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Sports

August 15, 2011

Waiting their turn: BC expecting big things from local hotshots Vardaro and Miller

CHESTNUT HILL — No matter how good you were in high school, and Phillips Academy's Bobby Vardaro and Andover's Brian Miller were about as good as it gets, inevitably comes the moment.

For Vardaro, it was a few days into practice last summer.

"It was Kaleb Ramsey," recalled the North Reading resident at Boston College's media day. "It was in 1-on-1 drills. I was 325-330 pounds. He took two steps, grabbed me and brought me back 10 yards. I just thought, 'Wow, this is not Phillips Academy!'"

Ramsey is 6-3, 302 pounds and BC's top defensive lineman. Vardaro learned quickly, and his freshman teammate Miller will be learning it soon, big-time football is a whole new ballgame.

Vardaro has made impressive strides. He's now a second-string left guard.

"It's just a huge, huge jump," he said. "It was a lot of fun in high school but after a while it's the same old thing. I like the challenge."

No less a talent than BC's All-American running back Montel Harris says he's meeting that challenge.

"Bobby can definitely play," said Harris. "I've seen a big improvement in the weight room and on the field."

With starter Nate Richman battling a back injury, Vardaro could see considerable playing time.

Miller, however, is expected to sit out the year as a redshirt. Few players play right out of high school, but the 6-4, 235-pound tight end may have been the exception. He was the Eagles' top rated recruit according to Rivals.com.

But he's still rehabilitating the devastating knee injury suffered in the 8-overtime game against Lowell last November.

"It's coming along," said the imposing Miller, who is listed as 215 pounds on the roster, but he said he's still at the 235 he was last fall.

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