It's Official: Miller Leaving Clemson

CLEMSON – Clemson coach Tommy Bowden has lost an integral part of his defensive staff, and it's not linebackers coach David Blackwell or defensive line coach Ron West. <BR>

After much deliberation, star cornerback Justin Miller has decided to forego his senior season with the Tigers and declare himself eligible for the 2005 NFL Draft.

"I just felt the opportunity was there for me," Miller said at a press conference Wednesday morning. "I evaluated the whole process and it's not something that I rushed into and decided Monday night to go pro. … It's a decision I have to live with."

Miller, 20, said he and his mother, Donna Toomer, did extensive research and took advice from the NFL Draft advisory board as to where he would be projected to go in April's draft before he came to the decision.

"They said that I was around a high second-round pick," Miller said. "I still feel like I'm the best corner in the country."

Miller said Bowden gave him "positive" advice and was very helpful in the entire process. Miller also said the firing of defensive coordinator John Lovett had nothing to do with his decision.

Toomer, who was Miller's biggest advisor through all this, said even though she wanted her son to stay and finish his degree that she approved of his decision to go pro as long as he agreed to continue to work toward his degree.

"I don't know if he struggled with the decision as much as I did," she said. "It's a bittersweet moment. Education is very important and he knows that. He's got to get a degree because there is life after football."

Miller will now head to New Orleans to train with Tom Shaw, who is one of the leaders in preparing college players for the NFL combine.

"I wish I could stay," Miller said. "I've got a bunch of memories. … It's been a childhood dream of mine to play in the NFL."

Miller leaves Clemson ranked third in interceptions with 13. He also concluced his career with a kickoff return average of 30.68 yards per return, ranking as the top figure in ACC history, and the fourth best in NCAA history. Top Stories