Jan. 3, 2003
Clemson cornerback Justin Miller has been named a first-team freshman All-American according to the Football Writers Association of America. The announcement was made Friday afternoon from the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix, the site of Friday’s National Championship game between Ohio State and Miami (FL).
This is the fourth first-team Freshman All-America selection for Miller. Earlier he was named by The Sporting News, Collegefootballnews.com and rivals.com.
The native of Owensboro, KY tied a Clemson record with eight interceptions in 2002 and he will rank in the top 10 in the nation and first in the ACC in that category when the final stats are announced next week. He tied the Clemson single season mark of eight also held by Robert O’Neal in 1989. Ironically, O’Neal was also a first-year freshman that year.
Miller ended the year with eight interceptions and nine passes broken up for 17passes defensed, tied for the team lead with Brian Mance. Miller also contributed 61 tackles, including 43 first hits. The tackle total was eighth on the team even though he started just eight games.
He also had 456 yards on 13 kickoff returns for a 35.1 average. Although he did not have enough returns to qualify for the NCAA stats, he did have enough to establish the Clemson single season record for kickoff return average (min 10 attempts). His return figures included an 80-yard return for a touchdown against NC State, his first kickoff return as a Clemson Tiger.
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