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TU-Bound Lineman Works Hard to Succeed

Managing Editor

FOOTBALL FUTURE: Bixby offensive lineman Chandler Miller, number 77, prepares to pass protect against Muskogee in a 2013 game. Miller, the 2013 Tom Boone Player of the Year and a Wendy’s High School Heisman award finalist, will play for the University of Tulsa in the fall.

Bixby High School senior and football player Chandler Miller will wear the University of Tulsa jersey for his next four years. Miller is an offensive lineman—a position he says that he loved from early on in his football career.

While TU was Miller’s final decision, he wasn’t short on options. He received upwards of seven offers from interested colleges, including Harvard University, the University of Memphis, the University of New Mexico and the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Miller has started for the Bixby football team since his sophomore year, which Bixby head football coach Loren Montgomery calls “a big deal in 6A.” Montgomery attributes Miller’s three years as a starter to his determination and persistence.

“He was scrawny as a freshman,” Montgomery says. “Now, he’s a 290-pound division 1 offensive lineman.”

Miller has come a long way since his freshman days. “He has shattered every weight room record at Bixby,” Montgomery continues, “345 pounds on the power clean, 355 pounds bench press, 555 pounds for squats.

“He made himself strong.”

During his high school career, Miller received the 2013 Tom Boone Player of the Year award, was named a Wendy’s High School Heisman award finalist, was a three-year letterwinner, earned Tulsa World first-team all-state and all-metro honors as a senior, was named to the Oklahoma Coaches Association East all-state team, and was named to The Oklahoman’s Super 30, ranking 20th overall.

“Chandler embodies everything our program is about,” Montgomery says. “He’s done everything he can do to be great; he’s never missed a practice or a workout.”
Miller began playing football in third grade after moving to Bixby as a way to get involved in something new, Miller says. He has remained in the sport because he enjoys its physicality and the camaraderie among team members.

As a strong student in academics as well, Miller admits that the “academic prestige” of Harvard tempted him, but in the end the school’s distance from his home state and its lower sports division caused him to take a closer at TU. He plans to pursue a degree in petroleum engineering.

“He has high expectations for himself,” says Montgomery. “He takes AP (advanced placement) classes, volunteers with Bixby Outreach Center, has done work with the Moore Tornado relief effort and mentors younger football players.”

For fun, Miller enjoys other athletic activities including water sports and golf.

Updated 04-07-2014

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