Miller's time is nearly here

<b>WITH A CORNERBACK making the early leap to the NFL, Oregon State addressed a key need late in last year's recruiting process, signing the highly credentialed JC cornerback, Aaron Miller. BeaverFootball.com talks with the former high school All-American on earning his AA degree and about the one, two, three times he'll be on OSU's campus in the coming weeks and months.

Miller (6-2, 195), expected to contend for a starting spot in 2005 with the departure of Brandon Browner, will take in the annual spring game in Portland at the end of April. He'll return to OSU later this summer for a month-long stretch, and then make the final move to Oregon State in anticipation of fall camp.

"I'm planning on going out there for the spring game on the 30th -- just to hang around with the guys and say hi," said Miller. "Then I plan to go out there probably for about three weeks to a month during the summer so I can get used to it, get used to the system."

"Then I'll probably come back home, say all my goodbyes to my family, gather my things and head back out there in the beginning part of August."

Miller will earn his AA degree from Fresno City College with room to spare. The defensive playmaker will graduate in May.

"Everything looks really good," said the Fresno native. "I'll be more than over the requirements to get my AA degree so I'll be ready."

THIS PAST RECRUITING SEASON, Miller signed with Oregon State over offers from USC, Cal and Fresno State. Since LOI Day, Miller has been burning up the phone lines to the coach Mike Riley, cornerbacks coach Nigel Burton and the OSU staff in general.

"I've been talking to coach Riley, coach Burton, coach (Jim) Gilstrap, and coach (Greg) Newhouse a lot," said Miller. "I talked to coach Burton just last Wednesday and we set up a timetable."

MILLER WILL ARRIVE at OSU as a junior with 2 to play 2, but said he retains the possibility to get a third year back if he stays on track to graduate on time. For the here and now, he has all the credentials of an instant-impact player.

The high school All-American was the consensus top cornerback on the West Coast, the No. 37 rated prospect nationally by Scout.com and was a national consensus top 100 pick out of Edison High in 2002.

Miller dominated his senior year in high school. With teams scheming everything away from him, Miller logged 65 tackles and three INTs for Edison. After the season, he took home MVP honors in the Cali-Florida All Star game. As a junior, he picked off eight passes, returning three for scores -- he also blocked six kicks. Miller was named first team California all-state as both a junior and senior.

He signed with Oklahoma over offers from Michigan, LSU, USC and UCLA. Miller left Oklahoma after three semesters, taking the junior college detour at hometown Fresno City College. At FCC, he had six picks on the year, returning two for touchdowns and making a pair of INTs at crunch time during the Rams' playoff run.

A CORNERBACK who plays like a safety, Miller possesses a rare combination of speed (4.4 to 4.5 range), size and strength. His tenacity, big-play ability and ball-hawking style had several schools actually recruiting him at free safety out of both high school and junior college, but he said he'll play his more natural position of corner at OSU. FCC coach Tony Caviglia spoke of Miller's ability to shut down all comers last year to the Oregon Register-Guard.

"He is a great athlete with great speed -- He didn't get beat for a touchdown all year," said Caviglia.

It's been a long road to get to Corvallis and Miller is looking forward to making a splash when he arrives.

"Oh man, I'm ready," he said. "Ever since I came back from Oklahoma I've been ready to go back. I had a pretty good season last year and I'm just so ready to get back to the Division I level and get it done."

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