Jaice Miller waited and, eventually, got what he wanted.
The Champlin Park senior, who quarterbacked the Rebels to the Class 6A championship game in November, committed last week to the University of Sioux Falls, a Division II program in the NSIC.
He’ll sign his national letter of intent Wednesday morning at a signing day ceremony at Champlin Park High School. Wednesday is the first day of the NCAA Division I and II regular signing period. Many football players already signed during the NCAA’s early signing period in December.
“It felt good right away,” Miller said. “We went and visited and on the drive home, I called and committed.”
Miller had offers from Division I programs Wyoming, South Dakota and North Dakota and a preferred walk-on offer from Minnesota. All projected him as a tight end or receiver. The athletic 6-5 Miller had been a standout at wide receiver in his junior season.
He said in December that he fell in love with playing quarterback last season and was holding out for a program to give him the opportunity to play the position in college.
Enter Sioux Falls, which went 8-4 in 2019, losing in the first round of the Division II Central Regional playoffs. Minnesota-Duluth had also offered Miller a chance to play quarterback, but he preferred the opportunity presented by Sioux Falls. The Cougars’ starting quarterback had graduated and, while there are three other quarterbacks on the roster, Miller was the only recruit at that position this year.
“And I liked the offense,” he said. “They run the RPO (run-pass option) pretty much the same way we did at Champlin Park.”
It didn’t hurt that Champlin Park teammate and linebacker Obi Evuleocha was also heading to Sioux Falls. “On a visit down there, Obi told them he was going to try to get me down there. Maybe we’ll room together as freshmen,” Miller said.
Among other notable names expected to sign Wednesday are Lakeville North defensive lineman Landon Carter (Minnesota-Duluth), Prior Lake lineman Blake Whaley (Minnesota State Mankato), Coon Rapids quarterback Jake Van Hulzen (Winona State), Hopkins tight end Jimmy Murphy (VMI) and Woodbury defensive backs Drew Bramlett and Joe Frommelt (Drake).
Vassar expected to sign
— Wayzata running back Christian Vasser, who ran for 285 yards and five touchdowns in the Trojans’ Class 6A Prep Bowl victory over Champlin Park, had committed early last fall to Mankato. He reopened his recruitment after the Prep Bowl and is expected to announced his decision at Wednesday’s signing ceremony at Wayzata. Mankato is still a likely option, but word is Vasser is also giving strong consideration to Concordia-St. Paul.
Three other notable locals have yet to announce their college plans. The Armstrong duo of quarterback Jake Breitbach and receiver Thai Bowman haven’t made college football commitments but are still being actively recruited. And Minneapolis North defensive lineman Quientrail Jamison-Travis, one of the state’s top defensive prospects, recently took a recruiting trip to Iowa State, where he impressed the Cyclones’ staff but has yet to receive an offer.