Following Geno Miller’s freshman season at McNamara, it appeared that playing college football was a given. Letters from Alabama, Stanford and Virginia Tech made their way to the defensive back’s mailbox, creating great anticipation for his sophomore campaign in 2010.
But after being struck with tonsillitis before both his sophomore and junior seasons – bouts that caused him to lose 20 pounds each time and miss a combined 10 games – Miller’s football future was put in serious jeopardy.
“When schools heard I wasn’t playing, they started to fall off and by the time they came back in the mix this past season, most schools knew who they wanted, so it was tougher for me,” said Miller, who transferred to Bishop Ireton for his senior year. “Mentally, it was very devastating but I knew God was just testing my strength and I had to keep telling myself that I wouldn’t back down.”
After getting his tonsils removed as a junior and recording 37 tackles for Bishop Ireton as a senior, Miller’s persistence paid off. Two weeks after receiving an offer from New Hampshire, the Miller committed to the Wildcats last weekend following an official visit.
Miller also had offers from Concord, Georgetown, St. Andrew’s and William & Mary, as well as walk-on opportunities at East Carolina and Virginia.
During Miller’s visit to New Hampshire, the program’s winning tradition stood out the most. The Wildcats currently hold the nation’s longest streak of Football Championship Subdivision playoff appearances with nine and counting, an intriguing stat for Davis, who won just five games during his high school career.
“That makes me that much hungrier to win and attack that (championship) ring,” Miller said. “I can sense that everybody there has a tenacious mindset and I look forward to bringing even more of a winning attitude to the team.”
Bishop Ireton Coach Tony Verducci lauded Miller’s physical play, which led many teams to avoid throwing in his direction this past fall.
“He’s definitely one of the more imposing players you’ll find at a position that’s often more about being the fastest kid on the field,” Verducci said. “His blend of strength and speed is impressive.”