Graduate of Spokane’s Central Valley High School finishes with 44.26 average per punt in collegiate debut
After nearly breaking a school record in his debut season, Eastern Washington University punter Jake Miller has been named to the College Sports Journal All-Freshman All-America team in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision.
In addition, Eastern wide receiver Nicholas Edwards (first team), center Chris Powers (honorable mention), defensive tackle Renard Williams and quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell were picked to the FCS All-America squad by CSJ.
A transfer from Washington State who graduated in 2010 from Central Valley High School in Spokane, Wash., Miller was one of 20 players on the voting list for the inaugural Jerry Rice Award given by The Sports Network to the outstanding freshman in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision. He was given honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference honors, as All-American David Harrington from Idaho State (led FCS with a 48.7 average) and Josh Kealamakia from Weber State (21st in FCS with a 41.29 average) were given first and second team accolades, respectively.
Miller did not meet the minimum of 3.6 punts per game to qualify and be ranked in NCAA statistics. But if he did, his 44.26 average would have ranked third nationally in FCS. He had 39 attempts and would have needed 40 to qualify.
The highest-ranked freshman in NCAA statistics was 15th and had a 41.91 average. Miller’s season average came just .16 from the school record of 44.42 yards per punt set by Jesse Nicassio in 2003.
Miller had 10 punts of at least 50 yards, with a long of 59. Ten of his 39 punts were downed inside the opponent 20-yard line.
Against Cal Poly on Nov. 12, Miller had all four of his punts travel at least 51 yards in EWU’s 53-51 triple-overtime victory. He had a pair of punts of 57 yards, another of 55 and one of 51. That effort earned him College Football Performance Awards National Punter of the Week honors.