Jonah Miller, one of the top offensive linemen in the 2021 recruiting cycle, thought that trimming his list of college choices to a reasonable number would keep other programs from contacting him.
Instead, Miller’s decision to narrow his recruitment down to six schools — Oregon, Washington, USC, Texas, Penn State and Arizona State — has only made matters worse.
The soon-to-be senior at Sahuaro High School said the past few days “has kinda been the opposite.”
“It’s all fun, and nothing has been bad,” he said. “It’s been interesting to cut down my list and focus on these schools that have interest in me, and these are schools that I’m interested in.
“The reason why I chose those six schools is because I like each of their coaching staffs and I feel like I can be at ck棋牌 with those schools. I feel like I can be a better football player at these programs and that’s what’s important to me. I wanna feel at-ck棋牌 and not uncomfortable when I’m in the building, just small things like that. Small things beat out big things at the end of the day.”
Miller’s decision to include ASU — and not the UA — raised some eyebrows. He called the decision “difficult.”
At first, the 6-foot-8-inch, 285-pound Miller considered going the “ck棋牌town hero” route. But once other, more notable programs entered the mix, he began to seriously consider leaving town.
“For certain reasons, I chose the six programs on my list, because those programs showed interest in me and they’re all programs that I think I can fit at,” he said.
The six schools on Miller’s final list, including ASU, have better credentials when it comes to landing a recruit of his caliber. The recruiting service lists Miller as a four-star prospect, the fifth-best player in the state for the Class of 2021 and the 25th-best tackle prospect in the country. ASU is 15-11 with two bowl appearances under coach Herm Edwards, but boasts a ck棋牌 recruiting class ranked fourth in the Pac-12 by both and . During the same period, Arizona is 9-15 overall and 0-2 against ASU. The Wildcats’ ck棋牌 recruiting class was ranked last in the Pac-12 by .
Miller said ASU is headed in the right direction.
“The best way I would put it is ASU maybe has more will to be the best program in the Pac-12. I just think they have a better direction overall,” he said. “I’m not knocking U of A whatsoever. I’ve been to more U of A games than any other college in the country.
“For me, ASU is just a better fit overall. Their direction and how I see my direction, they just line up better than what U of A gives. … On the phone, (Edwards) is the same as he is in real life. He’s got mad energy and he’s so cool to talk to.”
For Arizona, Miller’s decision is a bit of deja vu. Wildcats coaches struck out on three Salpointe Catholic stars in the class of ck棋牌: Five-star running back Bijan Robinson chose Texas, four-star safety Lathan Ransom picked Ohio State and three-star guard Bruno Fina signed with UCLA.
Miller played for the Lancers from 2017-19 before announcing plans to transfer to Sahuaro. Another Lancers offensive lineman, Matteo Mele, committed to Washington in 2018 — even though his grandfather, Bill Lueck, played at the UA. The Wildcats last landed a Salpointe player in 2014, when Cam Denson picked Arizona over Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Washington.
The UA has fared better at other schools throughout the city: Wide receivers Jamarye Joiner (Cienega), Drew Dixon (Sabino) and Stanley Berryhill (Mountain View) have carved out essential roles on the Wildcats’ pass-catching corps, and offensive lineman Jordan Morgan (Marana) started two games in 2019. UA is also still in the running for three-star Canyon del Oro running back Stevie Rocker for 2021 and Salpointe quarterback Treyson Bourguet for 2022.
Experts say Miller may be leaning toward USC and Oregon. He took an unofficial visit to USC last summer and has been in steady contact with the Trojans’ coaching staff since.
“USC is USC at the end of the day. The name speaks for itself,” he said. “The past couple years have been down, but the program is on the up and up. They’re interesting to me, because I consider myself an out-West type of person. The sun is out most of the time, so L.A. is interesting in that aspect.”
Oregon is intriguing for Miller, in part because Ducks coach Mario Cristobal has a talent for developing linemen. Miller also has a strong relationship with Washington offensive line coach Scott Huff, who recruited Mele to the Huskies.
Last spring, Miller visited Texas with Robinson for the Longhorns’ spring game.
“I loved Texas when I was down there. … Obviously Bijan is there and he’s been doing his fair share of recruiting, so it’s been interesting and fun with him,” Miller said.
Then there’s the outlier, Penn State.
“I had a weird interest in Penn State. Before they had any interest in me, I had already texted one of their assistant O-line coaches. I think I was a sophomore,” Miller said. “When they offered me, I was already kind of talking to them. It looks like they came in late, but I had been talking to them months before.”
A decision will come later. Miller has a lot to consider.
“I could not be more blessed,” Miller said. “It’s all a plan, and I’m just here for the ride.”