December 29, 2010

Miller compared to Bulldog great

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Woodstock native and UCF defensive end Bruce Miller hasn't met former Georgia great David Pollack but would certainly like to one day.

Considering he's been compared to the former Bulldog great, Miller said Wednesday he couldn't receive higher praise.

"That's quite a comparison and quite a compliment to have," Miller said. "I just hope I can keep playing hard."

Like Pollack, because Miller played a multitude of positions at Woodstock High, he wasn't ranked high on most recruiting boards.

At 238 pounds he was considered a bit undersized.

But as the two-time Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year has proven, it's what inside that often matters the most.

His statistics seem to back up the Pollack comparison quite nicely.

A two-time Conference-USA Defensive Player of the Year, Miller (6-foot-2, 248) owns the UCF record for sacks with 34, a number that ranks him first in the nation among active players and fifth all-time in the FBS since sack records began being kept in 2000.

Ironically, Pollack sits just ahead of Miller with 36 career sacks.

"I think it's a great comparison. I think physically they were about the same size. I remember watching David play and he was a guy who gave you everything that he had on every down, every play. He played with a tremendous passion and that's the same way Bruce is," UCF defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable said. "He just loves to give you everything he has on every down. It's the same in practice."

Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo remembers Miller from his high school days.

But while he liked his skill and former Woodstock coach Mike O'Brien raved about his skills, Bobo said the Bulldogs were reluctant to make on offer because of Miller's size.

"He was a little bit of a tweener in high school. I know his coach (O'Brien) was extremely high on him and we knew the guy could play, but we just weren't sure how big he was going to get. It's not an exact science, but I don't think there's any doubt he can play in our league, or any league."

As for those Pollack comparisons, Bobo said he can't argue with them.

"He's relentless. You turn on the tape and here's a guy who not only plays hard, but he is relentless in his pursuit of the ball and he makes a ton of plays," Bobo said. "But it's his motor that sets him apart. You like guys who play with a lot of energy and even looking at him on tape; he plays hard and gets after it every single play."

Miller admits Friday's game means more to him than most.

Although he insists he won't be thinking about it once the ball is snapped, getting the chance to play against his boyhood team is something he's not bound to forget.

"I was definitely pulling for Georgia, just being from that area," Miller said. "Georgia was the hometown team. I loved the red, the black, the grey uniforms; I loved watching certain players, especially guys like Pollack."

Besides attending his share of Bulldog games in Sanford Stadium, Miller said he attended several camps at UGA throughout his high school career.

But an offer never came.

"It didn't hurt," Miller said. "I was excited about the opportunity to attend UCF and it's been a great move for me."

Huxtable, who recruited Miller from Woodstock, knew he had a gem the first time he saw him.

"I can remember being at Woodstock High school and talking to Bruce in Coach O'Brien's office. I sat down with Bruce, a square-jaw kid with that bright red hair. He's a wide-eyed kid, look you in the eye type guy and after just spending one or two minutes with him I felt like I've known him forever," Huxtable said. "When you watched his highlight film he was playing tight end, he was playing fullback, he was playing linebacker, he was playing defensive end. He was running down on every special team and you could just see that he was a whole football player who played with great effort and had great athleticism because of all the things he was doing."

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