It took Matt Miller (Toledo, Ohio/St. John’s Jesuit) about seven hours to travel from his home in northwest Ohio to Iowa City, and he said for six and a half of those hours he was surrounded by nothing but cornfields.
However, once Miller pulled into Iowa City, he liked what he saw.
“It’s a really cool place,” he said. “I looked around and saw a lot of cool things about it. The whole culture about it stuck out.”
Other than maybe corn, college football – and specifically their Hawkeyes – account for a lot of that culture in Iowa City. Miller, who made his first visit to Iowa, was taken aback by the football aspect of the city.
“It’s rich and historical and great,” he said. “Everything about Iowa City stood out to me – the social part, the fans, everything like that.”
Before the game, Miller went on a tour of the stadium and facilities, which will be undergoing some reconstruction soon. Miller was shown plans of what the new indoor practice facility, weight room and film rooms will look like.
Miller had a chance to talk with his recruiter, Phil Parker, before the game, but it was an old friend who gave Miller the most insight into the Iowa program.
Hawkeyes freshman tight end Ray Hamilton and Miller grew up together and Miller called Hamilton more of a brother than friend. Miller was able to hang out and spend the night with Hamilton, which Miller said “added a whole new level to my visit.”
“He showed me around, and I got to see the campus and get a good feel for the social life,” Miller said of his time with Hamilton. “He explained the football aspect and all the hard work that goes into it.
Jack Miller, Matt’s older brother, is a freshman center at Michigan. Matt visited Michigan earlier this season for the Notre Dame game, and he has also checked out Michigan State, Notre Dame, Tennessee and West Virginia this year. How did the visit to Iowa compare with those visits?
“It’s tough to say. Each campus and each team really stood out to me in their own ways,” Miller said. “Notre Dame, it’s not the craziest atmosphere but the tradition and history is so cool. You go to Michigan and against Notre Dame where they beat them at the last second. West Virginia is a crazy place; Tennessee is a crazy place; Iowa is a crazy place. Each stood out.”
As of now, Toledo is the only school to offer Miller at this point. Miller said he’s talked with a lot of other MAC programs and only recently has serious interest from BCS schools started.
“My relationship with a lot of the bigger schools, it’s grown so much in the past few months that I feel soon that things are going to pick up for me.”