Late bloomer Mike Lindsay, nephew of Reggie Miller, is rewarded with football scholarship



When Bishop Alemany two-sport standout Mike Lindsay was 11 and playing against his uncle Reggie in a game of Around the World, he remembers being so close to victory.

“I’d be talking crazy and all this trash,” he said.

Except uncle Reggie was no regular uncle. He was NBA Hall of Famer Reggie Miller.

“He’d come back and hit every shot,” Lindsay said. “He made nine in a row.”

Lindsay has some good genes. His mother, Tammy, is the youngest of the Miller siblings. She played volleyball at Cal State Fullerton. Aunt Cheryl is also a basketball Hall of Famer. Another uncle, Darrell, played in the major leagues.

So it’s surprising that most college scouts showed little confidence in Lindsay’s athleticism. He was the perfect late bloomer. He had sprouted to 6 feet 2 and 175 pounds after being 5-8 as a sophomore. He turned 17 only last August. He didn’t play football as a freshman because COVID-19 wiped out the season and played junior varsity as a sophomore at Granada Hills before transferring to Bishop Alemany as a junior.

In his senior year playing cornerback and receiver, he might have been the best player on a 1-9 team. He was a first-team All-Mission League selection. He runs 40 yards in 4.5 seconds and used to be a youth track star. The season ended with no scholarship offers even though he used social media to highlight his accomplishments.

Idaho State recruiters eventually saw his film. One of them, former St. John Bosco quarterback Keith Price, is the receivers coach. Recruiters came out to watch Lindsay play basketball and saw him dunk. He went on a recruiting trip, loved the Idaho State coaches and the school. They told him they were offering him their last scholarship. He accepted and will sign his letter of intent Wednesday, then head to play in a Southern Section 3A basketball playoff game.

“I had to be extremely patient,” Lindsay said. “They gave me their last scholarship. I’m grateful. I’m thankful, but I know I can play with all those guys. They saw what’s in me. They saw what I’ve been seeing.”

Lindsay knows he’s fortunate because in this new era of the college transfer portal, schools have gone away from recruiting late bloomers. Coaching jobs are on the line and the option to bring in older, more experienced players with a track record has been gaining traction.

“If I’m being honest, it kind of sucks for high school players now,” Lindsay said. “If I was a sophomore or junior, it makes it three times as hard because why do they want you if you can get a player two years older and stronger with experience?”

The day after his football season ended, even though he didn’t know what the future would hold, he joined the basketball team. Playing multiple sports is something he’s always done. He’s a starting guard for a 15-15 Bishop Alemany team. With his family background, he’s always liked basketball and ignored those telling him to choose a sport.

“I couldn’t leave basketball and didn’t want to stop football,” he said.

Bishop Alemany football coach Casey Clausen thinks Idaho State is getting a steal.

“Great kid,” he said. “He stayed patient. In today’s world, less than 5% of kids who go into their senior year without an offer get one, and to get one based on performance is unheard of. It’s phenomenal.”

“We’re a football family now,” Lindsay said.

Well, sort of. He’s still trying to figure out how to beat uncle Reggie in a shooting contest.

Don’t think that’s happening, but who would have thought a JV player from just two years ago would be headed toward playing college football in the fall?

“I just needed one college and they believed in me,” he said.



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