It did not take Justin Miller long to feel back at home on Wednesday.
The former Clemson defensive back and kick return quickly made his way around the grounds as he hugged former teammates and coaches that he had not seen in a long time.
“I think it is great to be back,” Miller said to The Clemson Insider.
Miller was back in Clemson for the Dabo Swinney High School Football Camp as he brought eight prospects from the Atlanta area that he works out at his business, STACK Sports Performance & Therapy in Atlanta. He also serves as an assistant coach at Pace Academy, where he coaches the defensive backs.
“It allows you to give these kids something to share … kind of piece in your history and show them kind of where you came from and got you to the point of where you are at,” Miller said.
Wednesday was the first day Miller returned to Clemson since the Allen Reeves Football Complex was built.
“It is amazing,” he said. “This is a great place and I know it means a lot to these kids … I’m sure it is a great bonding experience for them and will help keep them out of trouble.”
Miller, who was an All-American defensive back and kick returner for the Tigers from 2002-’04, is partnered with former Clemson defensive end Maurice Fountain where he says they try to give back and help train young men so they are ready to live out their dreams as college and pro athletes.
“We just kind of dictated ourselves to making these guys better as defensive backs, athletes, defensive linemen, football guys, all skills in sports and positions,” Miller said.
While at Clemson, Miller finished with 13 interceptions and tied a single-season record by recording eight interceptions as a true freshman.
Miller also set a Clemson single-game record against Florida State in 2004 when he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and nearly had a third. He racked up an NCAA record 282 return yards.
The former Clemson star was a second-round pick of the New York Jets in 2005, where he played four seasons. After he left New York he played for the Oakland Raiders for two seasons before coming back to the Jets for a brief stint and then with the Arizona Cardinals and the Detroit Lions before retiring in 2012.
During his rookie year, Miller earned a spot in the Pro Bowl as a kick returner after he compiled 1,577 yards, a 26.3 yards per return average. He played in all 32 regular season games for the Jets in his first year in the league. At the 2007 Pro Bowl he won the fastest man competition.
As for his new career in coaching, Miller does not know where it is going to lead.
“Right now, this is just a great opportunity for me,” he said. “I love coaching and training and helping the kids get better. I just try to be a positive role model as I watch them grow and get better.”