Miller Jr. leaves UW

Just got confirmation from Wyoming a little while ago that redshrit freshman quarterback Emory Miller Jr., is leaving the team for personal reasons. From what I can gather, and I have not confirmed it, this has nothing to do with Miller Jr. getting into trouble or anything like that. Sounds like family/personal issues.

That leaves UW with two quarterbacks on scholarship — true freshmen Brett Smith and Adam Pittser. The likelihood of one of these guys being the starter was pretty good prior to Miller Jr., leaving. Now, it appears obvious.

In two scrimmages and the spring game, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Miller completed 56.4 percent of his passes for 277 yards with a touchdown and four interceptions. He also ran for 38 yards, but most of his snaps came against UW’s No. 1 defense.

Against mostly backups, Smith completed 72.6 percent of his passes for 469 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He also ran for 88 yards and a touchdown.

Still, Smith looked like a more complete quarterback to me with more tools and a better skill set. With 15 spring practices under his belt, he’s got to be the early favorite to be the starter.

Pittser was arguably the most highly-touted recruit in UW’s 2011 class. He was the 19th-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the nation by Rivals.com, and the No. 25 quarterback overall by Scout.com.

In about a two-year span, UW has had three quarterbacks leave. Junior-college transfer Robert Benjamin left after the 2009 season after he lost his starting job in the season’s fourth game to then true freshman Austyn Carta-Samuels.

Carta-Samuels, unexpectedly, left after the 2010 season for “personal reasons.”

Now Miller Jr.

What can you read into this? All had different stories and circumstances. I don’t see a pattern here. With Benjamin, you bring in a JC guy to play, and if he doen’t t play you expect them to leave. Benjamin didn’t move on to bigger school for his final year of eligiblity. Carta-Samuels’ departure still raises questions, but in the end the brief, roller-coaster relationship between ACS, his teammates and the coaches ended and probably needed to end. If Miller Jr., has family/personal issues, then those should come before football.

What do you think, and who do you think will be UW’s starting quarterback? Are you concerned about the quarterbacks that have left? Perhaps UW will try and bring in a JC quarterback in fall camp to add depth? Maybe, but it will be hard to find one now.

38 thoughts on “Miller Jr. leaves UW

  1. Wow, this is tough to swallow on many fronts. First of all, I hope everything turns out well for Emory. By all accounts, he’s a stand up guy. But, this leaves a gaping hole in our depth at the most important position. Hopefully we can grab a solid JC guy to give us 3 deep and allow UW to slap a Redshirt on either of the freshman. Or maybe I should use up my remaining year of eligibility and throw on my helmet. Ha! As far as a troubling pattern, I don’t think so. Benjamin couldn’t handle D1. ASC got some bad advice and Emory has family issues. Nothing you can do about 2 out of the 3. Go Pokes

    • Good stuff Blake. Not sure if there is a JC guy out there that could help. But we shall see. Strap it up Blake, your’re going in. Haha.

      RG

      • Robert, what about the coache’s role in all of the players that have left the program? Is it DC? Is it position coaches being too hard on players? Or have the expectations DC has set forth stepped things up a notch over the Glenn era? Are DC’s expectations and policies more realistic to the reality of D1 FB?

        From what I gather DC is very no-nonsense and is probably a tough as nails coach. I get the impression that to an 18-22 year old kid, a coach like DC is hard to grasp, but 10-15 years down the road, they’ll wake up one night at 2am and go “Oh, right that’s is what coach C was trying to teach us…” So I think the number of players leaving is the growing pains of a HC and his staff trying to bring a team back up to the required level of D1 FB.

        • I think DC is tough and demanding but not any more or less than most coaches out there. Some kids are up for it, some aren’t. It’s not easy but its not supposed to be easy. The demands and even rules are different now than in the past. It takes someone special to be a college athlete. I agree the ones that stick with it will be better off in the long run.

          RG

    • I’m sure that if you looked at most D1 football squads, the entrance door has many guys entering as the number coming out the exit door. FB is brutal physically, but mentally, these guys have to endure quite a bit, game film sessions, playbook study, etc. We haven’t even talked about scholastic side of things (i.e. graduating with a degree). Not to mention there is a lot of talent to recruit between JC transfers, and incoming freshmen competing for your starting job! Miller was quickly becoming 3rd string and possibly 4th (depending on the new JC transfer QB Wyoming just got). Should anyone be surprised? I wish Miller good fortune in your future endeavors.

      At least with Miller leaving, it isn’t under a cloud of suspicion like ACS. It still bothers me about ACS because he was no contest QB. But equally disturbing was the sideline stories of arguments with coaches, team-mates. ACS played with heart and fire, but he also played like everything was on his back. The offense can only improve so much unless they are all working together. It seemed like ACS’s luck with improvising the play ran out after a while and he wasn’t sticking to the offensive scheme.

      BYU had a freshman QB and they went to the NM Bowl, Wyoming went with ACS as a freshman, so I’m not worried about a freshman QB, with what I’ve heard about Pittser and Smith, who knows, maybe just what the Pokes need…

  2. Didn’t DC just offer Cody Sokol out of Scottsdale CC? I wonder if they might move Sam Stratton back to QB. I hope both the incoming FR are “cowboy tough”. A couple of injuries and it could turn in to a long season.

    • There is an offer out there. School can’t announce anything until fall camp if he comes.

      RG

  3. Beyond the fact that the depth at QB takes another hit, I think the attrition in general is becoming a concern. So far, something like 16 of Christensen’s 50 recruits have left the program. During his tenure, nearly 30 players have left the program prematurely. Isn’t that high? It makes one wonder what’s going on over in Laramie.

    • That’s high but also typical in this day and age. UW also went from one extreme to another from Glenn to DC.

      RG

    • And Christensen does not recruit players from Wyoming, and these are the guys who want to be at UW and will stay.

      • Like Drew Martinez from Green River?
        Give me some names of Wyoming kids at other GNARLED schools Christensen didn’t recruit and missed out on.

        RG

  4. I agree there is no pattern Kids leave But most personal problems, except grades and getting in trouble, are solved if a player’s career is blooming. Miller may have believed that a new offensive coordinator and two highly touted prospects wouldn’t provide sufficent opportunty for him over the next four years. If I were Northern Colorado I would be calling this kid. He didn’t have a bad spring aganist an improving first string defense with his offense that is still in transition

  5. THE BEST QUARTERBACK AT UW IS AUSTIN WOODWARD, BUT OF COURSE HE WILL NEVER GET A CHANCE TO PLAY THE POSITION BECAUSE HE IS FROM WYOMING…..

      • He can throw the ball 60 yards on a rope. He is the fastest and most physical kid that UW would have at QB. And he can punt the ball 60 yards and he is smart. Since you write the Chronicles, I gotta believe that you must be aware of his high school accomplishments. The consenus is that most Wyoming players are not going to be recruited and have an opportunity to play at UW. This will eventually effect The fan base. Wyoming players should not be ignored. There are a few every year that can play division 1 football.

        • I respect your opinion but don’t agree with it. Most Wyoming players aren’t good enough to play at the FBS level, plain and simple. Not all, but most. If fans go to games to only see in-state kids they are narrow minded. It’s great to see Wyoming kids do well at UW in any sport. As I asked earlier, who are some in-state kids Wyoming overlooked playing at other FBS programs?

          • I think it was a surprise that Christensen recruited Martinez.

            It was bigger surprise that Woodward had to walk on, as other out of state schools were interested in him, but to his credit he wanted to attend UW.. It has not hurt Montana schools to recruit some in state players. I DID NOT SAY THAT UW SHOULD ONLY RECRUIT Wyoming players Unlike you, I did not say that they were not good enough to be recruited by UW. That is your opinion and I don’t respect it. Wyoming is not California and that could one of the reasons UW lost their last QB. I think you would agree that new recruits have to want be in Laramie.

          • I think all student-athletes have to want to be in Laramie no matter what sport.
            Montana has recruited in-state players but they are a FCS school. It’s a big difference competing in the Big Sky compared to the Mountain West.

          • If you don’t know, then maybe you should write about another subject. I am not going to convince you that there are players that went to other programs instead of UW who are players. Trying looking East

      • As Poke fans, of course we’d like any good HS product from Wyoming to go to the University of Wyoming and do great things, but there are so many factors to this actually happening. How many D1 prospects from Wyoming are going to stay in Wyoming? What if the UW doesn’t have the right degree program? Can you adapt to life in Laramie? the list of factors goes on and on… So the fact that ANY Wyoming kids become starters for UW are pretty slim… but if you take the Brown and Gold glasses off for a moment, then this is pretty obvious.

        Again it was mentioned that if the players leaving were heading for “better programs” then this should be a worry. I think that news like this is “big” news in the state and small community that is Wyoming. Anywhere else and this wouldn’t hardly be newsworthy.

      • Smith and Pittser are the guys. I’m glad Parham, a Laramie kid via his Dad’s upbringing, and this Woodward guy whom I have no idea of talent level has roots from Wyo as well. But the bottom line is Victories, and thats accomplished thru talent and work ethic. We’re in a bind because ACS was soft, he thought he was the program. The program is Cowboy Football, a new era…Man I hope these kids step up and deliver a team mentality which quite honestly was missing last year. Good stuff Gags. Without a solid QB we’re mired in the muck. Go Pokes.

  6. Let see…..Do you really think Chris Pronsinki would of been recruited by Christensen??? Even you should be able to answer that question.
    Please .. I know the difference between The Big Sky and the Mountain West. Montana fills their stadium! Just remember You are the One Who Said There Are Very Few players from Wyoming that can play division 1. It is just like the Marines say,,,,UW should be looking for those few good men.

    • Why do you think Christensen wouldn’t have recruited Prosinski? We will never know but I don’t think its fair to say he wouldn’t if. You are right, Montana fills its stadium and there are in-state guys on the roster. But they don’t win with all Montana guys either. They fill it because they win. Wyoming might do that and they should look for those few good in-state guys. But if they are not there it shouldn’t be assumed the coaches overlook them.

        • Wow…way to be completely narrow-minded and cut off from reality. There is a HUGE difference between the SKILL LEVEL to play in the MW as compared to the Big Sky. Montana can have more in-state players, and win, because the skill-level required is different. Am I saying that Wyoming/Montana folks can’t play D1 ball? No! But the number of D1 caliber players coming from the small cities and towns around both states are are a lot less than numbers coming from large cities. Is Woodward good? Maybe! I don’t know, he needs to show up at the camps and practices and show that he has what it takes on the field (other than being a Wyoming kid). If he truly is a better player than Smith or Pittser, he’ll make the starting line-up…with a scholarship in hand. Plain and simple.

          Now, with that said, you have to be a family member or close friend of Woodward, who feels that they have been wronged. Just relax, cheer on your kid, and cheer for the Pokes!

  7. Hey Sreed, do us a favor and get off your Wyoming soapbox. Gags is correct and there aren’t enough guys in the state to win at the MWC level. Have you been to practice lately? Woodward would be the first to tell you that he cant compete with the current rookie QB’s, and for you to insult Gags who goes to the practices and unbiasly tells the news as he sees it is completely out of line and inappropriate. Furthermore, the attrition that is happening in the program can be attributed to 2 things; 1) DC’s program is TOUGH. It’s up in the morning at 5:00 in the off-season because the training table is breakfast rather then dinner like 99% of most programs and is mandatory so if your sleeping in your in trouble. A good move on multiple counts because kids get their butts to class since they are already up and 2) Calories in the morning.

    It’s a tough program and many guys split because its too hard. The other drag, quite frankly is Laramie. -45 this winter and many of these Texas and Calif guys cant handle it. Its great all of the Texas and Cali guys that we are getting but if theyt cant handle the Winter then it doesnt do us much good. Both QB’s that left were warm weather QB’s (ACS and Emory). Smith is NW and Pittser is Illinios, which should bode well.

    Sreed shut-up because you have no argument and your giving everyone else from WYO a bad name.

    • Your name is Bruce …what can say except you don’t see a lot of you guys on the field…Austin Woodward woudl not say that he cannot compete..get a life

    • Cowboy Tough, I think we have an explanation. Well said Mr. Reed, Gags- stick to your guns. We don’t hire gunslingers bye the bullet.

  8. sreed, how many other FBS schollies did Woodward turn down to walk-on at UW? I’m curious as I can’t find one that did when looking at rivals.com or scout.com.

  9. I think Austin Woodward’s little 12 year old brother may have snuck onto the computer to post some nonsense.

    • Been hearing from some pretty reliable sources that he was going to leave. Was going to wrap up some academic stuff here and then head back home. If he has left, this is about the time it would happen. Basically, I’ve talked to Shyatt about this and waiting on the official word. Sounds like this was in the works for a while.

      RG

  10. Yea, I kind of had a feeling when Shyatt was hired that Hudson wasn’t on board. I’ll miss the 32′ air balls.

    • You know, when I talked to Hudson after Shyatt was hired I don’t know if it was a matter of him not being on board, but more that he knew he simply wasn’t good enough. Hudson didn’t have other D-I offers (or at least not many), and I think he saw the writing on the wall. There probably was some of “not being on board” but once the coach left that brought him in, he knew it was over.

      RG

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