SCOOBA – For the second time in as many weeks to begin the season, an East Mississippi Community College sophomore quarterback has earned MACJC Offensive Player of the Week football honors. EMCC's Vijay Miller has garnered this week's recognition after subbing in for last week's recipient Messiah deWeaver and leading the top-ranked Lions to a 59-10 road victory over Pearl River Community College last Thursday in Poplarville.
In making his second appearance on the gridiron since returning to the Scooba campus following a two-year summer stint as a professional baseball pitcher with the San Diego Padres' Arizona (Rookie) League affiliate, Miller totaled 294 yards of total offense and accounted for three touchdowns a week ago at Pearl River. While coming off the bench at PRCC, he completed 18-of-30 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns in addition to rushing for 60 yards and another score on seven attempts against the Wildcats.
The week prior on the heels of making his EMCC debut, deWeaver, a transfer from Michigan State, completed 25-of-38 passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns during the Lions' season-opening 50-0 home win over Hinds to earn the year's initial MACJC Offensive Player of the Week honor.
After spending the 2016 football season as a backup quarterback for the Lions and then pitching for the EMCC baseball team the following spring, Miller was drafted in the 14th round (408th overall pick) of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft by the Padres. The right-hander has compiled a two-year minor league pitching record of 2-1 with a 4.92 earned run average in 30 mound appearances. He has struck out 61 batters and walked 25 in 53 total innings pitched while allowing 49 hits.
Two years ago as a freshman quarterback for head coach Buddy Stephens' 11-1 and second-ranked EMCC Lions, Miller threw for 599 yards on 47-of-74 (64%) passing and six touchdowns in backing up NJCAA All-American and current Florida Atlantic quarterback De'Andre Johnson. As the team's short-yardage signal caller, Miller led the 2016 Lions with nine rushing touchdowns. During his collegiate debut in 2016, Miller threw for 248 yards and three touchdowns on 22-of-37 passing while earning the start in EMCC's narrow season-opening 27-25 loss at Jones College.
Miller, a two-sport standout out of Itawamba AHS, followed in the spring of his EMCC freshman year by posting a 5-0 record on the mound for the 2017 Lions baseball team. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder also registered a 3.97 ERA and had 54 strikeouts in 47.2 innings pitched.
Continuing to rank as the nation's No. 1 team in this week's NJCAA Football Rankings, the 2-0 EMCC Lions begin MACJC North Division play Thursday evening by traveling to Fulton to take on the Indians of Itawamba Community College. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. at ICC's Eaton Field.