WHEELERSBURG – As soon as Jalen Miller stepped on campus at Morehead State University, he knew that would be his future home for the next four years of his life.
“I stayed overnight with a guy that’s going to be a sophomore this year,” said Miller at his signing day Wednesday afternoon at Wheelersburg High School. “It was really awesome. Everybody was really welcoming, especially the coaches. On my overnight we went and visited with all the guys, guys from the team. They showed me around campus, showed me all the dorms and all the buildings on campus. Every time I told someone who I was, they said they would love to have me there. The whole night, it felt like I was home.”
Miller’s leg happened to be one of the most consistent weapons for Wheelersburg during his senior season. Miller went 6/9 on field goal attempts with a season long 46 yard make, as well as going 55/61 on extra points through the Pirates 14 game season which includes their state semifinals appearance in Division V.
“When I talked with the coach, they said they only have one guy and he’s their junior punter. So they were looking for someone to come in right away, and that got my attention right away because it seemed like a great opportunity. I went home and talked to my parents, and they thought it would be the best fit for me academically, and in the end, it felt like the best fit for me overall.”
Miller’s favorite memory as a member of the Pirates football program that has experienced tremendous success in recent years? You guessed it, the extra point that forced overtime in the 2017 state championship game after Makya Matthews’ touchdown reception.
“14-13, 17 seconds left. You have to make the extra point to tie things up. That’s a lot of pressure on you with 10,000 people in the stands. They had my back the whole way. I’ll never forget seeing it go through, turning around and seeing the stands, everyone up on their feet with their hands in the air, and going on to win the state championship.”
Along with Miller’s favorite memory during his high school career, he says he’ll never forget what it meant to don the orange and the black every Friday night.
“There’s nothing like playing at Wheelersburg,” said Miller. “I always tell people when they ask that there’s no better feeling than running out of the locker room on a Friday night and seeing all the people cheering for you. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to be playing or not, they’re going to be behind you no matter what.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT