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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

The other Miller [w/ VIDEO]

Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat

The No. 18 Arizona Wildcats hosted the USC Trojans in a college football game Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010, at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. The visiting Trojans upset the Cats 21-24.
Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The No. 18 Arizona Wildcats hosted the USC Trojans in a college football game Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010, at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. The visiting Trojans upset the ‘Cats 21-24.

Terrence Miller’s seven-catch, 117-yard performance against USC on Saturday not only signified a career-game for the sophomore receiver, but also a yearlong learning process finally coming full circle.

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound inside receiver came to Arizona as a 17-year-old full of talent, but with that lack of collegiate experience and with that untapped potential came some bumps and bruises for Miller.

“”He got coached really hard by me last year, harder than he had ever been coached before,”” said inside receiver’s coach Garret Chachere. “”He got harder coaching than some of the older guys had because I needed him to perform under pressure in practice.””

While most young collegiate athletes might rebel at the sight of criticism, Miller absorbed it, showing Chachere flashes of the player he could be.

“”He just took it and kept on going,”” Chachere said. “”So I knew he had the makeup to be good and to play early and be able to deal with that pressure.””

Even as a “”raw youngin’,”” as receiver David Roberts described him, Miller had the looks of an NFL receiver. So much, in fact, that Chachere had to remind himself that he was dealing with a kid that could still be in high school.

“”He’s a young kid that in some places would still be in high school and still this year maybe still be in high school in some places,”” Chachere said of Miller, who will turn 19 in January. “”He’s a big kid in a lot of ways so as a coach you have to realize, don’t look at his size and say this is where he is, understand that he’s 18 years old and try to help him.””

Chachere helped him grow, and so did his teammates.

Miller cited Chachere, Roberts and fellow inside receiver William “”Bug”” Wright as his biggest mentors. But it was Miller who put in the work.

“”I know since I’ve got here I’ve gotten a lot bigger, stronger, faster, smarter, all the things that you need to do to become a great college player,”” said Miller, who said he idolizes Randy Moss and Terrell Owens.  

Through his first 17 games as a Wildcat, however, the receiver only racked up nine catches for 90 yards. But with both Roberts and Wright out due to injury against USC, Miller’s number was called and he rose to the occasion, leading the Wildcats in both catches and receiving yards.

“”It’s good to see. He’s a big target out there and really caught the ball over the middle well,”” said head coach Mike Stoops of Miller’s play. “”That was good to see (from) a guy who hadn’t played much.””

Miller may not have played all that much prior to Saturday, but because of his preparation, he was ready when his number was called. Chachere said Miller “”prepared himself for those moments,”” and Roberts said he even told his family he knew Miller would rise to the occasion. But no one was more sure of his ability than Miller.

“”I always have been very confident, I’m a confident person,”” Miller said. “”I’ve just been waiting and when I get my chance try to make the best of it and I feel like that’s what I did.””

While Saturday was certainly a milestone for Miller, it is most likely the first of many for the 18-year-old still working toward improvement. He certainly has the potential to be very good at Arizona, and there isn’t any indication he won’t eventually become exactly that.

“”Terrence is going to be a good player for us if he keeps doing what he’s doing and that’s working hard off the field, working hard on the field, staying focused and staying hungry,”” Chachere said. “”He’s a good kid and he’ll do that. He works hard, he’s a good kid and he’s got athletic ability. That’s a good combination.””

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