Jack Miller was up at 5 a.m. Monday. He grabbed a coffee and headed to Scottsdale Chaparral High School, where he was the first to arrive for football practice.
Miller couldn’t wait to get going.
Finally medically cleared for full practice, the senior quarterback has a lot to prove after what felt was a lost summer, beset by a injury in his back that caused him to not be able to throw at the Rivals’ invite-camp in Atlanta and at his childhood bucket list — the Elite 11 finals at the Dallas Cowboys’ training complex in Frisco, Texas.
Over the summer, his national player rankings have plummeted.
Once declared as the next big thing entering high school, the kid who had Tim Tebow among his fans, who was considered one of the top two quarterbacks in the nation in his first two years in high school, Miller dropped 24 spots in the Rivals’ most recent national 2020 player rankings to No. 80 overall.
He fell from 176 to 214 in the 247Sports rankings. He is down to 285 in the ESPN rankings.
Rivals ranks Miller the No. 4 pro-style quarterback in the nation in the 2020 class, and 247Sports lists him No. 6.
“When Jack was rated one or two in the country, he didn’t put a lot of stock in that,” said Jack Miller Sr., the quarterback’s father. “It was hard to go to the Rivals invite-only, then go to the Elite 11 (this summer). He was looking forward to that since the seventh grade. Not to be able to compete, it hurt. He tried to compete. But he wasn’t 100 percent. The writers saw he wasn’t 100 percent. Whether (the rankings are) fair of not, it’s reality.”
For the first time since he picked up a football, Miller went 30 straight days without throwing a football this summer.
He studied, worked out, made sure his strength and conditioning was up, and that he was eating properly.
During the family’s summer vacation in Florida, Miller made sure he followed his workout plan.
“When he was surfing, he was telling me, ‘I can paddle, my lat is getting better,’ ” Jack Sr., said. “It’s a different motion, arms by his side, but everything was related to, ‘I’m getting better, I’m getting healed.”’
Now 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, Miller is more determined to prove naysayers wrong.