After three years of waiting, Ricardo Miller is ready for the spotlight.
The 6’4, 235-pound athlete is transferring to UMass from Michigan via an NCAA rule that allows athletes to transfer, without sitting out a year, if they get their undergraduate degree and then pursue an advanced degree at a different school. Miller will graduate from Michigan in the spring – a year early – and get his Master’s Degree in Child Study and Early Education.
He will play football for the Minutemen as either a tight end, wide receiver, or both.
“I see myself as being very versatile and I have the speed to get by linebackers at tight end,” Miller said. “I also have enough speed to play the slot as an outside wide receiver at 235 pounds.”
Miller committed to Michigan during his junior year at Dr. Phillips High School, a football powerhouse in Orlando, Fla. He transferred to Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor for his senior year so his mother could be closer to her family and he could get used to the lay of the land.
He arrived at the University of Michigan as a wide receiver and was later moved to tight end. During his three years as a Wolverine he spent time on special teams but never quite cracked the offensive depth chart. He started looking at other schools for a chance to play, and UMass stood out.
During the 2012 season Miller’s former teammate, Mike Cox, carried the load for the Minutemen at running back. Cox transferred to UMass as a graduate student and tallied 715 yards and five touchdowns in his one season. During his four years at Michigan, Cox had 169 yards and two touchdowns.
“I was looking for an opportunity not given to me at Michigan for the past three years, and UMass to me is full of opportunity. I also liked what I saw during my visit there and noticed what Mike Cox did in one year there,” Miller said. “He said he had a great experience and that I would love it and fit in perfect with an exciting offense and be a huge impact and offensive threat.”
Miller will likely get an opportunity to make an impact early. UMass lost nearly half of its receiving yards with the graduation of both Alan Willams and Deion Walker (a graduate student transfer from Notre Dame).
During the transfer process, Miller has been talking to current Minutemen about the team. Specifically, he said he has gotten to know quarterback Mike Wegzyn and tight end Rob Blanchflower well. He added that he has been in contact with recruiting coordinator Shane Waldron and wide receivers coach Allen Suber.
Since Miller is not yet a UMass student, the football program is not allowed to discuss the transfer process. However, he said he will visit UMass during his spring break and is excited to be back on campus and around his future teammates.
When asked about what UMass fans can expect next year, Miller is optimistic.
“They can expect me to have a positive impact on UMass Nation and contribute significantly to UMass’ success in 2013.”
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