By Owen Gotimer
Viva Loudoun College Editor
(May 15, 2014) – Woodgrove High School senior Garret Miller has committed to join head coach Lee Owens at Ashland University where he will continue his football career starting in the 2014-2015 academic year.
“I enjoyed the process. It was great to have several offers to choose from,” said the 6-foot-1 Miller. “I enjoyed meeting some wonderful coaches, but it’s nice to know where I’m going to spend the next four years of my life.
Miller will be making the six hour trip to Ashland, Ohio this summer to begin training with the Division II Eagles football team. Last season, Owens – who will enter his 12th season at the helm of the Ashland program – led the Eagles to a 5-5 season including a 5-4 record in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference losing their final game of the season to Tiffin University, 49-30, on Nov. 9. The .500 finish in 2013 was the follow up to an 11-1 season in 2012.
“I love the game of football, I’m a student of the game, and a team player that believes in doing what’s best for the team,” said Miller who will play a combination of wide receiver and tight end for the Eagles. “I’ll bring that as we’ll as a winning attitude to Ashland coming off a strong year at Woodgrove.”
Last year at Woodgrove, Miller helped the Wolverines to a 9-4 record. Head coach Mike Skinner will bid farewell to a group of graduating seniors – including Andrew Harper (CNU), Will Hoffer (Hobart), JJ Jackson (Virginia), Will Koester (McDaniel), Miller, Brett Nesslrodt (Bridgewater), Stephen Root (JMU), Chase Smith (VMI) and Josh Sweet (Cornell) – who have committed to play football at the next level.
“It was a great opportunity and experience starting a new football program at Woodgrove as a freshmen and seeing it grow to what it is now as a senior,” Miller said. “Personally I learned a lot in four years of playing football at Woodgrove, and I don’t take any of it for granted. I look forward to watching Woodgrove football be a dominant Virginia program for years to come and am proud to be part of a great group of guys who established its foundation.”
While the current seniors entered the Wolverines’ program in its inaugural 2010 season, Miller credited 2012 Woodgrove graduates like Caleb Welsh and Riley Johnson as the basis to this football program.
“Their class helped lay the foundation for the program and had a hand in helping to create a winning program at Woodgrove in four short years,” Miller said. “Coach Skinner and our coaching staff deserve a lot of credit for bringing a winning mindset to the school.”
Miller first understood the winning mindset when football took over his life in fifth grade thanks to his dad, Scot Miller.
“I’m extremely grateful for my dad who has always encouraged me and has been my biggest fan. I was fortunate to have him as a coach in eighth grade which was special for me, being my last year before high school,” Miller said. “I’ve spent the past four years assisting him as coach of the ULYFL Tigers. I’ve also been fortunate enough to have great influences in my life who have taken the time to encourage and inspire me: Troy Vincent Sr., Adam Wooten, Eddie Mason and Roman Morris. My passion for the game comes from God, and I hope to use my ability to glorify Him.”
Coaching the Upper Loudoun Youth Football League Tigers over the past four seasons along with the coaching staff at Ashland has inspired Miller to want to further his understanding of the game so that one day he can coach football at the collegiate level.
“I felt like Ashland was the best fit for me. I really like the coaching staff and the approach they take to the game,” Miller said. “I’d like to coach college football once I graduate, and I felt like Ashland was best suited to prepare me for that.”
Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Heritage High School in Leesburg and is currently a sophomore at Syracuse University. Follow Owen on Twitter (@BigO_Gotimer) for up-to-date college signings and news. Contact us if you want Owen to do an article on the college commitment of your favorite local athlete or a story on a Loudoun County graduate playing in college!