Pulling recruits out of the deep south is one of the most difficult tasks for teams outside of the region to accomplish in college football. It’s extremely hard to out-recruit SEC teams in their own back yards, and every time a school like Ohio State wants a recruit from the area, it’s a battle. The second hardest thing to do in college football recruiting is to consistently land top talent on the offensive line. Somehow, Urban Meyer does both extremely well. Today, he combined the two.
Harry Miller isn’t just one of the best linemen in the south, he’s one of the best linemen in the entire country. The Buford, Ga. product is the eighth-best player in the state, and the second-ranked center in the country. He comes in at 36th nationally, and that’ll only improve over the summer and his senior season, because he just keeps getting better.
Obviously, Miller is an extremely talented player, and will contribute to Ohio State with his ability, but this commitment is extremely significant for more than just that obvious, on-field reason. Let’s take a look at what this pledge means for the Buckeyes.
On the field
Controlled chaos is really the best way to describe Miller’s game. The 6-foot-4, 310 pounder is absolutely massive, and you’d expect him to be a true mauler, with no real technique or control, like most large high school linemen are. However, that isn’t really the case, and that’s what makes him so special.
Despite his frame, Miller has extremely impressive body control, and moves far more quickly than someone his size should be able to. He doesn’t try to do too much on any block, which keeps him from whiffing, and allows him to be more in control of the play, and of his assignments. His blocks are very calculated, and he has the ability to adjust to a defender on the fly.
That’s something that you don’t usually see in high school linemen. It’s easy to see that Miller can read a defense, and knows how to use his body to make the right block, not just the devastating, highlight block. That’s not to say he’s not capable of the latter, and when given free reign— either down the field or on a pull—, Miller can do some serious damage. However, that also comes from his body control and quickness. He has a great first step, and his pull-blocks are extremely clean and effective because of those skills.
His football IQ and ability to adjust makes his an ideal fit for a position that often lacks true talent: center. Ohio State has become comfortable with moving guards, like Pat Elflein and Billy Price, over to center because they have the experience and ability to run it. That won’t be the case with Miller, because unlike Elflein and Price, he’s a true center, and he’ll do his best work in the middle of the line.
Miller is certainly versatile enough to play guard or tackle (he does in high school), but Ohio State likes him as a center, and that’s probably where he’ll play, possibly very early on in his career. That’s a huge deal, because true centers are just so rare. If you can find a good one, you can be set for at least three seasons.
In the class
While Miller’s impact on the field will be huge, his impact in the class may be even bigger. This serves as yet another huge win for Urban Meyer over some of the SEC’s best, as he takes one of the region’s top talents. We’ve seen it plenty recently, as we head into season seven of the Meyer era in Columbus. Vonn Bell, Raekwon McMillan, Ezekiel Elliott, KJ Hill, the Bosa brothers, Binjimen Victor, Johnnie Dixon, Shaun Wade, Taron Vincent, Nicholas Petit-Frere and so many others have served as victories for Urban over the SEC, and this is just the latest in that string.
While this serves as a win over the home state Georgia Bulldogs and Kirby Smart, this is also a win over one of the best line recruiting schools in the country, Stanford. Stanford does not dole out scholarships loosely, and usually when they want a kid, they get him. Ohio State was able to overcome their excellent track record of producing linemen, their academics, and the fantastic location. That’s a huge deal.
Miller held 29 offers in total, from most of the nation’s elite, including Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Tennessee, and Alabama, along with the aforementioned Bulldogs and Cardinal. Getting Miller in this class is a huge boost for Ohio State’s line recruiting, and for the group as a whole. Miller is a well-liked leader among recruits, and will only help bolster Ohio State’s efforts, especially on the line.
Ohio State wants a full class of five linemen in 2019, and with Doug Nester, Ryan Jacoby, and now Miller all committed, they can really focus on getting quality at the last two spots. Miller and Nester will both be at Nike’s The Opening later this month, along with Garrett Wilson, and quite a few other top targets. You can imagine those three will be very busy, recruiting their peers to Columbus.
You can watch Miller’s highlights below. They’re very impressive.