“But as someone who shed tears of joy getting to see Taylor at the Eras Tour earlier this year, I’ll take it,” Katie Miller tells PEOPLE
Meet the Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift of college football: Cole Kramer and Katie Miller.
Kramer, a fifth-year backup quarterback for the Minnesota Gophers, was ready for the next chapter of his life — stepping into a career beyond football, moving to Arizona and marrying Miller — when he got the chance of a lifetime, according to The Star Tribune.
“I kind of had my mind made up that I was going to be done — just with everything going on in my life,” Kramer told the Minnesota newspaper.
Then, he got a call from Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck.
As the team prepared to take on the Bowling Green Falcons in Tuesday’s Quick Lane Bowl, they found themselves “out of quarterbacks,” Fleck told The Star Tribune.
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Three days after a tough loss to Wisconsin last month, the Gophers’ former starting quarterback, Athan Kaliakmanis, entered the NCAA transfer portal along with freshman quarterback Drew Viotto, per the newspaper.
Suddenly, freshman walk-on Max Shikenjanski was the team’s only remaining quarterback — and they needed someone more experienced for the bowl game at Ford Field in Detroit. They needed Kramer.
“I got some calls that I would be the starting quarterback, and as a kid that grew up in Minnesota, that was my dream ever since I was little,” he told The Star Tribune.
So, with a little encouragement from his fiancée, Miller, Kramer agreed to end his career with a bang. He led the Gophers to a 24-30 victory in his first and only college career start.
But it was his relationship with Miller that stole the show — and drew comparisons to NFL it-couple Kelce, 34, and Swift, 34.
During ESPN’s coverage of the game, Miller appeared frequently on-screen, and commentators could not seem to stop talking about the engaged couple and their upcoming nuptials.
“One thing about the [Quick] Lane Bowl is you’re gonna know Cole Kramer and Katie Miller are getting married,” one post on X (formerly Twitter) read. One user replied, “Feels like I’m watching a chiefs game.”
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Also on X, one user wrote, “congrats to Cole Kramer and Katie Miller on winning the Quick Lane Bowl (they are getting married btw),” while another joked, “Any chance ESPN+ shows Cole Kramer’s wedding?”
Of the seemingly non-stop pans to his fiancée, Kramer tells PEOPLE, “I definitely was not expecting all of that coverage, but she is beautiful so I can’t blame them.”
“Katie has been selfless in the way she supports me since day one,” he adds. “It’s always a comforting feeling to know I have her cheering me on both on and off the field.”
Miller tells PEOPLE she was also surprised by the coverage, and was “excited to just be along for the ride for whatever came our way.”
“I think the most fun things in life come from saying yes to opportunities that weren’t necessarily part of the original plan,” she adds.
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As for the Kelce-Swift comparisons? She says it’s a bit of a “reach,” but will “take it.”
“Being featured as much as I was at the game wasn’t something that I ever anticipated, but at the end of the day I was just pumped to be there supporting Cole and the rest of the team in their victory,” she tells PEOPLE. “I do think being compared to Taylor Swift is a bit of a reach, but as someone who shed tears of joy getting to see Taylor at the Eras Tour earlier this year, I’ll take it.”
After the Gophers’ win, local outlet FOX 9 asked Miller if it was worth it to put her and Kramer’s personal life on hold for the bowl game, and she replied, “Absolutely.”
“I knew it would be worth it from the beginning,” she continued. “I feel like I was the one who was a little more spontaneous in telling him, ‘Absolutely, you should go do it.’ I had every bit of faith that he would get the job done.”
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Miller — who evoked Swift’s gameday attire in a fuzzy red coat — also shared a tribute to Kramer after the game on Instagram.
Alongside photos of the couple hugging and holding the bowl game trophy, she wrote, “By your side every step of the way.”
“The most humble & hardworking guy, you deserve every good thing and more,” she continued. “So incredibly proud of you and the strength and humility you’ve shown throughout this chapter of your life. I adore you #12… Now lets get MARRIED!!!!”
The couple got engaged in May 2022, and Miller documented the milestone with another sweet post.
“You’re the boy I’ve prayed for since I was young and now I get to love you til I’m old,” she wrote alongside a collection of engagement photos. “Only God could have done this & I’ll be thanking Him for it for the rest of my life. I CAN’T WAIT TO BE YOUR WIFE.”