AT COLORADO: Career—He set the school record for the most career games started with 47 (48 including the 2007 Independence Bowl), breaking the old marks of 45 overall (ILB Jordon Dizon) and 44 by an offensive player (held by two players); he started the last 37 games of his career. He became just the ninth player out of almost 2,000 lettermen to earn five letters in a CU uniform, as he missed the last eight games of the 2008 season with a broken fibula, but still played in four contests and more than enough plays to letter. From his redshirt sophomore through his senior seasons, he played 2,548 snaps, all but two of the team’s total. In 3,320 career plays, he allowed just five sacks, allowed only nine pressures and was called for 10 penalties, only four in his last three seasons. In his career, he had three position coaches: Jeff Grimes for his first two, then Denver Johnson for two, and Steve Marshall his senior year. Because of an injury well into his sophomore year, when he was able to letter, he earned five letters in his CU career, just the ninth football player to do so in the history of the school (and just the second since 1908).
2011 (Sr.)—He earned second-team All-America honors from Walter Camp (third-team by the Associated Press), with Rivals.com selecting him to its postseason first-team All-Pac-12 team; he was also a repeat member for the third time on the All-Colorado team, selected by the state’s NFF chapter. In the postseason, he was invited to and played in the East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. He played 850 snaps from scrimmage, all but one of the team total as the one he sat out was to allow another senior to finish the Arizona game. He graded out to 83.3 percent on the season, coming on strong the last half of the season (88.8 percent in the final six games), and posted 80 percent or better grades in 11 games, with a season-best 90.1 versus Arizona. He led the team with 40 “great effort blocks,” awarded for knockdowns, downfield blocks, touchdown blocks (which he had three) and blowing opponents off the line (not pancakes). He was called for just two penalties, and allowed a single quarterback pressure and just one sack. He was selected as a preseason first-team All-American by Blue Ribbon College Football, College Sports Madness and Phil Steele’s College Football (the latter also selecting him as a midseason first-team choice); Athlon Sports and The Sporting News selected him to their third-team preseason squads (the same five publications selected him on their preseason first-team All-Pac 12 squads). He was one of 65 players on the official watch list for the Outland Trophy, which is presented to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman (one of 14 guards to make the list); he also was on the official watch list for the Lombardi Award, which had 15 guards among its 125-man list. Phil Steele’s ranked him as the No. 1 guard in the entire nation, with Rivals.com ranking him as the No. 63 overall player (all positions) on its preseason season National Top 100 team. The coaches selected him as the Iron Buffalo Award winner following spring practice, the honor going to the player with the most outstanding strength and conditioning numbers.
2010 (Jr.)—In starting all 12 games at right offensive guard, he earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors from both the Associated Press and the league coaches. He earned first-team All-Colorado honors from the state’s chapter of the National Football Foundation (NFF) for the second straight season. He was one of two Buffaloes, along with Nate Solder, on the official watch list for the Outland Trophy (one of 63 candidates; Solder was CU’s second finalist in history so Miller will be gunning to be the third). He played every snap on offense, 847, joining Solder as the only two players to do so; with 753 positive plays, he graded out to 88.9 percent for the season, third-best on the team. He had the second-most finishing/knockdown (83) and touchdown (6) blocks, while allowing just two quarterback sacks and flagged only twice for penalties. He graded out at 90 percent or higher in 11 games, with his top game grade of 96 percent coming against Kansas State, when he also had a season-high 13 finishing blocks (he had five or more in a game nine times). In the preseason, he was ranked as the No. 12 guard in the nation by Phil Steele’s College Football, which also selected him as a preseason first-team All-Big 12 performer (as did The Sporting News). College Football Insiders.com selected him as a preseason honorable mention All-American.
2009 (Soph.-RS)—He earned honorable mention All-Big 12 Conference honors from the league coaches, while collegefootballnews.com selected him to its sophomore All-American squad (second-team). He also earned first-team All-Colorado honors from the state’s NFF chapter. He started all 12 games, seven at right guard where he opened the season, and five at right tackle when the line was shuffled for assorted reasons. He played 851 snaps from scrimmage (all but one of CU’s total on offense), plus another 27 plays on the FG/PAT unit on special teams and several others on the defensive unit (he blocked a field goal at Texas). He graded out to 83.8 percent on the season, second best among all the offensive linemen, with his 66 finishing/knockdown and five touchdown blocks also the second most on the team. He topped 80 percent or better for a game grade nine times, and had five or more F/K’s on seven occasions. He turned heads against Nebraska’s all-everything defensive end, Ndamukong Suh, who he neutralized as good if not better than any offensive lineman in the nation; Suh had five tackles, one of which was ruled a sack that replays showed should have been a batted ball instead of an intentional grounding call. His game grade against the Huskers was a season-high 89 percent, and his top F/K game came against Kansas when he had 11. He was moved inside from tackle once he returned from a broken fibula that forced him to miss the entire Big 12 Conference schedule the previous year. In the preseason, he was ranked as the No. 12 guard in the nation by Phil Steele’s College Football.
2008 (Soph.)—He was granted a medical hardship after missing the bulk of the 2008 season due to injury, thus he picked up an extra year of eligibility. He started the first four games at right offensive tackle but was lost for the season when he went down with a broken fibula on the second play of the second half against Florida State in Jacksonville. He had racked up 30.5 knockdown blocks in just 258 snaps from scrimmage (10 alone against West Virginia), when he graded out to his season-best 86 percent. He did not allow a quarterback sack and allowed just three pressures. The coaches named him one of the recipients of the Gold Group Commitment Award (for achieving excellence with class in several areas), despite missing two-thirds of the season, speaking to his positive attitude and approach. They had named him the recipient of the Joe Romig Award as the most improved offensive lineman in spring ball, and he also was the Iron Buffalo Award winner among the offensive linemen for hard work, dedication, toughness and total poundage for spring strength and conditioning. Phil Steele’s College Football tabbed him on its preseason second-team All-Big 12 team, also ranking him as the No. 40 offensive tackle in the nation.
2007 (Fr.)—He played for the first time in the fourth game of the season against Miami-Ohio and cracked the starting lineup in the second half opener at Kansas State. When all was said and done, he played in 10 games and started seven, including the Independence Bowl, at right offensive tackle in earning first-team Freshman All-America honors from The Sporting News (he was second-team by scout.com and third-team by collegefootballnews.com). TSN also selected him first-team Freshman All-Big 12. He became the first tackle to play as a true frosh at Colorado since Bryan Campbell, who played as a reserve behind Mark VanderPoel on the 1989 and 1990 teams, and when he started, that made him just the ninth true freshman to start a game on the offensive line at Colorado since freshmen were allowed to play again in 1972. He played 514 snaps from scrimmage, grading out to better than 80 percent four times. His top game grade was 83 percent against Oklahoma. He also had three touchdown blocks to give him a 54.0, allowed just one quarterback sack and was called for four penalties. Considered the top recruit in CU’s 2007 class, as he was unequivocally the top prep in the state of Colorado, it was assumed, and correctly, that he would play as a true freshman.
HIGH SCHOOL—Colorado’s Gatorade Player of the Year, he earned a host of All-America honors for his senior season, including Parade, USA Today (first-team), SuperPrep, Rivals.com, PrepStar and MaxPreps. He was selected to play in the prestigious U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio after the season (January 6), and he helped the West to a 24-7 win. Nationally, he was among the top five lineman in the nation by Rivals.com (No. 3), Scout.com (No. 3) and SuperPrep (No. 5), the latter ranking him as the No. 2 overall player at any position in the Midlands and placing him on its Elite 50 squad. The Sporting News ranked him as the No. 46 player in the nation overall. Rivals.com pegged him as the No. 23 overall player in the nation (one of 29 players awarded five stars). He was an All-Colorado selection by the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post (one of just two repeat selections), All-State (5A) and All-South Metro Conference. He was one of five finalists for the state’s high school athlete of the year for all sports in 2006 by Mile High Sports Magazine. He earned All-Colorado, All-State, all-league honors as a junior, when he was a Student Sports Underclassmen All-American and listed among the Rivals.com Underclassmen Top 100. As a senior, he started all 14 games at offensive tackle, averaging well over 10 pancake blocks per game, did not allow a quarterback sacks, was flagged for just one penalty and had five direct touchdown blocks. On defense, he exhibited solid skills at defensive end in registering 31 tackles, 20 solo with 12 for losses including five sacks, with 10 hurries, four passes broken up, two fumble recoveries with one forced. As a junior, he started all 13 games at tackle on offense, averaging over 10 pancake blocks per game, and saw spot duty at defensive end, making 12 tackles, three sacks and a pass broken up. He started seven games as a sophomore at offensive tackle (no defense). Top career games included a 13-10 win in the state 5A championship game over Mullen his senior year, when he had four tackles, including a quarterback sack that stopped one scoring drive, and two hurries, one of which caused an interception. He also chased down Mustang running back Phil Morelli after an 80-yard gain, stopping him at the 13; another score was saved when Mullen fumbled two plays later, preserving a 7-3 lead prior to halftime. In the state playoffs against Cherry Creek his junior year, he had 15 pancake blocks and helped the Rebels rush for over 400 yards in the win. Under coach Andy Lowry, Columbine was 13-1 his senior year (state champs), 11-2 his junior season (losing to Douglas County in the state semis) and 10-2 his sophomore season (reaching the second round of the playoffs). He also lettered three times in wrestling, posting a 13-3 record as a junior in the 285-lb. weight class, but had to give it up once he exceeded the maximum weight. He will letter four times in track this spring (throws), with career bests of 48-9 in the shot put and 147-0 in the discus.
ACADEMICS—He graduated with a degree in Anthropology in December 2011. He was an Honor Roll student in high school.
PERSONAL—Born July 6, 1989 in Littleton, Colo. His hobbies include outdoor sports such as four-wheeling and camping, playing the drums and line dancing; he also is an avid kite flyer, something he’s done since he was four years old, and was a Boy Scout, where he picked up another hobby, making arrowheads out of stone. He also loves jazz and knows sign language. His maternal grandfather, David Peterson, was an end on Colorado’s 1960 freshman team. He mentored younger students as a junior and senior in a special program at Columbine. He committed to Colorado midway through his senior season (October 25).