Three St. Joseph football players each signed a National Letter of Intent to play in college Wednesday.
Though their paths were all a bit different, they each have the same goal moving forward: To make an impact at the next level.
Mason Biely spent all four years with the Knights and came up to the varsity level as a freshman.
Biely signed with Kansas Wesleyan during a ceremony inside St. Joseph's Hofschulte Gymnasium. Biely was joined by two brothers who only played one season at St. Joseph.
Tim Miller, a linebacker, signed his letter to play football with Cal Poly, following in the footsteps of dad Jim Miller, who was a left guard for the Mustangs in the 1980s.
Joseph Miller, a receiver, signed to play with Rocky Mountain College, located in Billings, Montana.
The Miller brothers came to St. Joseph for one season from Mission Prep after the Royals dropped down to 8-man football for 2017.
One common theme between all three of them, though, was that they made it to the four-year level out of a smaller high school environment.
"This should just help people realize that small schools can put these type of athletes out there," said Biely, who'll be playing at the NAIA level for the Coyotes in Salina, Kansas. "The amazing coaching staff here is what really helped me become the player I am today."
Biely caught 41 passes for 850 yards and nine touchdowns during his high school career. He said he expects to play receiver at KWU, but may also see some time at safety or even cornerback for the Coyotes. Biely also had 80 tackles in his career and two interceptions.
"They want me to primarily play wide receiver, but they want to see what I can do on defense as well," Biely said. "So I'll probably come in as an athlete and just keep it rolling from there."
Biely also knows how to play through adversity. He played his sophomore season with a serious ankle injury and returned from a devastating hit to the head against Santa Ynez during his senior season.
Biely said he put some into continuing his football career after sustaining so many injuries in high school.
"It was a struggle. I definitely had to sit down with my family and have some major discussions," Biely said. "It was scary, yeah. But I know I can bounce back. I've bounced back from injuries before. I played my whole sophomore season with a fractured ankle. I can come back, obviously."
Tim Miller said Cal Poly, his hometown school, was always a place he envisioned playing at.
"I was always kind of in contact with them," Tim said of Cal Poly, which went 1-10 last season. "I've always been talking with them since I'm from around here. Just recently, though, when I took my visit it really became more of a reality. It was like this is where I wanted to be."
Tim Miller said playing for a school he has close ties to was also a major selling point.
"It's an awesome tradition they have at Cal Poly, just in general," Tim said. "It's a great football school and I've had uncles and my dad who have gone there. That makes it just that much more special to be able to play in the same uniform they were playing in."
Tim Miller expects to play inside at the linebacker position for the Mustangs, something he did well for the Knights last season. Miller, at 6-foot, 215 pounds, made 115 total tackles last season for the Knights, with 50 solo stops and six tackles for loss.
Joseph Miller was the scoring threat for the Knights on the outside last season. The 6-foot, 180-pound receiver had 36 catches for 691 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Joseph Miller said leaving Mission Prep to play at St. Joseph was a critical move for he and his brother. That move paid off.
"It's been crazy. I love my years at Mission and I wouldn't change those. Honestly, coming to St. Joe's was a lifesaver," Joseph Miller said. "It's what we had to do. Being here definitely provided me with the opportunity to be where I am today. I'm more than grateful for everything St. Joe's has done for me and my brother."
Joseph Miller says the brothers have never spent more than two weeks apart, meaning the transition in college make take some getting used to.
"That's going to be a new experience," Joseph said. "I'm confident that my new home will fit me really well."
Joseph Miller had a few NAIA schools to choose from, but ultimately landed on RMC, which was his first official visit.
"I just went through the process and was thinking things through before I verbally committed and it came down to them and Montana Tech," Miller said. "It was a tough decision, there was a number of factors I liked about both schools. But I just knew from the moment I got on Rocky that it was home."