No. 84 Jay Miller – Receiver – 1972-1976
Back in the 1970’s the greatest quarterbacks in the nation were throwing for about 2,500 yards and the average quarterback was around 1,500 yards as the running game was still dominating the sport.
If you wanted to be a top ten receiver you needed to catch about 700 yards in a season. In 2019, to be a top ten receiver, you’ve got to be around the 1,400 mark.
There isn’t a lot of information about Jay Miller and his career outside of his statistics, but for the first year of Miller’s career he had a combined six catches for 40 yards. His sophomore season however was a special one seeing him lead the NCAA in receiving yards with 1,181 yards.
The next three seasons however saw Miller only catch 14 more passes because of injury. If Miller was able to lead the NCAA in receiving yards as a sophomore, and had he stayed healthy, not only would be probably be featuring him in our top 10 off all time, he may be a top 25 receiver of all time in the NCAA.
Miller had one really good season in 1973 and the team went 5-6. Granted, if Miller didn’t play the team may have gone 2-9 or worse but to lead a team to a 5-6 overall record and then not really be a factor for the next three years of a career doesn’t exactly equal out to be a great impact player.
Again, if Miller stays healthy, he is likely a top 10 player overall and has an A+ ranking in every single category. For the one season we do have of him though, it was special. Leading the NCAA in receiving yards and catches, fourth in touchdown catches with eleven, and he had a season high 22 catches against New Mexico. In fact, during the New Mexico game, Miller went off for 263 receiving yards and three touchdowns. The crazy things about that game is his long was a 33 yard catch showing that it wasn’t like it was two or three long passes that got him to 150 and then then the 19 for the final 110 yards, it was a consistent game for him.
Memorable Moments C
I wasn’t watching college football back in 1973, but for those of you who were, I’m sure you remember hearing about the receiver who went off for 263 yards in one game and led the NCAA in receiving yards that season, especially in a time when running the ball was king. It really is unfortunate that injuries kept Miller off the field for the majority of the remainder of his career, but at least we have one really good season to remember him by.