Not long now, friends. Not long at all.
We've got 2 days (roughly) until kickoff...so today we'll highlight the player wearing #2 on the Bronco roster—Matt Miller
#2, Matt Miller, Sophomore, WR
Weight: 215 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 since Evel Knievel. 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. He was offered by Arizona State, Arkansas, North Carolina, Oregon State, Stanford, and Washington State.
Of course, if he's better than he was last year, we'll all be living the Miller high life.
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I hate to do this to Matt again, but you have to admit...the kid takes a very Ted Cassidy-like picture.
Named to 2012 Biletnikoff Award pre-season watch list. Played in all 13 games for the Broncos in 2011 as a redshirt freshman, with 8 starts. Set Bronco single-season records for a freshman with 62 receptions, 679 yards, and 9 TDs. Named 1st team Freshman All-American by the FWAA and 2nd team Freshman All-American by Yahoo Sports. Beyond these accolades, I'd say his whole high school career was a highlight.
Last season, I was mildly surprised to see Matt Miller ascend to the top of the depth chart over Geraldo Boldewijn. Not because I thought that Boldewijn was better per sé...but because it was our understanding that Miller—who hadn't even suited up for Spring Camp—was still hampered by his Achilles tendon injury...and Boldewijn had been getting all the preseason love. Now, with the benefit of hindsight...I wonder how the race between Boldewijn and Miller was even that close. Miller is clearly the superior talent at the X receiver position, where his combination of sneaky speed, soft hands and long arms make him very tough to cover. Last season, I predicted that Miller would have at least 400 yards receiving...and he easily eclipsed that—setting the freshman single-season record with 679 yards and 9 TDs (including this one). Marks previously held by Austin Pettis, who as I recall had a pretty good career with the Broncos. So, what will Miller do as an encore to his All-American 2011 campaign? Man, I can't wait to find out.
The scary thing about Miller this season is that he's had the benefit of Spring and Fall camps to perfect his technique, get stronger and faster (Miller admits that last season he was "pretty slow"). Maybe more importantly, Miller now has the versatility to play all over the field:
"Now I can play any receiver spot," he said. "With an offense like ours, that’s so complex, you’re never going to be a true master of the offense, but you can be really dang close to it, and that’s my goal."
You had me at "dang close to it".
I'd be surprised if Miller didn't lead the team in all receiving categories this year and I think is headed for an all-conference season. Maybe, just maybe, he'll flirt with the 1,000 yard mark (Southwick's play will determine how much flirtation with 1k is really there). It's rare nowadays when players are as good as advertised, but the Montana legend certainly fits the bill.
Completely made up fact
When Miller received his All-American certificate, he asked if he could exchange it for something more familiar to the Montanan. They sent him this: