Boise State recruiting: When and where will WR Matt Miller make his impact with the Broncos?

The Broncos pulled off a recruiting coup in December, landing Montana's state player of the year WR Matt Miller. Miller, who was offered scholarships at BCS schools around the country, chose the Broncos for the chance to play wide receiver and have an impact right away. Will either happen?

After the jump, catch highlights of Miller in high school and debate where he fits in with Boise State's current roster. The Broncos got a good one with Miller. Where and when will he make his impact?

        Scout.com Rivals.com ESPN  
Player  School Height Weight 40 Stars Pos. Rank Stars Rival Rank Grade Pos. Rank Reviewed
QB Grant Hedrick Central HS, Oregon 6-1 180  n/a *** 56 *** 5.7 67 168 Yesterday
WR Matt Miller Capital HS, Montana 6-4 210 4.5 *** 89 *** 5.7 76 108 Today
DE Tyrone Crawford Bakersfield JC, CA 6-4 258  n/a *** JC **** 5.8 n/a n/a Tomorrow
TE Kyle Sosnowski Capital HS, Idaho 6-3 215 4.78 ** 119 ** 5.4 40 n/a Thursday
DB Bryan Douglas Nathaniel Narbonne HS, CA 5-11 170 4.4 *** 59 *** 5.5 73 98 Friday
DE Tyler Horn Mountain View HS, Idaho 6-4 225  n/a ** NR *** 5.5 40 n/a Monday
WR Troy Ware Vista HS, CA 6-2 175 4.55 ** 144 *** 5.6 76 120 Tuesday

 

Ratings courtesy of Scout, Rivals, and ESPN.

Video highlights of Matt Miller

High school career

Miller is being hailed as the best HS football player in the history of Montana since a certain QB named ... Ryan Leaf? Wait. This Ryan Leaf?

Ryan-leaf_medium

I give up. (via blogs.seattleweekly.com)

 

I guess Leaf was pretty good in high school because the heir to his Montana HS throne is one of the most accomplished players in state history. In addition to the stats and individual awards, Miller was part of a Capital HS team that won three straight state titles and had a fourth title run end in this year's state championship, the capper to Capital's state record 33-game winning streak.

Now, about those stats and individual awards:

  • 1,751 total yards and 18 TDs his senior season
  • 2009 Montana State Player of the Year
  • Two-time Class AA Offensive Player of the Year

Miller's offensive statistics look better combined because he was a dual-threat player during his time at Capital. He ran the ball and ran routes with equal effectiveness, and he even ended up under center at times. He was Vinny Perretta-esque in an Austin Pettis-Kirby Moore package. Oh, and he looks like Sunshine from Remember the Titans.

Offers

Boise State, Arizona State, Arkansas, North Carolina, Oregon State, Stanford, Washington State, Wyoming, Colorado State, Montana, Montana State, Harvard, Dartmouth

Miller was in high demand across the country and throughout the ranks of college football with everyone from BCS schools to whatever Dartmough plays in interested in the WR. Message board rumors say that Arkansas' Bobby Petrino flew up to visit Miller and that Stanford's Jim Harbaugh dropped by unannounced to watch a Ravens game. I can only assume Washington State's Paul Wulff dropped by to watch an episode of Coach.

Kudos to Boise State assistant head coach Brent Pease for reeling in Miller and maybe or maybe not offering free XBox.

Interest

Oregon

Scouting Report

The ESPN scouting report raves about Miller's receiving ability in between admonishments on quality of competition and suppositions about position change. Don't worry, Matt. I had the same thing happen to me with some college reference letters, and I still ended up with my safety school.

He has a good pair of hands, hand-eye coordination and can catch in traffic. Tracks the deep ball well. Builds speed as a long strider but top-end is good and he can deceptively get up the seam and create mismatches over smaller linebackers and safeties. Polished route runner who can be sharp out of his breaks on deep in/out cuts. After the catch he gets north quickly and can break arm tackles with large, strong frame. Physical kid who likes contact.

In many ways, the report was glowing as the only negatives that the ESPN scouts found were in outside factors that Miller cannot control. The most concrete fundamental flaw in Miller's game was the following:

Not a game-breaker though with elite speed or elusiveness; will be more of possession guy at the next level.

He runs a 4.5 40 and is not a game-breaker? Have you seen WAC defenses?

Player Mark Johnson will most likely confuse him for

Kirby Moore

How might Miller play as a true freshman? Is staying at wide receiver a sure thing?

Rumor has it that the Boise State coaching staff promised Miller that he could play wide receiver for the Broncos and that he would have the chance to play right away. Yeah, about that ...

Let's assume that Miller sticks at wide receiver. Here are the WRs on the current roster for 2010:

That would make for eight wide receivers on Boise State's roster without the addition of Minter or Johnston. There will be no budging Pettis or Young from the top two spots. Shoemaker and Moore are near certainties. And among the group of Burroughs, Potter, Hiwat, and Burks, one is sure to emerge as a dependable fifth receiver.

So where does that leave Miller?

Suppose that Miller lights it up in fall practice much the way that Burks did at times last year. Even if he has an August to remember, is there anything that coaches can do about it? If Boise State is serious at giving him an opportunity to play as a true freshman, then you have to wonder if a shakeup at WR is imminent. Will others leave? Will some change positions? Am I going to need to prepare myself for a world where Mitch Burroughs is the third TE?

Speaking of tight ends, Miller could become one according to scouting reports.

On offense, his continued physical development will likely dictate whether he ends up at tight-end or remains at receiver. H-back may actually be his ideal spot.

And if TE or H-back don't work out, there's always that outside linebacker to fall back on.

Could actually project on either side of the ball at a number of positions.

Defensively, we like his range, ball skills and size to play near box as a potential strong safety. Outside linebacker is a likely spot as well.

The fact that Miller can play anywhere is good news and bad news. The good news, of course, is that it provides the Broncos with all sorts of ways to use him creatively and get the most out of a very talented player. The bad news is that Miller is joining the Broncos on the pretense that he will be playing wide receiver. Is he going to be okay moving to a different position in a year or two?

Your turn

Do you want Miller staying at wide receiver for the Broncos? Do you think he can challenge for playing time in 2010? What do you think of his being recruited by other BCS schools? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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