Old Town native Andre Miller will be glued to the TV Thursday night for the NFL draft.
The former University of Maine two-time All-Colonial Athletic Association wide receiver would love to hear his name called but he also knows there’s a good chance he won’t get selected.
But just because he doesn’t get drafted doesn’t mean he won’t get an opportunity to play in the NFL.
“Some teams have reached out to my agent and said they are interested in signing me,” Miller said.
In that scenario, he would sign as an undrafted free agent and would get a tryout beginning at the team’s NFL rookie development camp next month.
“I’m just looking for an opportunity. I don’t care how it comes. That’s all I can ask for,” Miller said.
“You never know with the draft. I want to get my foot in the door so I can broadcast my talent. And I’ll go from there.”
Former UMaine third team All-American and first team All-CAA offensive tackle Liam Dobson, who transferred and played for Football Bowl Subdivision team Texas State this past season, is another possible NFL draft choice.
UMaine plays in the Football Championship Subdivision, a notch below the FBS.
Ottawa native Dobson is currently on the roster of the United States Football League’s New Orleans Breakers after being selected by them in the 23rd round. The Breakers are 2-0 so far.
Former UMaine teammate Manny Patterson, an All-CAA first team cornerback, is also with the Breakers.
The 312-pound Dobson is also a former first round pick of the Canadian Football League’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the defending two-time Grey Cup champions. He was the third overall pick in 2019.
Miller was a first-team All-CAA selection last spring and a second team pick this past fall when he hauled in 39 passes for 684 yards and three touchdowns. He missed two games due to a hamstring injury. His 76 receiving yards per game were third best in the CAA, while his 17.54 yards per reception were fifth and his 4.3 catches per game were eighth.
Miller participated in the annual Pro Day earlier this month at the Latti Fitness Center and the Mahaney Dome on the UMaine campus in Orono. He and eight other former Black Bears did a variety of tests under the direction of New England Patriots scout Brian Smith.
“I thought it went really well,” said Miller, whose time in the 40-yard dash was 4.53 seconds.
His time in the 5-10-5 shuttle run — in which a player runs 5 yards to his right, 10 to his left and 5 to his right — was 4.22 and his time in the L-drill was 6.87 seconds. The L-drill uses cones in the shape of an L and measures how fast a player can change direction while accelerating.
He also bench pressed 225 pounds 19 times and turned in a broad jump of 10 feet, 4 inches.
His relative athletic score, a compilation of all the tests, was 9.6. The highest score you can receive is a 10.0.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Miller said he prepared for Pro Day by spending seven weeks during the holiday break at the Bommarito Performance System center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Established pro athletes in a variety of sports as well as college athletes are among those who attend the workout sessions.
“We would have breakfast and then get a massage and some sort of physical therapy treatment. Then we would go to the 40 yard dash and speedwork. We would do field work in the afternoon followed by a lift. It was a full 8-to-5 day,” he said.
Miller, the former Most Valuable Player in the Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl, is confident he can land a job somewhere if given the opportunity.
“It’s attainable. I love football. I love the competition,” Miller said. “It has been my dream ever since I was a little kid.”
The other former UMaine players who were involved in Pro Day and looking for a chance to play at the next level were running back Joe Fitzpatrick; wide receiver Jaquan Blair; linebackers Ray Miller, Taji Lowe and Deshawn Stevens; offensive lineman P.J. Barr; and cornerbacks Katley Joseph and Shaquille St-Lot.
Toronto native Stevens, a first round CFL pick of the Ottawa Redblacks and a sophomore All-American at UMaine, transferred to FBS team the University of West Virginia and played primarily on the special teams this past fall. He finished with 12 tackles in 12 games.