Two of Clemson’s starting offensive linemen hail from the state of Ohio, Jackson Carman and Matt Bockhorst. Both were among the best players in the state when seniors with Carman rated a 5-star and Bockhorst a 4-star. Clemson offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell has his eye on another major prospect in Ohio in 4-star OT Blake Miller (6-6 315) of Strongsville. He visited Clemson as a freshman and camped there before his sophomore season. And Monday he named the Tigers in his top five along with Ohio State, Michigan, Florida and Auburn.
“They all produce quite a few players that go on to the next level,” Miller said. “Even more important than that in my opinion, they all have coaches who truly care about their players, and they all have programs who develop their players into great men.”
Miller has already developed a relationship with Clemson’s Caldwell, and that’s one of the reasons the Tigers have a place in his top five.
“I feel like I have a pretty strong relationship with him,” Miller said. “He’s a great person, a great coach and very knowledgeable. He’s been coaching for awhile, and he’s produced plenty of dudes. He really knows his stuff.”
Miller also has watched the Clemson offensive line at work.
“They play a very physical game, but their game is also very technically sound. I really like that,” Miller said. “They just don’t play like they are just out there to hit someone and that’s it. They are surgically moving their feet, using their hands and using phenomenal as well as being hyper-aggressive in the way they play.”
Beyond the Xs and Os of the offensive linemen, Miller said what also stands out to him about Clemson is the kind of program Dabo Swinney has built and the type of people that inhabit it.
“Clemson is definitely a very special program,” Miller said. “They just have a level of care for their players you don’t see a lot of other places. That, to me, is what really makes them stick out. That, also to me, is why I feel they do as consistently do as well as they do. It’s because they care about their players, and they recruit not only on talent, but they recruit good people.”
Miller said his parents have rooted for Ohio State over the years but he doesn’t consider them die-hard fans. They obviously have been to games in Columbus, and it would be easier for all if he were to stay in-state, but Miller said distance from home, near or far, is no major factor.
“Location to me is one of my least important factors,” Miller said. So, what are the most important factors? “Probably the coaching staff. Coaching staff and culture. A coaching staff that really develops excellence, and a culture that also develops excellence within all their players.”
Some recruits have publicized plans to be at Ohio State for the season opener Saturday, but Miller said he has no plans to be there. As for when he plans to make a decision, Miller said for is definitely plans to commit prior to his senior season, and a decision could come sooner than that.
Miller is ranked the #23 offensive tackle in the 2022 in the 247Sports Composite, and he’s ranked as the #9 prospect in Ohio.