June 13, 2003
Sophomore cornerback Justin Miller has been named a preseason first-team All-American for the 2003 season by The Sporting News. The publication cited Miler as the second-best cornerback in the nation.
Miller, a native of Owensboro, KY, was a unanimous freshman All-American last year after leading the ACC and ranking fifth in the nation with eight interceptions. He tied the Clemson freshman record for passes defensed with 17 and the overall record for interceptions in a season, records set by Robert O’Neal in 1989. Miller also had 61 tackles and caused two fumbles during his freshman campaign. He led the ACC in interceptions and kickoff return average (35.1). His kickoff return average was the third highest in ACC history.
In addition to Miller’s honors, three other Tigers were mentioned among the best at their respective positions by the publication. Derrick Hamilton, who is the only Clemson player to catch over 100 passes in his first two seasons, was ranked as the No. 16 wide receiver in the nation. John Leake, who ranked in the top five nationally last year in total tackles with 169, was cited as the No. 17 outside linebacker in the country. Aaron Hunt, who needs 65 points to become Clemson’s all-time leading scorer, was ranked as the nation’s 15th-best kicker.
The Clemson wide receiving corps was listed as the nation’s eighth-best unit. That group will be led by Hamilton and Kevin Youngblood, who combined for 111 catches last season. Youngblood was listed as the most physical receiver in the ACC. Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, who established several records in his freshman year, was dubbed as having the ACC’s strongest arm.
Preseason All-ACC teams were also announced in the publication. Hamilton and Miller garnered first-team honors. John Leake were listed as second-team selections.
Clemson will kick off its season at home on August 30 in a matchup against defending SEC Champion Georgia.
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