• RB Miller apologizes to teammates, coach

  • For three hours Friday night at Peve Stadium, Darrian Miller was the most talented fan/ball boy/assistant trainer in the state of Missouri.

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  • For three hours Friday night at Peve Stadium, Darrian Miller was the most talented fan/ball boy/assistant trainer in the state of Missouri.
    The two-time all-state senior running back, and the reigning Missouri Offensive Player of the Year, was suspended for one game this week by Blue Springs football coach Kelly Donohoe for an off-school incident that occurred last weekend.
    He could do nothing but watch as visiting Staley topped the Wildcats 27-16 before a stunned crowd on the Blue Springs campus.
    “I was out late with some friends, made a bad decision and was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Miller, who told me detail for detail about the incident in question.
    I won’t go into those details.
    They aren’t important to the story.
    What is important that Blue Springs High School football fans know that the young man who is considered the No. 1 recruit in the state was not arrested or charged with anything by the Blue Springs Police Department.
    “He didn’t get in any trouble with the law – he wasn’t involved with drugs or drinking,” Donohoe confirmed, “but after we lost last week at Rockhurst. I talked to the guys on the team about making the right choices.
    “We consider Darrian to be a senior leader on this team and he made a bad decision. He came and talked to me about it Monday – he told me everything – and I made the decision to sit him for one game. I wanted to see how he would respond.”
    Donohoe, and Miller’s Wildcat teammates, got the response they were hoping for.
    “Darrian didn’t complain or argue about the suspension, he handled it like a man,” Donohoe said. “He probably had his best week of practice leading up to tonight’s game.”
    And the Wildcats could have used the back who is 1,997 yards away from becoming the all-time big class rushing leader in the history of the state.
    Visiting Staley used a creative ball-control offense to run off 20 unanswered points while the Wildcats offense struggled.
    “This is one of the longest nights of my life,” Miller said after he spent the game handing water to teammates, helping them stretch out if they cramped and offering support from the sidelines.
    “I feel like I let my team down, my school down and my community down. I made a bad decision, but please let people know that all those rumors circulating about me and drugs and getting arrested aren’t true.
    “I’m going to be back next week and we’re going to get it going offensively. I just want everyone to know how important my senior season is to me. I don’t want to throw away all the hard work the past three years because of one dumb decision.”
    Page 2 of 2 - His teammates will welcome him back with open arms.
    “I saw Darrian work as hard this week as anyone on the team,” said first-year starting quarterback Kyle Brown, a junior who completed 20 of 29 passes for 173 yards and two scores Friday night.
    “We need Darrian to accomplish all our goals this season. We’ve all made mistakes and we want him back.”
    Senior wide out Jordan Nubine said Miller is a key to the team’s success.
    “We’ll all accept D back,” Nubine said. “He worked hard this week in practice. He was a real leader, and that’s the Darrian Miller we need to see the rest of the season.”
    Miller was blunt when asked about his future.
    “I hope this doesn’t hurt my chances of playing college ball,” Miller admitted.
    “(College) Coaches are going to see I had to sit a game and they’re going to call Coach D and ask what happened,” Miller added as he began the long walk from the playing field to the locker room.
    “I hope Coach D has my back. I’ve worked hard in the classroom, I’ve hit the books, I have a good SAT score – I’ve done all the right things – and this just can’t keep me from living that dream of playing college ball.”
    As he entered the locker room, he did what leaders do.
    He consoled his teammates, told them better days were looming in the not too distant future and offered a couple of underclassmen a ride home.
    I’ve always been impressed by the unbridled athletic ability Miller has shown on the playing field the past two years. But what I saw during those few minutes in that locker room impressed me even more.
    He made a mistake.
    He paid a big price – one that might have cost his team a victory – and he’s ready to get on with his life, both on and off the football field.
    “I’ve seen what one bad decision can do to your life. I’m not making any more bad decisions – I promise.”

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