It’s Miller Time: Verrado Senior Thriving After Adversity

On December 6, 2017 Dylan Miller’s world was flipped upside down-literally. The popular Verrado High School student-athlete was leaving an on-campus late afternoon workout when he lost control of his SUV, rolling it into a nearby field.

The car came to a stop upside down on top of a drain hole. Two of his teammates, both wearing seatbelts, were uninjured. Miller, who wasn’t wearing his, wasn’t so lucky. His head was pinned under the car until nearby construction workers lifted the Toyota 4Runner off him and paramedics immediately rushed him to a nearby west Valley hospital.

For the next nine weeks Abrazo West, and later St. Joseph’s, Hospital is where Miller would call home. He was placed in a coma and would later require numerous surgeries. Miraculously, he had no hemorrhaging in his brain despite having part of it removed in those extremely tense early weeks following the accident where Miller’s life was defined as “touch-and-go.”

“I have no memory of that,” Miller said to when asked to recall the moments leading up to the accident. “I have no memory of that.”

Thankfully Miller’s family and those close to “Stick,” as the slender now 6-foot-7 wide receiver is affectionately known, will have many more memories of him moving forward and growing up.

Not only has the senior, who plans to take his two-year Mormon mission later this year before returning to work towards a nursing degree, made a full recovery — he’s once again the life of the campus.

“Seeing him come out on top has been the greatest miracle for everyone,” fellow senior and close friend Jonathon Parks explained to “This is a miracle by God.”

His Viper quarterback concurs.

“Statistically, he wasn’t going to make it,” Titan Widjaja said shaking his head to “The doctors who came into the [emergency] room even said he had like a 95 percent chance of not making it. We kept strong…and he made it out.”

Did he ever.

Now Miller, whose number 11 was retired by the Verrado football program this fall, is back on a sideline in a different capacity: assisting the Viper varsity basketball program as a team manager.

“I was just kind of chillin’ and I heard there were basketball tryouts,” Miller said with a wide smile. “Well, I ended up not making the team. But the coach noticed my role on the football team and how I was an inspiration and how I could motivate [the basketball team].”

Miller’s popularity at Verrado is widespread. He greets classmates and faculty members with smiles and hugs as he patiently waits out the junior varsity game before the Vipers hosted neighboring Millennium last week.

The reality is, Miller could have been taken away in an instant 13 months ago.

“It’s unreal, it’s unbelievable,” head varsity basketball coach Craig Marcus said. “It’s awesome that this young man is here today after hearing what he went through. We take a little bit of inspiration from him each game, each practice.”

Miller’s message through his struggles and now successes is quite simple.

“Don’t give up, you just can’t give up,” he said. “You just gotta keep persevering. You gotta keep going through it.”

“It’s just a joy to be back.”

We couldn’t agree more, Dylan.