KENWOOD, Ohio — The “Deuce” will be on the loose for Cincinnati Moeller High School again next season, but only on the hardwood. Monday, Miles McBride announced via Twitter that he would forego his senior season of football with the Crusaders to focus on bringing Moeller a second consecutive Division I state championship in basketball.
After getting Moeller out to a 3-1 start for then-coach John Rodenberg, McBride suffered a severe foot injury in a Sept. 22 loss to St. Xavier. Prior to that, McBride’s football stock was high with suitors including the University of Cincinnati, Western Michigan, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Michigan State and Michigan among others.
He had thrown for 16 touchdowns in four games and had added 118 rushing yards in a game against Scott County. Without McBride, Moeller finished out the string 1-6.
In basketball, Moeller’s best bet was to get him back by mid-March. A sophomore starter the year before on a team that came to the 2017 state final undefeated. McBride had to wait patiently as Moeller maneuvered another trip to the Division I semifinals at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center.
The surprise before the Crusaders state semifinal game was McBride would play limited minutes. After a rusty debut in the season’s second-to-last game, McBride came out firing in the final with 14 points in 14 minutes in the 83-65 title game against Solon.
“I really didn’t make up my mind until after the state game,” McBride said. “I love football so much. It’s been a big part of my life. It took a lot to make this decision, it’s pretty tough.Both (parents) were kind of on that (stopping) side for sure.”
Helping make his mind up was an offer from former UC coach Bob Huggins at West Virginia. Initially, football was up for debate, but in the end, McBride will save his gridiron toughness for Huggins who has historically used football players on his roster or in practice.
McBride estimates he has played football since age 5-6, longer than basketball. He wasn’t always a quarterback, Over time he played center, tight end, linebacker, and cornerback. He didn’t begin taking snaps until just before junior high.
“Deuce” came off the bench for Moeller in basketball as a freshman when his brother, Trey was on the squad. As a sophomore, he started on the team that went 28-0 before losing in the 2017 final to Massillon Jackson. He shot 56 percent, including 43.3 from the three-point line averaging 10.9 points. He was third in the Greater Catholic League-South in assists per game at 2.5 and second in steals with 1.8.
At WVU a/k/a “Press Virginia,” McBride’s defensive talents should shine.
“I love the challenge,” McBride said. “I’ll take on anybody.”
Now, he’ll team up with starter Alec Pfriem trying to get Moeller bag to Columbus. Starters Jaxson Hayes, Jeremiah Davenport, Isaiah Payton and Carlos Garcia will all be off playing college ball. McBride speaks confidently about this year’s freshman class that could add some help and Max Land, who saw minutes, will be a junior.
“I think me not playing football and just sticking with the guys, we can really get some work in and go after that goal,” McBride said.
No one will ever know, but many at Moeller daydream of how good this year’s team might have been with three Division I players (Hayes, Davenport, McBride) in the line-up all season. Pfriem has also attracted DI looks.
“I think about it a lot,” McBride chuckled. “I’ve got to move on.’
Minus McBride, Moeller’s quarterback situation now includes (based on last fall’s roster) seniors Mitch McKenzie and Austin Bradfish who split time last season and senior Austin Martin. Naturally, at tradition-deep Moeller, there will be more to for new coach Doug Rosfeld by the time late summer camp starts.