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Nov. 18, 2003

MANHASSET, N.Y. – University of Virginia sophomore Heath Miller (Swords Creek, Va.) is one of eight semifinalists for the 2003 John Mackey Award, the Nassau County (N.Y.) Sports Commission announced.

The John Mackey Award is awarded annually to the nation’s best collegiate tight end. Other semifinalists include Chris Cooley (Utah State), Matt Herian (Nebraska), Ben Moa (Utah), Ben Troupe (Florida), Ben Utecht (Minnesota), Kris Wilson (Pittsburgh), and Kellen Winslow II (Miami).

Miller, who exploded onto the scene last fall en route to freshman All-America honors, has entered the record books again this season. Miller leads all ACC tight ends in catches (47) and yards (496). His 47 receptions this season are the most ever by a UVa tight end. Miller’s third quarter touchdown against Florida State was the 13th TD of his career, setting an ACC record for most TD catches by a tight end. Miller is tied for fourth among the nation’s tight ends in receptions and sixth in yards.

Finalists for the award will be selected on Wednesday, Nov. 26, and the winner of the award will be announced on Tuesday, Dec. 9. He will be presented with his trophy at the NCSC’s Annual Awards Dinner at the Chateau Briand in Carle Place, N.Y., on April 19, 2004.

The John Mackey Award was created by the NCSC under the guidance of board member Don McPherson, a county native and former NFL and Syracuse University All-American quarterback. Mackey, also a Nassau County native, is regarded as one of the best athletes to have played the position of tight end. In addition to being an NFL Hall of Famer, he is also a Super Bowl winner (Baltimore, Super Bowl V) and was the first President of the NFLPA. The John Mackey Award selection committee is composed of national sportswriters, commentators, and outstanding NFL players.

Virginia hosts Georgia Tech on Saturday, Nov. 22 at Noon at the Carl Smith Center, home of David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium.

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