ORANGE PARK – Ridgeview High wide receiver and safety Glen Miller answered the skeptics who think good athletes only come from good teams.
Miller, a hard-hitting safety and a glue-fingered wide receiver for the Panthers, topped the list of unique signings on National Signing Day in Clay County with a signature on an athletic scholarship to the University of Maryland.
“I wasn’t getting any calls after the season and my dad kept telling me to work hard, stay in shape and believe,” said Miller who finished with 40 pass receptions for 850 yards and eight touchdowns as well as 113 tackles, six interceptions with a county-leading punt return average. “When Maryland called and made an offer, a bunch of other schools started calling.”
Miller’ unique situation came about with the season-ending injury to teammate Denali Lindo, also a wide receiver and also a secondary athlete.
“Glen is the first Power 5 conference signee from Ridgeview since offensive tackle Ramsey Meyers who went to Kentucky back in 2013,” said Ridgeview Athletic Director John Sgromolo. “Glen was not recruited very hard, but as a student-athlete, his mindset was to be on the mission of winning the game and doing all he could to put his name out there.”
From Lindo’s injury, in the preseason game prior to the season, Miller knew he would have to step in and become one of the team’s leader.
“It was devastating when it happened; definitely not part of the plan,” said Miller, who finished with 45 catches, nine touchdowns plus 120 tackles. “I wanted to keep positive. “After we got his xrays and it became apparent that he was not coming back, I started to work a little harder and lead a little more. I didn’t want the team to fall back because of the injury.”
Miller’s father, Glendon, commented that he saw a different look in his son’s eye after the game with the Lindo’s injury.
“I told from then on, no matter what the record is, you have to finish to the end what you started,” said Glendon Miller. “Just like now, I don’t think Maryland is his last stop. He can become an NFL player if he pushes himself to that level. He has always been a focused kid.”
For first-year coach Matt Knauss, who entered the Ridgeview arena with a top-draw quarterback in Max Monroe, then had two high-caliber pass catchers in
Miller and Lindo, it was Miller who h
“When I showed up in the summer, the appeal of Glen as a safety was a huge factor in our defense,” said Knauss, who claimed Miller as his first NCAA Division I signee as a head coach. “The plan was to have him catch passes and play some defense, but when we got pads and we saw him hitting people, we went to him playing safety and catching a couple of passes. He stepped up and never came off the field; punt and kickoff returns included.”
Knauss noted that Miller’s appeal was his even-keeled player.
“He leads by example, doesn’t get irritated on bad situations and that’s a big deal for a team like ours,” said Knauss. “I was very surprised that he didn’t get many offers right after the season.”
Also on the stage for Ridgeview were softball aces Alyssa Adams (College of Central Florida in Ocala), Raven Little (Tallahassee Community College) and Milani Siblan (Edward Waters College in Jacksonville).
At Middleburg High, senior offensive tackle and defensive tackle Cole LeClair led a contingency of eight Bronco athletes with a signing to 2018 NCAA Division II champion Valdosta State University after sifting through a handful of prospects in his senior campaign.
Also from football, coach Karl Smeltzer got linebacker and fullback Brody Senn to Shorter University in Rome, GA. for next fall.
“Both have been starters since they got here and both have been two-way players for me,” said Smeltzer. “Work ethic is the strength of both.”
For cross country, coach Paul Grybb signed away senior John Scholz to run at Jacksonville University after a season of answering high expectations after a solid junior year.
“John finishes his career as the third best runner ever out of Middleburg,” said Grybb. “He was a three year letterman that set the bar high to what we can achieve as a program.”
For softball, first-year coach Ashley Houston put Middleburg softball back on the playoff radar with a finishing surge that included a district runnerup up finish and a 3-2 loss to eventual Class 7A runnerup Creekside in the region semifinals.
From Houston’s squad, Haleigh Campbell signed to Florida State College in Jacksonville; Carley Romanesk signed to Georgia Gwinnett College, an NAIA program in Lawrenceville, GA.; and Emily Stewart signed to St. Johns Rivers College.
In volleyball, coach Carrie Prewitt signed three standouts in Mone Gordon and Laney Miller to St. Johns River College in Palatka, and Mikayla Simmons to Lake Sumter State College in Leesburg, FL.
Fleming Island, after a playoff football season, signed defensive specialist Jeremiah Jackson to FCS Division I-Furman University in Greenville, SC; wide receiver Broden Domenico and lineman Nate Chase to NCAA Div. II-Florida Tech University in Melbourne, defensive end Zach Little to NAIA-Warner University in Lakeland, FL.
From baseball, Fleming Island sends catcher Scott Kondroik to Wheeling University in West Virginia.