Miller Named to Thorpe Award's Watch List


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Clemson, SC --- Clemson sophomore cornerback Justin Miller has been

named as one of the preseason candidates for the 2003 Jim Thorpe

Award. The Thorpe Award, which is named after one of the best

all-around athletes in history, is presented annually to the nation's

best defensive back.

Miller, who led the ACC and ranked fifth in the nation with

eight interceptions during his freshman season, is projected as one

of the nation's best defensive backs. The native of Kentucky

finished last season with 61 tackles, nine passes broken up, and two

fumbles caused.

The only true freshman to play for Clemson in 2002, Miller

excelled in the return game, taking his first kickoff all the way

back for a touchdown against NC State. He led the ACC with a Clemson

all-time record 35.1 yards per return. Earlier this summer he was

named a preseason candidate for the Bronko Nagurski Award, which is

given to the top defensive player in the nation.

The Thorpe "watch list" will be narrowed to 10 semifinalists

on November 3 and then to three finalists the Monday before

Thanksgiving. The finalists will gather at Disney World for the

College Football Awards Show on December 11 where the winner will be

announced on ESPN.

Players on the list have been named preseason All-American or

Honorable Mention All-American in at least six preseason football

magazines. A candidate must be listed as high as third-team

All-American in at least one publication or as a fourth-team or

honorable mention in at least three of these publications. Justin

Miller is listed as a first-team All-American by the Sporting News

and he is ranked as the number-two cornerback in the nation by that

publication.

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