On the Mat with Conner Miller
Conner Miller has been a pleasant surprise this year for the Virginia wrestling team. The freshman was thrust into action early in the season at 165 pounds because of an injury to Jedd Moore. Miller’s 12-12 record isn’t exactly eye-popping, but it doesn’t do him justice either – he is one of the Cavaliers’ most improved wrestlers this year. The native of Washington, Va., sat down to talk about being thrown immediately into the fire at UVa, as well as growing up on a cattle farm, in this edition of On the Mat.
Describe your experience so far, here, at the University of Virginia.
Miller: All of the older guys took us younger guys in and showed us the ropes and showed us around campus. The coaches have helped out a lot was well, spending extra time with us to help with our technique. I have also really enjoyed being able to travel.
How was getting thrown into the mix early on in you career?
Miller: I nearly pinned my first guy and that was shocking. I was pretty nervous but my mindset was to just go all out and see what happens.
Describe how it felt to win a state title your senior year of high school.
Miller: It was good. I finished the way I always wanted too. It would have been a huge disappointment if I had not won the title my senior year. I also won the state title my freshman year and then transferred to a bigger high school. So, to win it at Fauquier (High) was awesome.
What is the biggest difference between high school and college?
Miller: College is just a grind. It is seven hard minutes every time, with someone that is just as good if not better than you. You have to work hard the entire time.
What were your expectations here at UVa?
Miller: I did not know where I was going to end up, weight wise. I have not had to cut weight at all which has allowed me to focus solely on wrestling and getting stronger and bigger. But I would say I did not have any expectations. I just wanted to get some mat time. I definitely did not expect to start.
What was it like growing up on a cattle farm?
Miller: I grew up in an area where it was pretty typical to live on a farm. On a typical summer day, I would have to get up and feed the cattle and work on the farm all day before practice. The farm has been in my family for nine generations.
What type of farm did you grow up on?
Do you plan on staying on the farm after you graduate?
Miller: Our entire family is involved in the farm. I would love to stay on the farm though.
What are your typical duties?
Miller: I do a lot of field work. I have had to pull a few calves. I was more the manual, grunt work type of guy.
What type of responses do you get when you tell people you grew up on a farm?
Miller: People are a little but shocked when I say I grew up on a cattle farm. Then they start asking a lot of questions.
You’re a big outdoors guy. What are some of your favorite things to do?
Miller: I really enjoy hiking. There are some great hiking spots close by the farm. I also love to walk around my farm with my dogs.
What are you going to major in?
Miller: I am not exactly sure yet. I am thinking environmental science or political science.
Why did you choose UVa?
Miller: I picked it because of academics and the coaching staff. Really, I just loved the program in general. It was a great fit. I also love history and this school has so much historical significance.
Spot on Grounds: The Lawn
Wrestling moment: Winning state my senior year
Class: Virginia Environmental Science
TV show: South Park
Music: Everything. I like old stuff, such as Grateful Dead. I also like Kanye as well. Zac Brown Band would have to be my favorite all around band. I am really all over the map.
Author: J.K. Rowling
Celebrity: Mike Tyson