Zach Miller Press Conference Transcript

Jan. 9, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. -

'First off, I just want to thank all the press for being here today and Mark Brand for setting this up. He's done a great job throughout my whole career.'

 

'I guess I'll start off with, I thought about my decision a lot, I talked to a lot of different people, a lot of former players, all my coaches, a lot of different people and I've decided to leave school early and pursue my dream of playing in the NFL. It's a great opportunity for me; it's something that I just can't pass up. Ever since I was a little kid I always wanted to play in the NFL, it's always been my dream. I always watched it and I always thought about it; it was my top goal. To finally realize that, and make it, is something that I wanted.'

 

'I want to thank a lot of people, obviously my family: my mom Jackie, my dad Tom, my sister Kara, and Brent, who's actually snowboarding. That's something that I wish I were doing actually. The entire athletic department; Lisa Love, everyone in the academic staff, Jean Boyd and Corinne Corte for taking care of everything for me and always being there.

 

Another group is all my coaches who've helped me throughout my career. The biggest, is coach Koetter, who gave me an opportunity to play here, gave me an opportunity to succeed in this system, and called plays for me.

 

Coach Osborne for coaching me to be the tight end that I am today. Everyday making sure that I worked harder, and everyday making sure that I wasn't slacking. Always keeping on me to get better, not just be out there, making sure I got better every single day.

 

Our weight coach, coach Kenn, obviously a great job making sure I was always on the field, keeping me from getting injured and doing a great job of getting me stronger throughout my career and helping me to become an All-American.

 

My teammates, they were huge. Obviously all the quarterbacks that threw to me; from Andrew Walter all the way to Rudy (Carpenter). The other great players like Derek (Hagan) and Lee Burghgraef who helped me come in here and play right away and was a great mentor for me right from the get go. From high school he helped me out a ton as a freshman and sophomore and made sure I was always doing the right things.

 

All the fans, they were huge when I was here. I always had a ton of support, I met a lot of them and they were always good. Every time I met someone they were always saying great things and it was great to have that support throughout my career here. And of course Brent, everyday at practice making it fun, getting to play with him. Even in high school, not a lot of people get to play with their brothers and I got to do it in college and I'm fortunate to be able to do that. It would have been nice to continue here, but he's going to be doing great things here next year. I am not worried about the tight end position at ASU next year because they have Brent and he's a great player and he'll get his due next year.'

 

'I do intend to return to ASU and get my degree. I've always planned to get my college degree and ASU has given me a great opportunity to do that. I definitely plan to come back and get it, it's definitely something that I want to do and something that I think is important.'

 

'Even though I'm moving on to the NFL I'll always support ASU, they're my team and I'll always root for them, not just because Brent's playing here, but because I'm a Sun Devil and I'll be a Sun Devil for life. I loved the Sun Devils, I loved them growing up, and I'll be rooting for them every time they play next year. I'll be on the sidelines anytime I can get a break to sit and watch the games and get a chance to enjoy that college football game. Just watching Brent is going to be fun next year and I know that I'll make it to as many games as I can.'

 

On wrestling with decision to turn pro...

'It was a tough decision and that's why I talked to a lot of people. I talked to my family a ton, my dad and mom obviously a lot and what they thought. They were really supportive and let me make my own decisions. They left it up to me and I talked to a lot of different players. I talked to coach Koetter, Andrew Walter and coach Erickson about the decision and a lot of other people; Todd Heap, I talked to him as well. I got a pretty good idea if I was ready or not for the NFL.'

 

On best memory at ASU...

'I think my biggest memory is going to be my first game ever here and it's actually Brent scoring the first touchdown between the two of us. It was kind of a little competition and I was just expected to get it and then he ended up getting the first touchdown. I think he talked about it for the next two or three years.'

 

On information received from NFL that helped him make a decision...

'It wasn't just one thing; it was a lot of different things. The advisor thing helped some and talking to different people that are already in the NFL helped a lot too. I feel like I've accomplished a lot here as an individual and those are some big parts of it.'

 

On coaching change effecting his decision...

'I met with Coach Cozzetto and I really like him a lot. It would have been nice to play for him. He actually recruited Brent [Miller] when he was at OregonState, so I've known him for a while. His daughter actually played soccer with my sister. I think it would have been fun to play for both him and Coach Erickson. So I don't think it factored into my decision too much.'

 

On if the NFL had told him where he was likely to be drafted...

'They've told me, and I'm not going to say, but it's good enough.'

 

On how blocking skills have elevated his draft position...

'I'm sure they always want to look for someone who's versatile and can move around and play a lot of positions, especially with the way that H-Backs have evolved in the NFL similar to the way we run it here. I'm sure that's helped a lot, getting a chance to do it here so that they can have a chance to see me do it before I get there.'

 

On workout plans...

'I plan to go to the NFL combine, and hopefully work out in the Valley.'

 

On plans after football...

'I probably want to stay around sports. I plan to come back [to ASU] and take a couple of semesters in the spring the next couple of years. I've always thought about coaching, but we'll see. I'm probably two to three semesters away from graduating.'

 

On his brother Brent Miller's role in the ASU offense next year...

'I think obviously that he'll be the number one tight end so he should be catching a lot of balls. When we're both here it does hurt the other person a little bit depending on what your running. I think that he'll have a good year.'

 

On playing with brother...

'We had three years together and they were great. I felt like we've had fun. I know he'll still want me to be at practice and I'll be missing him at practice. It's kind of hard, but you've got to move on some time and right now it seems to be the best opportunity.'

 

On favorite NFL teams while growing up...

'I'm from here so from watching the Cardinals I've always been a Cardinals fan. I was a little bit of a 49ers fan, Steve Young and Jerry Rice. Any team I play for, that's my dream. It doesn't matter where. I'm going to work hard and play my butt off.'

 

On his expectations when first coming to ASU...

'When I first came here, I didn't know if I would play or red shirt, and when I did so well as a freshman people said `Oh, he did so well as a freshman he's going to be three-and-gone.' So I started thinking about it a little bit, but as a freshman I didn't really expect to end up with 56 catches, so it was kind of a surprise to me.'

 

On anything he felt that he had left to accomplish...

'As an individual, there's not. I only wish I could have played in a BCS game. Watching the game the other night was a lot of fun. Getting a chance to play in one of those games where it's so important and there's so much focus on it would have been a lot of fun.'

 

On any goals for the NFL combine...

'I don't have any specific goals yet. I want to run well and do all the statistical stuff well. I want to improve all of that stuff as much as I can leading up to the combine and make sure that I do well at it.'

 

Sun Devils Head Football Coach Dennis Erickson

On Zach Miller's Decision to turn pro...

'I wish Zach all the best in his future endeavors. I am sure he will make all the Sun Devils proud.'

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