ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Normally, it’s the quarterback who provides fringe benefits for his offensive linemen. But for Miami commit Bar Milo, this week it’ll be about treating his quarterback to a home-cooked meal.
Milo – a 2015 Semper Fidelis All-American out of West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade – followed his former Eagles signal-caller – and former Semper Fi All-American -- Brad Kaaya to Miami, pledging his commitment before the start of his senior season, and after this year’s edition of the game at Carson, Calif.’s StubHub Center is over, he’ll have his once-and-future quarterback over for dinner.
“Brad actually got back home I think two days ago, and was at my basketball game yesterday, watching,” Milo said on Tuesday. “He’ll be making the game. He’ll be coming to the Semper Fidelis game. I know that after all this is over, he’s probably coming over for dinner – him and his family – to my house. I told Brad that I picked the same one as him.”
Kaaya played in last year’s game for the West, but didn’t have the 6-foot-6, 285-pounder protecting his backside. Moving forward, though, that’s just where Milo will be with the Hurricanes.
“You always have to have a close bond from O-lineman to quarterback, especially left tackle, watching his blind side,” Milo said. “Obviously, you have to have a bond. But, we’re definitely on the same track. Hopefully, I do as well as he did his first year. Hopefully, I can protect him, give him time and he can make some great plays.”
Kaaya and Milo unofficially met before the quarterback even stepped foot on the Chaminade campus, though ‘unofficially’ is a generous term.
“I remember the first sort-of conversation I had with him, and that was through a friend of mine,” Milo said. “She was texting him, and this was before he transferred to Chaminade. I said, ‘Hey, tell him his left tackle says hi.’ Then, from there on, he came to Chaminade. I remember first meeting him. I didn’t expect him to be that tall.”
That was Milo’s junior year, when Kaaya threw for 3,855 yards and 27 touchdowns. This past season for Miami, Kaaya threw for 3,198 yards and was named the ACC Rookie of the Year, as the Hurricanes went 6-7.
“It was tough, but my season at Chaminade was also tough, so I can’t talk too much,” Milo said. “I see great future for Miami, great recruiting class coming in. Brad’s doing great, really leading this program. I think this team has a lot of potential, and that’s a big reason why I picked them. The program itself is such a good program. [Al] Golden has done such great things, pulling them out of the slump and helping us succeed. I just hope that we can go onto Jan. 1 and Jan. 2 and play in those games.”
Milo officially visited the campus the weekend of the Florida State game, and though Miami fell to the eventual College Football Playoff entrant, Milo and his family still came away reassured.
“We were in the lead the whole time, but FSU came back. They won it, like they do,” Milo said. “It was a great weekend. Everything was amazing about it, even after losing the game. The game was amazing, it was a great atmosphere for my mom to see and my older brother to see, just to see the fans go crazy. It was such a good game, on rivalry weekend. My mom loved it. She definitely approved of it. She thinks Miami’s great, and she can’t wait for me to go. She’s saying, ‘Hey, I might just come down here.’”
Sunday will be the culmination of Milo’s prep career, when he takes the same field Kaaya took a year ago as the presumptive starting left tackle for the West squad. For the Texas-raised Israeli, being an All-American is something very special.
“That goes back to when I was a kid, just starting out football, watching all these All-American games,” Milo said. “I wanted to be there, and finally having it, it’s just an amazing feeling, just to be an All-American, to have that title. It’s an honor.”