Because of an injury, Christian Miller has not had the redshirt junior season he was hoping for, but the Alabama linebacker is getting healthy at the right time. He’s looking forward to a third consecutive meeting with Clemson in the College Football Playoff.
The Columbia native suffered a torn biceps in Alabama’s opener against Florida State and missed nearly three months before returning for the regular-season finale against Auburn.
Miller made one tackle in the Iron Bowl and is ready to contribute for the Crimson Tide against Clemson in Monday’s Sugar Bowl.
“It was out of my control, so there’s nothing I could do about it. You’ve just got to look at the next step and see what’s next for you,” Miller said. “There’s no reason to be down about it. You can’t control it, so you’ve just gotta work hard to get back and do your best to control what you can control, and that’s what I did. So I’m just happy to be back.”
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Miller appeared to be in for a big season after recording three tackles, including a tackle for loss, in the season opener against the Seminoles.
Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is hopeful that Miller will pick up where he left off and be a key contributor against Clemson.
“Christian is a guy that has pass rush ability. He played really well in the first half against Florida State. That was a real positive,” Pruitt said. “We’re going to play a lot of guys … These guys try to snap the ball as fast as they can, and I think it’s important that we play a lot of guys early, so yeah, he’ll have a big role.”
While Miller has not contributed as much as he would have liked on the field, he has been successful off it.
Miller graduated earlier this month with a degree in kinesiology.
“That was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I just looked forward to graduating and getting that degree after all those years of school,” Miller said. “I just was so proud. And then to see my parents so proud, it meant a lot. It’s something that can’t be taken away from me. Now I’m pursuing a master’s degree, and I’m excited to just continue with that.”
Miller hopes to be a businessman down the line, but not until after his football career comes to an end.
He has another year of eligibility left and, potentially, a pro career after that. But first he just wants to get a win against Clemson in the Sugar Bowl and go on to win the national title.
“It’s just another game, another team that’s in the way of trying to stop us from what we want to do, and that’s win a national championship,” Miller said of facing the Tigers. “I’m proud of where I’m at. I’m a college graduate, starting SAM (linebacker), I’ve won a national championship. It’s going to be my fourth College Football Playoff appearance. It means a lot. I’m playing on the highest stage. I couldn’t ask for any more.”