Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Column: Romaro Miller Never Took the Easy Route

By Ty Brown
IMC Student

Not many people go out of their way to take the harder route in life, but some understand that anything worth having will take consistent hard work and humility. Romaro Miller is a living example of this concept and doesn’t seem to regret the decisions of his youthful days.

As a highly-recruited quarterback his senior year of high school coming off a state championship, Miller had options galore to where he would take his quarterbacking skills next. Offers from the majority of the Southeastern Conference schools, including Alabama, were filling up his mailbox, and recruiters were knocking at his door weekly.

He chose Ole Miss because he felt that it was the place to be to show off his championship talents to the entire sports world.

“I didn’t want to be just another guy,” said Miller, an alumnus of Shannon High School in Northeast Mississippi. “Basically, I wanted to go make a name for myself, and I just felt like I could do it better staying in my home state of Mississippi as opposed to leaving.”

Miller graduated from high school in 1997, and his college journey began. He started for three years at Ole Miss and left with a completion rate of over 55%. He threw for 6,311 yards and 43 touchdowns. Miller led the Rebels to two Independence Bowl victories and an appearance in the Music City Bowl. During those seasons, Ole Miss was 22-13.

“My favorite game was when we beat LSU in Oxford,” Miller said of a 37-31 UM win in overtime. “I think that was in ’98. They had a good team.”

Ole Miss hd also won the previous year in Baton Rouge.

“LSU beat Florida, who was ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in the nation at the time, the week before,” said Miller of the Rebels’ 36-21 win in Tiger Stadium.

“And then my senior night, my last night on the field, seems to be what the fans remember the most,” Miller said of a 45-30 victory against Mississippi State. “So all those games rank high for the fans and me, I’d say.”

There were also some tough times during his years as the team’s quarterback.

“Now the hardest game for me emotionally would have to be the Alabama game (in 1998),” he said. “We lost the game in OT. I threw the game-sealing interception to end the game. As a player, you, by nature, kind of remember the bad games more vividly than you do the good ones, and that game for sure haunts me the most.”

Miller suffered two injuries against the Georgia Bulldogs two consecutive years – one year a fractured collarbone and a severely sprained ankle the next. Despite having those two injuries on his resume and the collarbone injure that sat him out from playing the in-state rival, Mississippi State Bulldogs in 1998, Georgia still doesn’t rank high on his list of memorable games he played in.

“We had some battles with Georgia, man, but I don’t know,” he said. “Being a kid from Mississippi, you kind of more so think about playing against Alabama and Auburn. I guess because they’re closer to the state,” said Romaro. “When we play Georgia, they aren’t in our same division – we are in the West and they are in the East, so it wasn’t really a big deal to play them back then.”

While at The University of Mississippi, Miller majored in business and put those years to use as he entered his professional football career in the NFL and CFL. He played two years for the Minnesota Vikings, and while he did manage to get playing time, it wasn’t stable. Miller went to the CFL to continue his love and passion for this game.

“Being with the Vikings for two years and really on the team not playing and getting cut. I just wanted to play,” Miller said

Miller won the 92nd Grey Cup during his time in the Canadian Football League as a non-starting quarterback for Toronto in 2004, and he also played in the NFL’s Euro league Rhein Fire.
Now that his football days are over, Miller is a State Farm insurance agent in Olive Branch where he and his family live.

Romaro Miller could have taken the easy route all through his life. He could have signed with an Alabama or a Tennessee, and he might have been another guy on a team with a better chance of a championship on paper. He could have folded and given up after his two serious injuries in back to back years. He could have given up on his passion for football after being cut by the NFL, but he didn’t.

Miller has seen the lowest valleys and the tip-top of championship success in all levels of his playing career. He embodies the definition of humbleness, and never feels entitled to anything no matter his accomplishments. And of those accomplishments, he has many.