Bobcat Spencer Miller To Continue Academic And Football Career At Gannon, Joins His Brother Brendan As A Golden Knight (03/28/18)
Clarion Area’s Spencer Miller has committed to continuing his academic and football career at Gannon University in Erie, joining his older brother Brendan who is a defensive back for the Golden Knights. Gannon is an NCAA Division II team, which competes in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC).
Spencer had a stellar career for Coach Larry Wiser’s Bobcats. A versatile athlete, Spencer played quarterback, defensive back and punter for the Cats. His career stats attest to his prowess in each position: 2123 yards passing, with 29 touchdowns, 959 rushing yards, with 14 touchdowns; 282 tackles, with 14 interceptions; 93 punts for a 36.6 yards per punt average.
Spencer has received numerous awards including: All-KSAC Large School Team; D9Sports.com All-District Team and MVP; Tri-County Sunday/Courier Express Player of the Year; WesternPAFootball.net All-Western PA Team; EasternPAFootball.com/WesternPAFootball.net Super 25 All-State Team; and PA Football Writers All-State Team.
Further attesting to Spencer’s versatility, is the fact that the Golden Knights’ coaching staff is looking for him to play wide receiver, leaving the option open for him to contribute elsewhere as well.
Coach Jermaine Mitchell, Gannon’s Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers Coach, who recruited Spencer, had this to say, “What we liked about Spencer was his intelligence, athleticism and versatility to be able to play multiple positions on either side of the ball. We like kids that have the ability to do a lot because it helps build flexibility within our schemes. As of right now we have him coming in to play wide receiver for us but, again, he has the flexibility to be able to move positions if need be.”
Coach Mitchell, who is going into his fourth season as an assistant coach at Gannon, mentioned something about Spencer’s vying for playing time and his willingness to accept the challenge, “His prospects for playing time are the same as any player coming to fall camp this year. The playing time that he gets each year will have to be earned by what he does throughout fall camp. I know it’s something we preached to every kid in the recruiting process and I believe Spencer is a kid who was more than willing to embrace that type of environment.”
The Gannon Assistant Coach concluded by mentioning something about the Miller brothers playing together again, “I believe the one good thing that Spencer has going for him is that his brother (Brendan) is here. I’m excited to see the sibling competition in person but I think it helps Spencer’s comfort level in transitioning to a whole new phase of his life knowing that his older brother will be there to guide him through the same ups and downs that he went through.”
Spencer shared something about his time at playing for the Bobcats. He mentioned that his favorite memory was a toss-up between the 2017 “District Nine Class-AA championship game against Kane, which was my best personal performance, and the Chestnut Ridge game which was the best memory with my team. We were the underdog and came together as a team to win- everyone on the team contributed.”
He added, “I would like to thank all my teammates and coaches for helping me to become a better player, which has allowed me to have the opportunity to play at the collegiate level.”
Spencer also mentioned something about his father, Clarion Assistant Coach, Scott “Scooter” Miller being instrumental in his progress, “Having my dad as my coach has helped me to prepare for playing at the college level as he was always pushing me to work harder and constantly grow as an athlete.”
Spencer primarily chose Gannon for their excellent engineering program and opportunities for internships and jobs due to Gannon being in a larger urban setting. The athletic facilities including the indoor field and weight room were superior to all the other schools he was considering.
He was originally interested in playing baseball in college, however after a successful football season he received recruiting offers to play collegiate football, something he hadn’t considered before. After a number of recruiting visits, Spencer eventually chose Gannon.
As mentioned above, Spencer is planning on playing receiver. That is where he feels his speed and athleticism will best benefit the team. Spencer said, “I’m excited to play again with my brother Bo (Brendan) who is a redshirt sophomore defensive back at Gannon.”
Spencer singled out a number of folks he wanted to thank including: his parents, Laura and Scott Miller, his grandparents, Jayne and Joe Soney; Coaches Jess Quinn (basketball and Junior High football) and Rob Jewett (baseball); his friends and family “who cheered me and my teammates on at games, and my brother Bo for pushing me to be a better player and preparing me for collegiate ball, Rich Heron and Dr. Armstrong who were supportive after several injuries during my sporting career at Clarion.”
Bobcat mentor Larry Wiser had these comments on Spencer, “I’m very proud that Spencer has decided to play his college football with his brother Bo at Gannon University. Gannon is not only getting a very good football player, but also a great student and good citizen. Spencer will long be remembered, along with his teammates, regarding their football journey at Clarion.”
Father (and coach) Scott had this to say about Spencer’s career so far, “Spence really developed as a player and leader over the years. He has been around the game pretty much all his life so he understands it pretty well. His solid football IQ combined with athleticism and hard work has allowed him to be a standout high school player and will help him in college.”
Coach Miller added this about the future with Spence and Bo playing together and the convenience for the Miller family, “The fact that he’s going to Gannon certainly make it more convenient for Laura and me. We’ll have one trip to drop Bo and Spence off and we can see them both every Saturday in fall. Another benefit is that we don’t have to buy other college clothes…we’re all set with the Gannon Golden Knight shirts and hats we already have.”
Looks like hand me downs again, Spence.
Coach Miller shared about he and Laura’s happiness in their sons’ success, “We are proud of Spence (and Bo) for growing into the serious student -athletes that they’ve become.”
The Miller brothers, Spence and Bo will be at Clarion on Saturday, September 22nd, as the Gannon Golden Knights take on the Clarion University Golden Eagles, in a PSAC West contest at Memorial Stadium.
(Congratulations to Spencer and the whole Miller family. And to “Spence,” great choice. It is great to see you continue your career. It has been fun watching you grow as a player and as a fine young man!!!!)
(Note to all Bobcat sports coaches and parents: Please let me know when an athlete signs to play at a college, so we can post articles on them and recognize their achievements: firstname.lastname@example.org)