Marion, Miller make their choices official
This past fall, as seniors, Luke Marion and John Miller helped the Tualatin High School football team enjoy its best season since 2010.
They both certainly seemed to leave their mark with the Timberwolves.
Now, Marion and Miller are both ready to move on with the scholastic football careers.
And they made that official on Wednesday.
Marion and Miller each signed their college football national letters of intent in front of friends, teammates, coaches and family during a ceremony held at the school.
"It means a lot, finally knowing where my home is going to be for the next four years," said Marion, who signed to play football at Utah State University, located in Logan, Utah. "It's a good feeling to know where I'm going to be, and where I'm going to take my life to the next chapter."
"It means a lot to me," said Miller, who signed to play football at Oregon State University in Corvallis. "It's been a long process, after being committed for so long, and now I can really start it off. It's official now."
Marion and Miller are both coming off of standout senior seasons on the gridiron for Tualatin. They helped the Timberwolves go 10-3 this past fall, while reaching the quarterfinal round of the Class 6A state playoffs for the first time since 2010.
"It was awesome," Marion said of his time at Tualatin. "It really took my skills that I had previously, and took them to the next level."
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Miller has been a three-year starter for the Timberwolves. This past fall, playing at linebacker, Miller was named the Three Rivers League Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight year.
Miller had 118 total tackles as a Tualatin senior, which also included 13 tackles for losses and 6.5 quarterback sacks. Miller also had three forced fumbles and a pair of blocked punts on the season. On offense, playing at tight end, Miller had 35 catches for 790 yards and seven touchdowns, helping him earn All-Three Rivers League first-team honors on offense.
For awhile now, Miller said, Oregon State has been his choice.
"Since the day they offered me, I knew they were the one," he said. "It's just the place where I know I want to be. They showed so much love for me. They cared for me like family. I know that they'll take care of me, and put me in the position where I need to be to succeed."
Miller said that the Beavers are looking for him to play at the weak inside linebacker position.
"I'll still be playing on the inside, so I'll be where I need to be," Miller said. "I need to keep working hard, get in the weight room and get faster and stronger. I need to build my body up, so when I get there, I can come in and compete right away."
Marion (6-0, 185) also had a big senior season for the Timberwolves, earning first-team All-Three Rivers League honors on defense at a safety spot. Marion was also a versatile weapon for the Tualatin offense, scoring 11 touchdowns on offense, six receiving and five rushing. He also had a touchdown pass and a kickoff return for a touchdown, as he was a second-team All-Three Rivers League selection at receiver and an honorable-mention all-league pick as a kick returner.
Marion saved one of his best games for last, as he had both a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and a 20-yard TD run during the Wolves' late rally in their 42-28 loss at Jesuit in a state playoff quarterfinal game.
Now, Marion is ready to take his skills to Utah State.
"The coaches made a great impression on me," Marion said. "They made me feel like I was going to be a part of their family, and that's something I wanted to be a part of."
Marion added that the Aggies are looking for him to play at free safety.
"I think I'm going to be contributing a lot on special teams, too," Marion said. "I'm going to keep grinding. I'm going to keep with track (he was second in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles at last year's Class 6A state track and field championships), to try and get faster, and I'm going to get bigger."
While the letter of intent signing was special enough, both Miller and Marion said that it meant more that they got to sign together.
"We love playing together, and signing together, and knowing where we're going to college and that we're going to be playing at the same level," Marion said. "It's an awesome experience to do this together."
"It really makes it more special," Miller said. "I get to sign with a person I put so much work in with, and someone I love so much. He's a brother to me, because we grinded through everything and got where we needed to be together."