this information. Not only were other coaches talking about this young prospect, the players he was competing against were talking about him as they walked off the field.
Now for the most part I've seen a few, and I stress few, freshmen I've even thought about writing about since hitting the internet in 2001. But Miller made a strong first impression in Wayne's battle against Columbus Brookhaven that ended any thought of waiting until the regular season starts.
Wayne had the ball to start and on the first snap Miller lined up as a wide receiver with a defensive back looking to jam him at the line. On cue Miller came out of his stance and powered the helpless defensive back to the ground catching the wrath of his teammates and coaches. This freshman does not back down.
Now don't get me wrong thinking this kid is not going to have his ups and downs. He is still a freshman and mistakes will happen, but from watching him work with the Wayne coaches showed me he's coachable and understands while his future is bright hard work must be done to continue on the pace of his development.
I've known Warriors head coach Jay Minton since he left Florida and took over the Wayne job in 1998. Jay is not one to brag about his players even when they are some of the top talent in Ohio. He never oversells his kids and college coaches trust his opinion when they ask about a kid. His track record speaks for itself as he's coached a few All-Americans and has placed many kids in schools across the country. When asked about Miller the Warriors head man was gushing about the fact Braxton Miller has the chance to be the best player to come out of Wayne since he'd been there. Much praise considering Minton has coached All-Big Ten, Big East, MAC players since coming to Huber Heights. This year alone Minton has seen three of his players receive D-I offers.
The question now for Braxton Miller is what position does he end up playing and will he continue working hard after getting some praise and exposure.
From what I saw today I won't be surprised if we're not talking about Braxton Miller being one of Ohio's top players for the Class 2011.
Here are a few photos of Braxton Miller.