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Ontario quarterback Bodpegn Miller receives a visit from the Ohio State Buckeyes

ONTARIO – Nearly five months ago, Ontario junior quarterback Bodpegn Miller's life changed forever.

And it's been a whirlwind ever since. It was at a Prep Redzone Ohio showcase where he was tested for the first time and put up some insane numbers. He ran the shuttle in 4.37 seconds, the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds and jumped 10 feet 7 inches.

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS: Small World, Part I: Ontario's Bodpegn Miller thrives after being adopted from Ethiopia

It didn't take long for many college football coaches across the country to start calling. Then Miller ran a 4.40 in the 40 at the Best of the Midwest Combine, and that's when the scholarship offers started coming.

To date, Miller has accepted visits and/or offers from schools ranging from Division II to Division I in the Big Ten, Big 12, Ivy League, Mid-America Conference and Athletic Coach Conference.

Schools on this list include: Youngstown State, Ohio University, Rutgers, University of Toldeo, Western Michigan, Colorado State, Harvard, Ashland University, Kent State University, University of Penn, Yale, Cornell, Miami (OH) University, Old Dominion University, Iowa State, Columbia University, Howard University, Northwestern University, Boston College and Ohio State University. He hasn't been offered by OSU…yet. And there are many more schools that will follow this example.

“It feels great,” Miller said. “As a kid, I grew up a Buckeye fan and always wanted to play big-time Division I football, and the simple fact that I get this opportunity and see coaches coming to me makes me feel like all my hard work has been lost.” I just have to continue to prove myself.

On Wednesday morning, Ohio State University safeties coach Matt Guerrieri visited Ontario High School to get footage of Miller running through several drills. And while no formal offer followed, Miller walked away happy knowing he was on the Buckeyes' radar.

Over the past five months, Miller has been receiving mail at home and school, fielding calls from coaches across the country and trying to stay on top of things has become a full-time job.

“It exploded,” Miller said. “I doubted myself at times and constantly wondered if all the work I put in was worth it. It feels great and I appreciate every single offer that comes in. I take each and every one of them seriously. The fact that they understand.” Something inside me makes me want to work even harder.

But all that attention somehow puts Miller in a world he never expected or knew, despite earning second-team All-Ohio, first-team All-Northwest District and Mid-Ohio Athletic honors as a quarterback in 2023 Conference Player of the Year earned when he threw for 2,328 yards on 156 of 252 completions with 19 touchdowns and 1,003 yards on 132 attempts and 17 touchdowns as he led the Warriors to their first championship since 2004.

“I'm the type of guy that doesn't thrive on attention, so it's kind of uncomfortable for me,” Miller said. “Every time I get mail or someone praises me, I don't really know how to deal with it. It feels great inside and it will stay that way because my dad always tells me to stay humble. Instead of talking about it, let my actions speak and that’s how I will tackle whatever the future has to offer.”

It's a sophisticated way of dealing with all the attention he's received over the past few months, during which it seems like a new scholarship offer arrives every day and weekends are spent visiting schools across the country.

And most see Miller as more of an athlete than a pure quarterback, even though the 6-foot-1, 180-pound junior already holds nearly all of Ontario's single-season and career passing records. Some coaches see him as a wide receiver, others as a cornerback and even a safety.

Which is totally fine with Miller.

“I’ll honestly play anywhere and everywhere as long as I’m on the field,” Miller said. “If a coach believes in me enough to put me in a certain position, I will accept that. They have my best interest in mind and believe that is where my ceiling is highest and whether I can help the team through it. “I trust that I can handle a position change well. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to learn a new position.

No matter how much attention he receives, Miller's primary focus is helping the Warriors be their best in the 2024 season. As the track and field season winds down, Miller is on the verge of breaking the 400-meter running record once his hamstring returns to 100%. He'll probably do some 7-on-7 camps in the summer months where he can try out. I put my hand to the receiver a few times just to get some of it on his tape.

He will continue to remain humble.

“It's easy for your mind to grow up and develop the mindset that you don't have to work hard anymore because you have these opportunities,” Miller said. “But it won’t be me. I’m going to stay humble and continue to try to differentiate myself because everyone is really good at the next level.”

And soon Miller will be in that category.

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