Green Bears’ QB Sam Miller faces on-field litmus testWritten by Scott McKimmy | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ottawa Hills quarterback Sam Miller has been mulling over potential opportunities for college after graduating in the spring. Should he play football at a Division III school or hang up his helmet and concentrate on business?
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior said he is considering a career in business or real estate, but on the gridiron, it’s all about chemistry. Miller connects regularly with his No. 1 receiver, Aaron Crooks, his childhood friend and long-time teammate.
“I’ve grown up with Aaron since first grade; we’ve been playing catch since first grade,” Miller said. “That chemistry has always been there.”
Seven seniors form the team’s nucleus — all in their third year as starters — and the reaction could be explosive. Ottawa Hills won two of its first three games this season, a feat Miller said hasn’t happened for years.
The Green Bears tied for first in the Toledo Area Athletic Conference last year and placed second in the league in 2003.
With multiple offensive sets, some in spread formations, opponents will have to guard against perimeter passes. Three to four wideouts could put defenses on their heels with every snap of the ball as the receiver core features at least a couple of players with outstanding speed and ball control.
“There’s always a main receiver in every package, but if I need a go-to guy on third down and short, I’m going to go to Aaron. He has the best hands on the team,” Miller said. “We also have a great receiver in Ken Valuska. I grew up with him, too; he’s the fastest guy on the team.”
Head Coach Chris Hardman said by the time the Green Bears wrap this season, Miller, a three-year letter winner, will hold every quarterback record in school history, including passing yards, completions, touchdowns and career passing percentage.
If there existed a way to measure finesse, Miller would own that record, too.
“Not only is his arm strong — he can make all the hard throws — but what I think is attractive is that he can make all of the touch throws,” Hardman said. “I really believe he’s the complete package when it comes to throwing the football.”
During the summer, Miller attended the invitation-only Purdue University’s elite quarterback school, where college coaches worked with top prep prospects from around the country. The three-day camp allowed quarterbacks to analyze and perfect their technique.
“They would have you do a three-step drop and then your five-step drop — all being videotaped,” Miller said. “And then they’d take you up to the film room, and the quarterback coach would break it down for every individual.”
Speed may be the only element limiting Miller’s future in collegiate play, where coaches often like a quarterback who can run options and draws. Hardman said Miller functions best in a system where the quarterback throws from the pocket, which may lead him to any of Ohio’s hotbed of top Division II or Division III schools.
“If he ran a tad bit faster, I think he’d be recruited by a lot of people,” Hardman said. “But we don’t ask him to run the ball very much. In today’s college offense, many of them do.”