ORONO – Several members of the University of Maine football team have already picked up early impressions on wide receiver Andre Miller.
“To be able to kind of throw it in any of his range, kind of Larry Fitzgerald I think of…if you miss high, or you miss low, he’s going to grab it,” quarterback Chris Ferguson acknowledged.
“Certainly that smile that he gives you, and how grateful he is to be here now, and what he had to go through,” head coach Joe Harasymiak said about what has stood out most from his first-year player.
Miller did have to go through a lot en route to Maine, more than what most Division I athletes do. A former multi-sport standout at Old Town High School, Miller was heavily recruited by UMaine his senior season playing football. His length and athleticism helped take Old Town deep into the Class C North playoffs that year, and put him on the radar as a future talent at Maine. But just as the Black Bears looked to move in on him, a roadblock got in their way.
The then-senior was ruled a non-qualifier due to SAT scores that didn’t reach the standard necessary to compete at the Division I level. With his options closing, Miller chose to go to play at Husson, where he spent most of the time on the sidelines due to injury. He then pursued an associates degree, which would eventually earn him three years of eligibility at Maine, beginning this season.
“It was pretty frustrating, but I want to say it was kind of more of a learning curve for me,” Miller said. “And I’ll be able to kind of hand the knowledge down to my brothers because they’re growing up fast too. They’re going to be going through the process soon now.”
As Harasymiak notes, Miller is a rare breed off the field as well.
“A lot of those guys in Andre’s situation, to be honest, they do not make it,” he said. “It takes a lot to look down the road and say, ‘two years from now, where will I want to be?’ And I give him a lot of credit.”
The third-year coach noted he plans to use Miller as part of his highly-athletic receiving corps, nicknamed “Top Flight.” And Miller couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of it.
“It’ll be an honor, because, representing the name on the front with the group of guys that we have in the locker room, it’ll just be a blessing, honestly,” he said. “I’m at a loss for words for it.”