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Former UM center Miller had concussion concerns

The Detroit News
Jack Miller

Former Michigan starting center Jack Miller told ESPN that concussion concerns played a role in his decision to not return for his fifth year.

When Miller's decision was revealed two weeks ago, a program spokesman said he was leaving to focus on academics and pursue business opportunities. Miller earned the team's award last season as the best offensive lineman.

Miller told ESPN that he had one concussion in high school and "probably" two or three at Michigan, although he only reported one.

"I know I've had a few, and it's nice walking away before things could've gotten worse," Miller said.

During an interview with The Detroit News last fall, Miller talked about his interests outside of football and said when his Michigan career had concluded, he was not going to pursue the game professionally. He has an interest in politics and often represented his teammates during game-week and post-game news conferences.

"This game requires such a passion to excel, and my flame is burned out," Miller told ESPN. "However, I'd be lying if I said that the concussion thing doesn't scare me a little."

His younger brother, Matt Miller, suffered numerous concussions while playing high school football. In a story last year with the Toledo Blade, Matt Miller said he was in a car accident as a sophomore but also had a "couple" football-related concussions that were treated by the Toledo St. John's High staff and kept others quiet because he wanted to play.

He signed with Wisconsin but never played because of his concussion history.

"I don't know if tragic is the right word, but losing football is something that was heartbreaking for me," Miller told the Blade. "There was at least a six-month period where I was severely saddened and upset about it. But there's a corner to turn, and I think I've turned a corner. You start looking toward other futures and seeing what else you can do."