The state of Oregon is absolutely loaded this season, with both college prospects and overall teams. You could make an argument for about 5 programs winning a state title. The obvious two being Jesuit and Aloha, who are both ranked in the national polls. One other team that will have something to say about it is the Sheldon Irish.
Three time State Championship Head coach Marty Johnson has stepped down, but is still playing a major role while brother Lane Johnson steps in to take over the Head Coaching duties. The Irish come back fully loaded and ranked the #1 Team in the State on the initial NEI Top 10. Anytime you want to judge a team, the first position you look to is the QB.
With Dillon Miller, you have one of the best quarterbacks in the entire northwest. Jordan Johnson, head of scouting and lead analyst for NEI, has Dillon ranked the #1 QB in Oregon, and for good reason. The son of former Duck and NFL veteran QB Chris Miller, Dillon put up huge numbers last year (3326 Pass Yds, 40 Tds/17 Ints). He directs an advanced, college based offense, so to say he’s ready to step into a college program and be ready is an understatement. The fact that he doesn’t have a scholarship offer yet is mind boggling.
At 6’ 185lbs, some schools are hesitant because of his size. Even if a QB is 6’5” he doesn’t see and throw over lineman, he throws through windows. Look no further than Drew Brees, at 6’ feet tall, Drew isn’t very big. He also doesn’t have a rocket arm or even great speed. Despite all of that, he’s one of the best QB’s in the NFL and has a superbowl ring and MVP award to go with it. No one’s arguing Dillon is Drew Brees quite yet, but he is reminiscent of former Irish star Jordy Johnson who is now the starting QB at University of Montana.
While at the Barton Premier Event at the University of Washington this past summer, Dillon threw with some of the best signal callers in the country (senior Jeff Lindquist-UW commit, junior Max Browne-#1 ranked junior in the country). He more than held his own in that group, but like Brees he didn’t stand out on paper. What he lacks in some areas he makes up for in others. It’s like a pitcher in baseball, If you don’t throw a 95 mph fastball you have to throw different pitches and be great at hitting your spots.
Greg Maddux is a perfect example. He threw an 85mph fastball which means he wouldn’t have even started for some high schools. but is now ranked one of the best pitchers of all time. He made up for lack of arm strength by throwing curveballs, change ups, sliders, and also pitching to spots to keep hitters off balance.
The same thing goes for a QB who doesn’t have a huge arm. Dillon is in that mold, and the way he makes up for his lack of arm strength is by throwing with timing, and accuracy. He is also a very intelligent Quarterback that can make reads and get the ball to the right targets. What good does it do if a QB has a rocket arm and can’t make reads or hit the right guy? In my opinion, and this is also backed by NEI’s Jordan Johnson, Dillon is the most complete QB in Oregon and maybe the entire northwest. It’s not a matter of if a D1AA school is going to offer him a scholarship, its a matter of when. Sheldon has an extremely tough non league schedule and regular season lineup, but expect the Irish to be brutally tough while Miller puts up outstanding numbers and more Wins.