Nov. 9, 2004
Clemson cornerback Justin Miller has been named a semifinalist for the 2004 Jim Thorpe Award. The award is given to the top defensive back in the nation each year. Miller was one of 12 semifinalist announced on Tuesday. The three finalists will be named on November 22 and the winner will be announced December 9.
Miller was joined on the list by Antrel Rolle of Miami (FL), Carlos Rogers of Auburn, Jason Allen of Tennessee, James Butler of Georgia Tech, Thomas Davis of Georgia, Jim Leonhard of Wisconsin, Mitch Meeuwsen of Oregon State, Brandon Payne of New Mexico, Ernest Shazor of Michigan, Corey Webster of LSU and Jimmy Williams of Virginia Tech.
Miller is the third Clemson player to reach the national semifinals of the Thorpe Award selection process. Antwan Edwards reached the final 10 in 1998 and Robert Carswell reached the final 12 in 2000. Miller is the first Clemson player to reach the semifinals of any position award since 2001 when Kyle Young was one of five finalists for the Rimington Award and Woody Dantzler was named one of 12 semifinalists for the O’Brien Award.
Miller has been one of the top all-around players in the nation this year. He has 10 passes defensed on seven passes broken up and three interceptions. He has contributed 47 tackles, including 40 first hits to a Clemson defense that ranks 14th in the nation in pass efficiency defense. He now has 13 career interceptions to rank third in Clemson history in that category.
Miller also leads the nation in kickoff returns and ranks 15th in punt returns. He has also completed a pass and rushed the ball on offense in 2004. Miller has 661 kickoff return yards and 313 punt return yards, giving him 974 return yards for the season, second most in Clemson history and just 100 return yards shot of Derrick Hamilton’s single season record.
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