Hard to believe, but there are under 60 days until the Broncos storm the Capital to take on the Hokies. As you may remember, last summer I embarked on the Herculean task of counting down a different roster spot for each remaining day until kickoff. So far this year, we're batting a thousand, so drop me notes of encouragement now and again so I can find the strength to get through the next couple months without breaking the streak.
We've got 53 days until kickoff...however, that number has yet to be officially assigned, so today we'll highlight a random numberless soul—Matt Miller
#53, Matt Miller, True Freshman, WR
Weight: 207 lbs.
High School: Capital High School, Helena, MT
How'd he get to The Blue™?
Miller was one of the stars of the 2010 recruiting class and one of the biggest stars to come out of the state of Montana in some time. Miller earned 12 varsity letters at Capital High from four years of domination in track and field, basketball, and football, but the latter was where he really made his reputation. Miller helped lead Capital to four consecutive state championship appearances—bringing home the hardware in the first three. He finished his career with records for single game receptions (10), receptions in a playoff game (nine), single season receptions (54), career receptions (108), receiving yards (1,751) and career touchdown receptions (23). As a senior, Miller was named the 2009 Montana Gatorade Player of the Year, Offensive State Player of the Year, earned first-team All-State honors as a receiver and cornerback and was second-team All-State as a punt returner. As an underclassman, Miller was named first-team All-State as a receiver and cornerback (junior year), and earned first-team All-State at corner, and second-team All-State as a receiver (sophomore year). As a senior, caught 50 passes for 828 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushed for 864 yards. On defense, Miller made 35 tackles, recorded five knockdowns, and had two interceptions. As a junior, he caught 54 passes for 932 yards and 15 TDs, and rushed for 663 yards and six scores...then made 39 tackles, two interceptions and one defensive TD as a junior. And I just now realized I could've just shown this video and saved myself a lot of typing (he's number 2).
He was offered by Arizona State, Arkansas, North Carolina, Oregon State, Stanford, and Washington State.
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Sunshine (Kip Pardue) from Remember the Titans
His whole high school career was a highlight.
Not winning a 4th state championship as s senior, I suppose.
Miller is a very intriguing player to watch this Fall. He has the size, speed, and skills to be an instant contributor, but I just don't know yet if the coaches will ask him to be one. He is about the same height as Austin Pettis with very similar speed, and if his hands are close to as good as AP's we'll have a four-year standout player on our hands. But when will Miller's eligibility clock start ticking? If Miller had come in even a year ago, the chances are good that he'd be suiting up...much like Kirby Moore did last year and Aaron Burks nearly did. However, this isn't a year ago...Aaron Burks (who nearly played as a true freshman in 2009) and Geraldo Hiwat had good Spring camps and Austin Pettis, Titus Young, Tyler Shoemaker, and Kirby Moore will return as top targets for Kellen Moore. So not only do the Broncos have NFL talent in Pettis and Young—they have a devastating combination of size and speed, and ridiculous depth everywhere else in the WR corps.
The only hope that Miller has of playing this year is the Bronco mantra that the best player plays, period. I will take it one further, though. I think that not only does Miller need to be the better player at the position (presumably, the H), but he can't be just marginally better—he needs to be much better. At the H...it's possible. Tyler Shoemaker has been inconsistent and Preston Minter, though he had a good Spring, will likely not be in the top 3 on the depth chart. Kirby Moore has a bright future, but doesn't have true breakaway speed. Heck, I might have just talked myself into it.
The coaches have a tough decision this Fall. Troy Ware has already been slated to grayshirt, so Miller is probably the lone hope for a true frosh contributor in 2010. If Miller is given the nod...look out—making the 2010 WR corps will be an amazing accomplishment. My prediction: Miller will be penciled in at "3" on the depth chart and will be ready to go if an injury occurs. Barring that, I think he'll play every game starting in 2011.
Completely made up fact
Montana recently changed their welcome signs to read: Welcome to Montana, home of sheep, tumbleweed, some of Yellowstone, and Matt Miller