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Nov. 23, 2004

Manhasset, N.Y. – Virginia tight end Heath Miller (Swords Creek, Va.) is one of three finalists for the 2004 John Mackey Award, the Nassau County Sports Commission announced on Tuesday.

The John Mackey Award is given to the collegiate tight end who best exemplifies the play, sportsmanship, academics, and community values of NFL Hall of Fame tight end John Mackey.

A preseason All-American, Miller led the nation’s tight ends with 70 catches for 835 yards last season. Both figures are ACC records by a tight end. In three seasons, Miller has caught 137 passes for 1603 yards and 20 touchdowns, all school records for tight ends.

The junior is currently tied for 13th in touchdown receptions among active I-A players (top tight end). His 20 TDs are an ACC record for a tight end.

Miller obviously won’t catch 70 passes again this season for a variety of reasons, including the fact that the team has one less regular season game than a year ago. Virginia also features an experienced backfield with three game-breaking tailbacks, who get opportunities to make plays that went to Miller previously.

“Big Money” as he is called by his teammates was one of the Cavaliers’ few bright spots in the loss to Florida State with his best receiving performance of the season. He hauled in nine passes for 110 yards, the third 100-yard game of his career.

Miller, who leads the team in every receiving category, is ninth in the nation in yards (440) and tied for sixth in touchdowns (5) by a tight end this season.

The three finalists were determined by confidential balloting of the John Mackey Selection Committee. The Mackey Award winner will be announced on Dec. 9, 2004 and the official presentation of the award takes place on April 11, 2005 at the annual NCSC Awards Dinner.

2004 Mackey Award Finalists
Statistics (as of 11/22/04)

Player		Yr.	School		G	Rec	Yds	Yd./Game	Avg.	Lng	TDMarcedes Lewis	Jr.	UCLA		9	26	332	36.9	      12.8	26	6Heath Miller	Jr.	Virginia	9	34	440	48.9	      12.9	54	5Alex Smith	Sr.	Stanford	11	52	706	64.2	      13.6	71	3
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