CLEMSON -- Justin Miller, meet Broadway. Broadway, Justin Miller.
The former Clemson cornerback landed in New York with the 57th overall pick in last weekend's NFL Draft. Having been projected as a possible late first round choice, Miller was still available when the Jets' pick - 25th in Round Two - came around.
Head coach Herman Edwards and his staff jumped at the chance to grab Miller, who will enter camp as the team's No. 1 kick returner in addition to battling for playing time at cornerback. Miller set an ACC record by averaging 30.7 yards per kickoff return in 2004, and set a school mark with five career kick returns for touchdowns.
He finished third in school history with 13 interceptions, fourth in passes defensed (44).
”I provide a lot for my team,” Miller told the Jets website. “I provide a lot of energy and aggression, and a lot of physical work on the corner. As far as a return man, I’m going to bring a lot of energy to the team. I'm going to make things happen.
"I'm going to get out there and try to score every time I can.”
The fact that Miller was still around 57 picks into the draft has some believing his recent arrest for disorderly conduct caused some NFL teams to back away from him. Still others say middle-to-late second round was about where Miller projected in the first place.
The Jets, for their part, are saying only they can help Miller's maturation process. And apparently Miller agrees.
“I think we all go through a learning experience,” Miller told the website. “I’m still getting older, I’m still growing, and I’m still maturing. I’m learning new things everyday.”
Two of Miller's teammates also were drafted over the weekend.
Linebacker Leroy Hill was taken in the third round (98th overall) by the Seattle Seahawks. Wide receiver Airese Currie was taken in the fifth round (140th overall) by the Chicago Bears.
Hill, the reigning ACC Defensive Player of the Year, said in an interview on Seahawks.com that he thought he would have been drafted higher than 98th overall, but "It’s been a long process, and I’ve been working hard waiting for this day to come. It finally came, and I’m glad that I got picked.
"I was hoping to go earlier, but as long as I got picked, that’s a relief."
Meanwhile, Currie was selected by the only team for whom he held a personal workout.
"I feel real happy about the selection," Currie told the Bears' website. "I kind of figured that's where I was going to end up anyway. I had a real good feel for the Chicago Bears when I went up there for my personal interview with them at the beginning of this month, so I kind of expected Chicago to pick me."
Some teams may have hedged a bit on Currie because of a stress fracture in his foot which required surgery late last month.
But the Bears never batted an eye.
"He can flat-out fly," said Bears director of college scouting Greg Gabriel on the team's website. "He's a very fast, quick, inside receiver. He made plays at Clemson. When you put on the tape, you see the speed and that's the important thing for us."
Free Agents Signings
Vontrell Jamison - St Louis Rams
Ben Hall - Tennessee Titans
Eric Coleman - Minnesota Vikings
Dan Scott covers Clemson University for the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Messenger and TigerNet. He also hosts SportsTalk from 9 a.m.-Noon, Monday-Friday, on WCCP-Fm, 104.9. Click here for Dan Scott's SportsTalk discussion board.