Tim Williams was full of emotion during his career at the University of Alabama; so, it came as no surprise that when he named the next superstar pass rusher in line – he did it while dancing in a pile of crimson confetti following last year’s Southeastern Conference championship game.
“Christian Miller is next on the rise,” Williams said. “C. Mill is up and coming.”
Being handed the baton from one of the angry men of Alabama football is no easy task, but Miller has prepared for this moment and the coming fall will be his time to assault quarterbacks.
He signed in the Crimson Tide’s 2014 class with Rashaan Evans, Shaun Dion Hamilton and Keith Holcombe; however, Miller decided to redshirt and focus on adding weight to his 6-foot-4 frame. After seeing playing time in 2015 and being a part of a College Football Playoff national championship squad, the former five-star recruit says “he’s on track to being a marquee player.”
“I have the weight, strength, speed and a lot more confidence now that I know everything,” Miller said during his media viewing period this week. “I know the defense in and out, whether it’s Sam, Jack, nickel or rabbits. This is how I planned it and it’s starting to pay off.”
Miller’s plan, while contrary to popular opinion, was to sit his freshman year.
“Yes, honestly that was the whole thing coming out of high school,” he said.
“I was between 210 and 215 pounds as a senior, so realistically I knew I was going to put some weight on. I always had the idea of coming in here, working my tail off, and learning as much as a can. At the same time, I wanted to work on my degree off the field.”
Hailing from Columbia, S.C., Miller is scheduled to graduate with his degree in December and still has two years of eligibility remaining as a football player. He was a dynamic player on special teams a season ago; nevertheless, some of Miller’s best moment came as an edge rusher.
He collected a pair of sacks (-12) and 2.5 tackles for loss to go with 16 tackles.
Miller, now at 240 pounds, has the strength to attack and fight off offensive linemen is his pursuit of quarterbacks.
Regardless of head coach Nick Saban’s thoughts on affecting passers versus sacking them, the redshirt junior is locked on outperforming his predecessors.