We’re back again today to count down the top 100 Auburn recruits of all-time* with two-a-days! Yesterday, we we took a look at two quarterbacks who weren’t able to live up to the hype. We start off today with Patrick Miller, a right tackle with plenty of promise who was never able to blossom for the Tigers.
Coming out of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Miller was a late flip for the Tigers in Gene Chizik’s last class at Auburn. The 4* tackle was originally an LSU commit, and everything seemed like it was lining up for him to play for Les Miles and co. But days after the purple Tigers couldn’t cross midfield in New Orleans, it was announced Miller not only was flipping to Auburn, but that he had already enrolled in classes on the Plains!
Patrick Miller, as mentioned, enrolled in January and was able to go through spring drills before his freshman year. The Tigers had lost a few seniors from the previous year’s team on the line, and with sophomore Chad Slade sliding inside to guard, a position was open at right tackle. Miller and fellow freshman Avery Young would compete for that job throughout the offseason, but Young would ultimately win out come Labor Day weekend.
As all things 2012 related went, though, nothing was according to plan. Young went down with injury in the ULM game (yes, that ULM game), and Miller would take over the job for the rest of the year, earning his first career start against #2 LSU.
Miller would carry his starting status into 2013, when he started the first four games before being replaced by a now healthy Avery Young. We know how well the line clicked down the stretch in 2013, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Miller was unable to get back on the field.
In his junior season, Miller would start six more games an be on and off the field with injury. He was a part of another strong line in 2014, but he was far from a standout performer. Yet, just like he shocked LSU fans in 2012, he decided to forgo his senior year for the 2015 NFL Draft. This, despite only starting 20 games over 3 years and never really cementing himself as a starter for the Tigers,
When asked about his decision, though, Miller gave an answer that resonated with a lot of folks, myself included.
“Every year you’re not guaranteed to play football,” Miller told the Montgomery Advertiser. “I was guaranteed a shot at the NFL if I came out now. I did it, and that’s my life goal.”
It’s easy for fans to sit back and give all the reasons why an 18-21 year old should do something, especially if it benefits their school’s football team. They may even be right. But at the end of the day, if the only thing you want in life is to play in the NFL - not the money, not the fame, just to play in the League - there’s no good reason not chase that dream while it’s still available.
Miller would go undrafted, but would sign as a UDFA with the 49ers immediately after the Draft, but would be cut in training camp. As far as I can tell, he stuck around with the Jaguars practice squad for another year or two, but never got in any regular season games during that time.
Coming up next, we take another jab at LSU with one of their all-time favorites.