Ohio State Offensive Lineman Harry Miller Announces Medical Retirement, Reveals Mental Health Battle

Harry Miller will not be returning to the field for the Buckeyes.

The Ohio State offensive lineman announced Thursday that he has decided to medically retire from football.

A five-star recruit in the class of 2019, Miller was projected to be Ohio State’s starting center in 2021 after starting six games on the Buckeyes’ offensive line (five at left guard, one at center) in 2020. Miller ended up playing in just two games last season, however, and has now decided away to step away from football in the interest of his mental health.

In a statement Miller released on Twitter, he revealed that he had suicidal thoughts before last season but received the support he needed from Ohio State head coach Ryan Day and Ohio State’s sports psychologists, and indicated that he will remain around the Ohio State football program even though he is no longer playing.

“Prior to the season last year, I told Coach Day of my intention to kill myself. He immediately had me in touch with Dr. Candice (Williams) and Dr. (Joshua) Norman, and I received the support I needed,” Miller wrote. “I am grateful for the infrastructure Coach Day has put in place at Ohio State, and I am grateful that he is letting me find a new way to help others in the program. I hope athletic departments around the country do the same. If not for him and the staff, my words would not be a reflection. They would be evidence in a post-mortem.”

Miller concluded his letter by saying “I am okay” and “There is help, always” and including the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-8255.

Mental health has been a point of emphasis within Ohio State’s athletic department and specifically the football program since Day became the Buckeyes’ head coach in 2019. Day, who lost his own father to suicide when he was only eight years old, detailed his own battles with his mental health in a segment on ESPN’s College GameDay last October.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith was among those who shared their support for Miller on social media Thursday afternoon.

Although Miller’s football career is coming to an end, his future remains bright off the field. He has a 4.0 grade-point average at Ohio State and is known for having a wide variety of interests away from the football field, including literature, music and community service. A mechanical engineering major, Miller was named to the AFCA Good Works Team last year in recognition of his work with Mission 4 Nicaragua, a non-profit organization that operates a school and provides food, medicine and other resources for underprivileged families in Los Brasiles, Nicaragua.

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