Miller Time

The decision came down to two good schools with excellent coaching staffs, but in the end a pair of factors made a good bit of the difference in Jake Miller's college decision.

"After I sat down and talked about it, I felt that I just fit in a little better at West Virginia," Miller said after choosing the Mountaineers. "It's a little closer to home, too."

WVU is about three hours from Miller's Zoarville, Ohio home. Coupled with his mother's area roots (she grew up in the Wheeling area), the pull of the good fit he felt at WVU became too strong to withstand.

"I knew a little bit about WVU and had watched them a few times," said Miller, "but I had never been to games or anything like that. I was down for the Virginia Tech game and for visits, but nothing else."

Another factor that helped West Virginia overtake early favorite (and commitment) Illinios was the approach of Miller's recruiting coach, Bruce Tall.

"Coach Tall was great," said Miller of WVU's dogged assistant coach, who regularly butts heads with Big Ten schools in the Buckeye State. "He never put any pressure on me or had an edge or anything. We talked pure football."

Now that Miller has made his choice, he has the unique experience of working with one of the best offensive line coaches in the country on the horizon, as intense assistant coach Rick Trickett awaits the arrival of a large group of new linemen this fall. Miller said he likes Trickett's approach, and that he has a relative who reminds him of the voluble Mountaineer offensive line coach.

"He reminds me of my grandfather," said Miller. "You know he is in control of the situtaton no matter what. I think Coach Trickett is a great guy."

With the choice made and parents on board ("they back my decision 100%"), Miller will now concentrate on his spring semester at Tuscarawas Valley. A weight man in track, Miller puts the shot and spins the discus.

"I think it helps my football," Miller said of the weight work. "The technique, especially in discus, helps with my footwork in football."


Miller, who plans to major in the education field with an eye toward coaching in the future, should have no trouble qualifying. He has taken the ACT, and plans to take it again this spring.

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Miller might not come to WVU until the second summer session, as he is slated to play in the Ohio North-South All-Star game.

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