NORMAL — Jonathon Miller carried the football for the No. 1-ranked college team in the nation less than five months ago.
In search of more carries, Miller has enrolled at Illinois State and will officially join the Redbirds as a transfer from Oklahoma when the spring semester begins Tuesday.
“It was just time for me to move on,” Miller said Thursday. “Oklahoma is stacked with talent. I had injuries my whole three years there, and that played a role.”
Miller received seven carries and gained 20 yards late in the then-No. 1 Sooners’ season-opening victory over Tulsa. Shortly thereafter, Miller informed Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops he was leaving the team and wanted to transfer.
Stoops, according to the Associated Press, called Miller “a good young man and I’m sure he’s going to do really well” last September.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Miller’s decision came down to ISU and Sam Houston State, which dropped the Championship Subdivision national title game last week.
“I got smarter about the recruiting process than when I was coming out of high school,” said Miller. “I let the coaches call me, and I went with who was the most interested. ISU is the kind of school that’s best for me to be successful.”
A native of Garland, Texas, Miller was ranked the No. 30 running back in the nation and a four-star recruit coming out of high school by Rivals.com.
Miller rushed for 130 yards and a touchdown on 18 attempts in 2009 at Oklahoma before suffering a season-ending injury. He sat out 2010 as a redshirt and will have two seasons of eligibility at ISU.
“I run straight downhill. I can run over them or run by them,” said Miller, who considers himself part power back and part speed back. “I just run the rock.”
ISU’s top two rushers from last season — Ashton Leggett and Cliffton Gordon — were seniors. Miller will join Darrelynn Dunn (247 yards in 2011) and Cameron Hunt as Redbird tailbacks.
NCAA rules prohibit ISU coach Brock Spack from commenting on transfers until they have started class.