Scotty Miller's dad: 'He failed every eye test when he was 17'
Even though their seats were in the upper reaches of Lambeau Field in Green Bay last Sunday, the cheers from Scott and Kristy Miller were likely heard all the way back in Barrington.
On the last play of the first half of the NFC Championship Game, Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady found the Millers' 23-year old son, Scotty, a 2015 Barrington High School graduate, open for a 39-yard touchdown pass that put the Bucs ahead of the Packers 21-10. Tampa went on to a 31-26 win and will play Kansas City in Super Bowl LV Feb. 7 in Tampa.
"It's all still surreal," Scott Miller said two days after the NFC title game. "It was amazing to look down and see this happening to Scotty."
Scott Miller knew early on, when he coached his son in the Barrington Youth Football League that the skills were there.
"We always knew he was blessed with some special abilities ... speed and his ability to track long balls," Scott said. "But it's amazing to see this happen to him so young in his career."
In his second NFL season, Miller, the 2014 Daily Herald All-Area Team Captain, has 46 catches for 701 yards and 4 TDs as a "small" NFL receiver at 5-foot-9 and 174 pounds.
"Everyone used to say he's just not big enough to play at a high level," said Scott Miller, who grew up in Arlington Heights, played on the 1986 Forest View state championship team before graduating from Elk Grove after Forest View closed, and played college football at Western Illinois.
Barrington coach Joe Sanchez always believed in Scotty.
"Scotty was doing everything he could for Joey and Joey always believed Scotty could play at a high level," Scott Miller said. "But Scotty failed every eye test when he was 17. People have a hard time believing what's in front of their eyes sometimes. He ran under a 4.4 in the 40 (yard dash) at an NIU camp but they didn't want him."
Bowling Green finally did and Scotty, who has three sisters and is married to his college sweetheart, Jenna, went on to a great college career before being picked by Tampa Bay in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL draft.
"Scotty is unflappable," his dad said. "You can't get that kid down. He's extremely determined and he will succeed.
"Scotty's story is something you could write a book about. It's all about heart and determination and it's been an awesome journey."
All the way to the Super Bowl.