After a stellar football career with the Northmor Golden Knights that culminated with him being named a first-team All-Ohioan, Blake Miller will be continuing playing that sport for Ashland University.
Miller, who also was a special mention All-Ohioan as both a junior and sophomore, while adding accolades from both the league and Central District, viewed signing with Ashland was something he’d long wanted to do.
“I’ve kind of always thought about playing football for Ashland,” he said. “I liked their facilities and they really reached out to me and made it feel like home.”
Miller is expecting to major in business management or accounting. He also had Ohio Dominican and Otterbein among this top three schools, but after a lot of thought, signed with Ashland.
“It’s been drug out,” he said of his recruiting process. “It started when football season ended and was going on until now.”
He said that Ashland’s atmosphere proved to be a key factor in his decision.
“Just the atmosphere; it felt like home,” he said. “A big thing for me was that I wanted to fit in and they made me feel like I fit in.”
While many of Miller’s high school accolades came from his play on Northmor’s defensive line, he’ll focus on the other side of the ball in college, as a conversation with the school’s associate head football coach informed him he’ll be playing at tight end.
“Coach (Doug) Geiser told me they had a debate over me for a few days and decided I’d play tight end,” he said.
For his part, Miller is looking forward to the challenge of focusing on one position at a higher level of competition.
“The jump from junior high to high school was a big jump and I”m looking forward to that challenge again,” he said.
After four years with Northmor that included a lot of on-field success, Miller will have a lot of good memories to take with him to Ashland.
“I’ll definitely bring with me those three straight playoff years,” he said. “We had the first one in school history, the first home playoff game and the first playoff win.”
And after all that success, Miller has advice for younger players hoping to make it to the next level in football.
“My message is to keep working as hard as you can,” he said, adding that colleges look at players’ efforts, regardless of what a game’s score might be.
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS