Elite Recruit Moss on Mamba Mentality, Learning from NFL QBs and Check ins with LSU, Alabama

Miller Moss

Miller Moss is one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2021 class with scholarship offers from elite programs coast to coast. He has agreed to give Sports Illustrated exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from his experiences leading up to a college commitment as a high profile recruit to his home life and preparation for his senior season.

First off, just wanna say what's going on everybody? 

Hope everyone is doing well and is healthy, not going crazy in quarantine. I know some states are opening up soon so hopefully that's good news and we get back to normal life soon.

Just for today, I wanted to kind of give you guys a window into guys that I've really learned from and ways that I've really tried to improve my game and help myself. Going back to middle school, there are different guys I've learned from, through training and that kind of stuff. 

In seventh and eighth grade, I started training down in Orange County with some guys called 3DQB. They're really geared towards the pro guys, (Drew) Brees and (Tom) Brady and those type of guys, but they had a high school group that I was able to train with even though I was in middle school. At that time, southern California was loaded. It usually is loaded but it had a lot of top high school quarterbacks and a lot of them ended up training there. 

I got that opportunity to train with those guys and learn from those guys going into high school. It would be me and then Bryce (Young) were always together even though he's older than me. We'd be with guys like Ryan Hilinski, Hank Brockmeier, Jack Tuttle, J.T. Daniels, Brendon Costello, all those dudes.

We would end up training with those guys on a weekly basis. They were already established high school quarterbacks, getting recruited by every school in the country. I ended up picking up things from them and I just remember going through workouts. You go through them and you watch the ball the guy throws but what I ended up realizing was there was so much more that went into how they attack the game. How they worked out. How they trained. I started watching their feet, I started watching what they were looking at when they were going through drops. Even how they attack their warm-up, stuff like that. 

That's how I groomed myself to get ready for high school. When I get into high school, most of those guys go off to college, they end up being pretty successful. Obviously Hilinski ended up starting as a freshman, J.T. had his certain success and adversity and I think he'll do really really well wherever he ends up going. 

As I got into high school I started learning more and something I always took from watching different Kobe (Bryant) stuff was that Kobe was always looking to learn wherever he was. You hear M.J. (Michael Jordan) talk about how it almost got the the point this dude was annoying me just because he kept asking and kept trying to pull information. Doing everything he could to improve his game. That was something I tried to take on. 

Obviously I'm not trying to annoy these guys but as I became a successful high school quarterback, I stopped taking information from other successful high school quarterbacks because I had attained that goal. The advantage of training somewhere like 3DQB is you have tons of NFL guys coming in each and every day, especially in the offseason. On any given day you'd go in and see Matthew Stafford and Julian Edelman out there and it's just a regular deal. 

So what I started asking is if I could train before those guys and I would snap to them for their workouts. I started to get to know a couple of them and I would just pick their brains as they would go through their workout. Whatever throw they were going through, whatever play they were drawing up. Even afterwards, just talking to them on the sidelines, stuff like that because they'd attained the goal that I'm looking to get to. They'd been through college, which I'm about to go through, and I thought that it was an invaluable experience to be able to pick their brains.

How they attacked each and every rep, I think you really see that with the guys that are truly great. I went through Matt Ryan and his MVP season, how he attacked his game, his preparation. The cool thing is that you don't only get to see them workout, you're not only getting perspective on how they train, but you're able to speak with them and really get an understanding for how they approach the game in general. How they prepare, how they watch film, what their schedule looks like, how they've structured themselves in the offseason. That was something I am really, really grateful for. I'm able to take bits and pieces from all these pro guys' games and apply it to my game. 

You would show up to the workouts and sometimes the gate would be closed. Matt Ryan would get there an hour before his workout, hop the gate and start running laps around the field. We go through a warm-up of about 45 minutes before we throw but this was an hour before we did that. That was his MVP year and that kind of put a lot of things in perspective. I mean he jumped like a 12-foot fence [laughing] and started running laps and doing a lower-body warm up. That's just one thing but it stood out to me. 

Another guy was Brees, he would be doing different warm-up things. A lot of the pro guys set the parameters for their workouts because they're so detailed and they know what they want, like I'm going to do this exercise for this amount of time. The coach is yelling at him since it was that amount of time and he just kept going and ended up going 70 yards. What he's been able to accomplish speaks for itself but just that kind of mentality, you see the lengths to which these guys are willing to go. 

It helps me know what's necessary to end up in those guys' shows one day, hopefully.

If you listen to Kobe speak and you listen to some of the things a lot of people ask, it was no secret that he was chasing Jordan. He wanted to be greater than Jordan. He was the greatest player of all time and Kobe wanted to be better than that. People ask him about Jordan getting six (rings) and Kobe having five and whether or not that bothers him. His answer is, 'of course that bothers me. Of course I wanted to have six or seven' but he gave everything he possibly had to the game of basketball and to what he was trying to do. At the end of the day, he had no regrets. 

That's something I really try and focus on. If I give everything I possibly can, to the game, to perfecting my craft and doing what I love -- whatever happens, I'm going to be okay with that. That's one of many things that I've really taken from Kobe. Obviously Kobe's a basketball player and I don't play basketball but I think there's so much you can learn as a person and as an athlete in terms of conducting yourself. What he was able to do is inspire the next generation of basketball players and that's something that goes beyond anything he could have accomplished in his own career.

In terms of what happened in January, it was January 26. I had just got done working out and my girlfriend texted me, 'Kobe died' and I didn't believe it. Kobe can't be dead, you know? It was a certain shock. I was down in Orange County, just got done working out, and I didn't really understand what happened. Part of me just expected him to walk out of the helicopter carrying Gigi (Bryant) and be completely fine. That's the type of symbol he was to the city of Los Angeles. I think, you saw how people reacted to his death, he seemed immortal or invincible to a lot of us. The dude tore his Achilles tendon, walked out onto the floor and shot two free throws and made both of them. He did things that regular people couldn't do. Him passing away just seemed unreal. 

The Mamba Sports Academy runs the strength and conditioning for our high school so we were at the facility and stuff like that. I was there a week before it happened so the idea that he was gone was something you couldn't fully comprehend. I couldn't imagine what his family and those close to him were going through.

He was supposed to be the guest speaker at an event in Palm Desert on March 14, it obviously was canceled because of coronavirus. It never ended up happening but we were supposed to be able to spend time with him there so that was crushing. You could see the impact he had just from the reaction from him not being around anymore.

I watch the same Kobe video every night before my games. This goes back for a lot of years. He was definitely a super influential guy in how I attack my preparation for my game. The biggest thing, and I got this a lot from Kobe's message, is Matt Ryan is great in his respect, Brees is great in his respect, Stafford is great in his respect. If I can pull what makes each one of them great and put it into my game, I can become a combination. I can take different traits from different people, apply it to my game and become more than one individual person.

I actually got to do a virtual tour with LSU, which was good. We got to go through the academic portion of the school and then just did a video tour through the entire facility and things like that. I got to sit down with my mom and Coach O (Ed Orgeron), which was great. I got to talk ball with Coach (Steve) Ensminger and Coach (Russ) Callaway, which is always fun. I love going over different college systems and learning different stuff. That was awesome. 

The whole staff has been great with me and it made me kind of want to see it more, which was frustrating [laughing]. But that whole staff has been great recruiting me. That was something really unique that I was grateful for. They did a great job. 

After Tua (Tagovailoa) got drafted, I talked to Coach (Nick) Saban and it was a really cool moment. After the fifth pick, obviously I'm watching the draft, and we get on the call. Saban was like, 'Tua just got drafted and I hope we're making this trip with you in four years.' 

It was kind of a really special moment for me just because that's Nick Saban and the history with Alabama and how successful they've been in the draft. Just kind of the type of player they produce...so that was a cool moment for me. 

I was able to get on the phone with Coach Sark (Steve Sarkisian) last night and we went over a bunch of different stuff having to do with their offense and stuff like that. I love what they do offensively, I think it's really quarterback friendly and I could see myself being really successful in that system. 

There were some really cool moments over the last week, I'm really grateful for that. It's definitely complicated [laughing] trying to figure out which one of these schools I'm going to end up at but I've been really grateful to have a lot of really great opportunities.

Just to conclude, really appreciate you guys following me throughout these weeks, it means a lot. 

I hope you're doing well and staying safe. Hopefully we return to playing ball and normal life sooner rather than later. 

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