The name Anthony Miller suggests a variety of descriptions to different people. To some he is the embodiment of the perfect teammate, willing to do what is necessary for his team's success without care for his own person. To others he serves as a symbol of leadership, displaying the courage required for success. Above all, he is a stand-up individual, humble and courteous, yet competitive and willing to sacrifice for triumph.
The locker-room rivalry sprang early in their careers. Anthony Miller, according to Coach Greg Schiano, had stated that he was the first verbal commitment of the 2004 Rutgers recruiting class. "Z", whose official commitment date is identical to that of Anthony's, had a different take. To the disappointment of all those in attendance at the Hale Center, Coach Schiano wasn't about to put an end to the newborn competition - "Only I know who the first commit was." More than one year has passed since Anthony and "Z" first committed, and the mystery continued...the competition, both a testament of loyalty and pride displayed to their state and their state university, Rutgers. To this date, there was no first commit to the 2004 class - the first commit came as a pair.
When we had a chance to put the issue to rest, more than one year after its initial emergence, Anthony was more than willing to discuss it. "I think Mike might have committed a few minutes earlier." At the time, Anthony had thought he was the first to commit. Indeed, that was his intention. Only later was he informed that someone else had already committed. That someone else was, of course, future teammate Mike Ziarnowski.
Coming off a brutal campaign the previous year, Coach Schiano could hardly have been more ecstatic when a player of Anthony Miller's caliber (1st Team All-State as a Junior) had a desire to be the first commitment. "I didn't want to leave New Jersey. I wanted to help put Rutgers back on the map," stated Anthony.
His sophomore and junior years at J.P. Stevens were glorifyingly successful. He emerged on the radar of most schools when he caught for over 600 yards his junior year, helping him to attain the honor of 1st Team All-State. As one of the top three or four at his position in the talent rich state of New Jersey, Anthony was poised to make it on the national radar. That is, until J.P. Stevens was no longer with a seasoned signal-caller. "I like having the ball in my hands. I went to the coaches and told them I would have no problem learning the position." Learning a completely different position meant less of an opportunity for scouts to evaluate Anthony - they would, no doubt, be turned off by the switch and he undoubtedly knew this. Despite starting anew, Anthony still managed to throw for over 800 yards while leading his team to the the playoffs. It is exactly this type of character, willing to sacrifice his personal success for the good of the team's, that has set Anthony Miller apart.
Despite being in football off-season, Anthony continues to train with an eye to June 28, and beyond. Competing in the 100m and 200m for the track team this spring has created a faster speedster than Rutgers fans are used to. "My track time has gotten better in the 100 and 200, but I haven't been timed in the 40." Lifting with former and future teammate Jeremy Zuttah, Anthony has his eyes set on his preferred weight somewhere in the mid 180's range.
With his trademark Yes sir succeeding every question, Anthony began to speak with a sense of passion - if not quite a devotion one would expect of fans that have been cheering for Rutgers for decades - when the discussion tended toward the state of New Jersey and Rutgers. Known for having been instrumental in the recruiting efforts that landed Jeremy Zuttah, Anthony acknowledges discussing Rutgers with his fellow underclassmen. "They want to put Rutgers on the map the same way people respect the Miamis of the world." If all high school underclassmen would possess only a fraction of this young man's unquestioned sense of duty to Rutgers, one might mistaken the dwindling of top rated New Jersey athletes to all schools but Rutgers for an actual wall erection around the state boundary. "I think New Jersey has got a lot of talent and once we get it going they're all going to want to stay here."
For now, Anthony wants to keep things simple - "I really want to make it to a Bowl game. Rutgers almost made it last year.
"And, I want to be the best wide-out in Rutgers history."
Mike and the Big Dog's LLC
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