Here's a bit of bad news for Iowa football: young offensive line prospect Ezra Miller is going to have to retire from football due to ongoing back issues.
Spoke to Ezra Miller's father, Patrick Miller, today and was told that unfortunately Ezra will have to medically retire from football due to ongoing back issues. He will remain in school at Iowa, but no longer playing football https://t.co/fwEqo1VqNA https://t.co/a8rPbECpMQ— Blair Sanderson (@BlairRIVALS) January 15, 2020
Miller was a true freshman at Iowa this past fall, but saw no action; now we know part of the reason why. He was one of the biggest members of Iowa's 2019 recruiting class, both literally (he measured at 6'6", 310 lbs) and figuratively -- he was rated a 4* recruit by 247 and considered one of Iowa's top recruits in that class. Miller was a guy that we had penciled in as a future contributor to Iowa's offensive line and a guy who seemed to have the ability to be a multi-year starter. (Just look at him maul people.)
Seeing a player have to end their career due to injury is always sad, especially for someone as young as Miller. But it seems especially cruel for Miller, given how enthusiastic he was to be a Hawkeye. He set a record for most campus visits to Iowa during the KF Era -- and that's notable given that he wasn't a kid from Solon or Cedar Rapids who could drop down to campus at a moment's notice. Miller was from Holstein in western Iowa -- a roughly four hour drive from Iowa City. That didn't deter him from making countless trips to Iowa City, though.
Miller was also a tireless recruiter for Iowa after he committed to Iowa, trying to get others to join him in the 2019 class:
“I am mostly going to the other Iowa boys that I know will fit well there,” Miller said. “If they say they’re not going to go there I’ll back off and let coaches handle it from there, but if I think they’ll go there then I’ll push them a little bit.”
In pitching other in-state prospects to join him, Miller will rely on the aspects that attracted him to the Hawkeyes.
“The thing that clicked for me was the very stable program, good program, good coaching staff that loves their players and they treat them very well,” he said.
To see his dream taken away from him like this is a particularly harsh twist of fate. We wish Ezra the very best in his recovery from back problems and good fortune in whatever paths his life take next.