Dalton Miller’s coaches say that he’s the type of football player that would run through a brick wall if it bettered the team.
Miller, a senior at Seymour High School, has always had a team-first approach, and has dreamed bigger than his 6-foot-2, 220-plus pounds frame.
Years of hard work came to fruition on Monday for Miller, as the 21st Century Scholar officially committed to playing football at Indiana State University in Terre Haute.
School officials said they believe Miller is the first SHS player to commit to a NCAA Division I program since 2001.
“It’s really exciting, the doors are open for me with the opportunities I’ve had,” Miller said. “To officially make it happen, and pursue my dream, is really a blessing.”
In his senior season with the Owls, Miller registered 51 tackles (43 solo), with six for losses, and one sack.
He also rotated in on the offensive line, where he played center his junior year.
While his physical build brings muscle to the field, Miller’s intangibles set him apart.
“I think the one think he always brings is relentless energy and effort,” Owls assistant coach Brice Darling said. “He’s the type of guy who brings energy wherever he’s at — in any room or in any situation. He’s the type of guy who will run through a wall for something he believes in.
“He was the first guy I’ve coached who got a downfield 15-yards penalty for pancaking a guy into the endzone.”
Choosing the right program wasn’t an easy task for Miller.
“It was hectic,” Miller said of the process. “It came down to the last two weeks. Coach Darling and (Josh) Shattuck both played big parts. So did my family. Pin pointing that one school was tough. We took a visit and it felt like home.”
While he’s going on the list of defensive ends, Miller could find time on the field in another way.
“I think he’s a great special teams fit,” Darling said. “He’s a guy who will run 100 mph and make a tackle. I think he will get a little quicker and thicker. He will also fit in as a defensive end or tight end. I really think he will contribute on special teams. He’s very versatile on the field.”
While he’s put in the work, Miller hasn’t forgotten those who have made him into the player he is today.
“I thank my coaches for what I have athletically,” Miller said. “What they’ve taught me — I think it has prepared me well for the next level. I feel like they all will play a part in the man I am and the man I will become in college.”
The Sycamores play in the 10-team Missouri Valley Football Conference.
Last season, the Sycamores finished 4-7, including 2-6 in MVC play.
“I’m excited for Dalton and the opportunity he has,” Darling said. “I think he’s a great fit there. His body, he’s been putting on mass and getting in the weight room like crazy. He’s looking good and ready to go.”
Miller said he plans on studying athletic training and criminology.