Miller Planning To Look Around

Ohio State head coach made early progress on his goal of keeping the state's top talent from heading elsewhere when Canton (Ohio) McKinley defensive end Steve Miller issued a verbal commitment during his junior season. Although he said he remains 100 percent committed to OSU, Miller told that he will continue to look around this fall.

Steve Miller has found a fit in Ohio State, but that does not mean the four-star defensive end will not continue to look around.

The 6-4, 230-pound lineman from Canton (Ohio) McKinley issued a verbal commitment to the Buckeyes on Oct. 30 but told that he will still take all five of his official visits this fall.

"So far I've just got Ohio State and Tennessee," he said. "I'm still thinking about three more."

The decision to take visits to other schools stems from a desire to make sure of his commitment to OSU. Miller said he remains "100 percent Buckeye." ranks Miller the No. 3 defensive end in the class of 2011. He became the second member of OSU's class despite also holding offers from Michigan, Michigan State and Nebraska.

The phone calls have largely subsided since his commitment, Miller said, but the mail has not.

Asked what he likes about OSU, Miller said, "It's close to home and they said when I come in they were going to give me a good education. They also said they would take me if I was still injured. If I broke something real bad, they'd still take me."

McKinley head coach Ron Johnson said it was not a decision Miller arrived at lightly.

"You're always happy as a coach if the young man has done his due diligence and has not made an emotional decision," he said. "If it's a kid that put in the time and built relationships and has done the research and feels good about it, of course you're happy for him because it takes the apprehension out of his life. Now he already knows."

Last season, Miller finished fourth on the team with 48 tackles including 16 for loss and seven sacks and earned first-team all-district honors despite suffering from a high-ankle sprain that kept him out of the lineup for three games. Those overall numbers were down from a sophomore season that saw Miller rack up 116 tackles and six sacks.

As a junior, Miller said teams started running away from him on the defensive line.

"It's tough but I've been working on taking a player down from the back," he said. "It took a little getting used to. I did it a little bit last year."

It is an aspect of his game that Miller will likely have to execute to a greater degree as a senior. In addition to that, Johnson said he is now expecting more out of him from a leadership standpoint.

"We expect the great leadership and we want him to build up a comfort level and not only lead by example but take a very assertive role in building the direction of the program," the coach said. "We rely on our players and we rely a lot on our leaders to where we give them input into what we do schematically and what we do with the inner workings of our program because we want them to have a comfort level."

Miller's coach said he feels the four-star prospect will be an asset for OSU's program when all is said and done.

"You have offers and early offers from the different places, but when you get one from The Ohio State University and you know it's a great fit and it's where you want to be, it's one of the top programs in the country so why wait?" he said. "It's like when you know in your gut and you have a relationship, there was no need to wait.

"I think he's very comfortable with it, and he can provide leadership to that class and he can provide leadership to our team without any other worries or concerns."

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