Two practices into Spring practice and ASU head football coach Todd Graham had high praise for his offensive line. He was rattling off names and then got to one freshman who has enrolled early to participate in spring ball.
“Steve Miller. Golly. Wow he might start at tackle for us,” said Graham. “He’s got a chance to compete to play as a freshman and I would never, ever. I don’t think we’ve had a guy do that as a freshman. I am not sure that we have.”
Who would have thought that a young man who was a basketball player first and played wide receiver on the football field when he first got to Gilbert High School who three or four years later put himself in position to be the first freshman according to Graham to start at ASU on the offensive line.
“It’s definitely crazy,” said Steven Miller after his second spring practice as a member of the Sun Devils. “I am just glad to be here around these guys. I’ve been thinking about it the whole time. Every day before I came here and now to think I am here with such great people and such a great team.”
Enrolling eraly was important to Miller who still is learning the techniques and fundamentals for what it takes to compete in the trenches at this level. He is getting a head start it looks to really be paying off as he is already competing with the second team at left guard.
“Being able to come here early was really the goal and I am glad that I did,” stated Miller. “These guys are great and they are very helpful and the fact that I got here when I did, I am really glad to be a part of a great culture here and being about what we are about.”
One player who knows what it like to enroll early as a freshman at ASU is now senior starting quarterback Mike Bercovici who acknowledges that Miller does not look like your ordinary freshman.
“No he doesn’t,” joked Bercovici. “I did the high school route to so I can feel for those guys. But Steve is a great kid. I really like him. He is such a high energy. He is one of those guys when we break for an 80 yard touchdown, he’s one of the first three guys down there and you’re like, ‘what is this big dude doing down here?’ He’s a great kid. He’s flu of energy and it’s going to take him a long way.”
Miler is soaking it all in and learning. Whether he starts his freshman year or might be on his mind, but the main goal this time of year is to learn to put himself in the best position. He notes what the biggest adjustments have been so far from high school to Pac-12 football.
“Just the physicality,” mentioned Miller. “In high school it was different. Not everybody is as good as these guys are. In all reality, these guys are all coming from their own high school doing what they did and being really good at what they did.”
“It’s an on-going adjustment and I wasn’t really used to it,” he added. “You see a good player every few games or so when you’re playing in high school but now it’s everyday and it’s really a great thing.”
Miller and the Sun Devils continue spring practices for the next few weeks leading up to their annual spring game on Friday, April 10th.