Seven years after he was coaching notable Buffs like Jimmy Smith and Jalil Brown, Ashley Ambrose returns to the Colorado Buffaloes as a cornerbacks coach. In his first year back, he’s expected to have his hands full molding an inexperienced but extremely talented group of cornerbacks. Redshirt-freshman Chris Miller is one of those cornerbacks.
A three-star athlete from Denton High School (TX), Miller is projected to start at cornerback for the Buffaloes this fall alongside Trey Udoffia. The 6’0”, 190-pound corner was one of eight recruits from the state of Texas that signed with the Buffaloes in 2017.
Miller played cornerback and wide receiver in high school, earning Class 5A District MVP honors as a utility player his senior year. After sitting out last fall, Miller played well this spring, earning the Hale Irwin Award presented annually to the most improved defensive back in spring practices. He also made a big impression on Buffaloes defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot. “We saw some good things from Chris Miller, who I think is going to be really good,” Eliot told BuffZone writer Brian Howell.
In the strength and conditioning testing following the Spring semester, Miller proved just how much of an athletic freak he is, posting numbers reminiscent of Isaiah Oliver. He finished second on the team in the 10-yard sprint (1.50) and broad jump (128 ¼) and posted the third-highest vertical leap (36 inches). He’s a freak athlete, which combined with excellent ball skills, his potential is seemingly limitless.
Despite being projected as starters, Miller and Udoffia will be pushed this fall by Dante Wigley (7 starts last season) and junior college transfer Delrick Abrams Jr. making the cornerback competition something to keep an eye on. “That competition is tight,” Eliot told BuffZone.com. “You have the guys from last year that had experience, but then you’ve got a really talented couple of kids behind them.”
Miller is still a bit raw, but if he does indeed break out to earn the starting spot, he will be a dangerous player who should improve every time he’s out on the field. Perhaps it will be sooner rather than later that he emerges as a star.