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April 23, 2005

Charlottesville, Va. – Former UVa tight end Heath Miller was selected in the first round of the 2005 NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Miller, who left UVa following his junior year, was the 30th pick overall.

Miller is the first tight end drafted in the first round by the Steelers since they took Eric Green from Liberty in 1990.

Jerame Tuman led Steeler tight ends last season with nine receptions, a figure Miller reached three times in the last two seasons.

Miller is UVa’s first first round selection since Thomas Jones was taken seventh overall by the Arizona Cardinals in 2000. He is the 12th first round selection in UVa history. Despite being one of the NFL’s oldest franchises, Miller is just the fourth Cavalier taken. The Steelers made back Bill Dudley the first overall pick in the 1942 draft; he went on to play for the Steelers, Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins during a Hall of Fame career.

The Steelers selected TE Bruce McGonnigal in the ninth round of the 1991 draft and DT Antonio Dingle in the seventh round in 1999.

Miller, called “Big Money” by his UVa teammates, will go down as perhaps the greatest tight end in ACC history. He won the Mackey Award this past season as the nation’s best tight end, while also earning unanimous All-American honors. He joins T Jim Dombrowski (1985) as the only unanimous All-Americans in school history.

A three-year starter, Miller rewrote the UVa and ACC record book for tight end receiving, setting records for most receptions (144), yards (1703) and touchdowns (20) in a career. Overall he finished second in UVa history in receptions, seventh in yards and tied for fourth in touchdown receptions. He also shares the school record for most 100-yard games by a TE (3).

He was the leading receiver in the country among tight ends as a sophomore in 2003 with 70 receptions for 835 yards, figures that are ACC and UVa records for a tight end.

He led ACC TEs in receiving from 2002-04. His nine touchdown receptions as a freshman in 2002 set an ACC record for a TE. He also caught at least one pass in 32 of his final 33 games.

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