Prince Miller returned punts his junior and senior years at Georgia.
During those two years, he says he broke one long one.
Last night, in his first NFL game, the undrafted rookie cornerback equaled that total.
Miller ripped off a tremendous 57-yard return in the third quarter last night, one which saw him juke and spin and swim his way out of tackle after tackle as he motored down the sideline.
I counted seven missed tackles by the Panthers. Seven guys that Miller left in the dust as he danced down the field.
“When you run the ball, you’re not really thinking about that,” Miller said. “It just kind of flies by and your natural ability takes over, you’re not out there thinking about your next move. You’re just running. It was just a great experience.
“I can’t thank the guys enough for giving me great blocking. It all goes back to that. Those guys put in a lot of hard work at practice and it paid off.”
Miller added a 15-yard punt return later in the game, and took a kickoff back 22 yards as well.
The Ravens’ coaches talk all the time about the importance of special teams and how nearly every player on the roster is expected to contribute in that aspect of the game.
Miller knows that if he’s got a chance of making the 53-man roster, a lot of it is going to hinge on how he performs on the kick units.
“I hope it does,” he said. “That’s the plan, to go out there and play well in all phases. I know special teams is a big part of it, and I want to go out there and play as well as I can.”
The Ravens have other options in the return game, be it Tom Zbiwkoski (who returned a punt 28 yards), Mark Clayton (who returned a punt 12 yards) Jalen Parmele (who took a kickoff back 28 yards) or David Reed (who averaged 20 yards on two kickoff returns).
But the 5-foot-8 Miller wants to make it clear that he should get heavy consideration in the return department as well.
“I think I’ve got the skills,” Miller said. “Hopefully I showed that tonight, and hopefully I’ll continue to show that throughout the preseason.”