EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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August 15, 2011

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

(Continued)

"I'm jogging more and ramping up the rehab. I'm not quite there. I'm not even doing most of the drills. But I'm running and getting more comfortable. It's not as fast as I'd like, but faster than (doctors thought)."

Vardaro always was quick for his size. But as Ramsey taught him, you can be too big. The 6-5 offensive lineman quickly got down to his current 301 pounds.

"They wanted me smaller and to keep my speed up," he said. "Quickness was one of my better attributes. It was good to be the big guy but now I feel real good."

Miller announced for BC in late April 2010, 15 months before he'd begin practice. As college sports fans know, that leaves an awful long time for another school to swoop down and pluck a prized recruit.

"Once I made up my mind, I was coming to BC," said Miller. "BC was way out ahead."

Stanford and Virginia were the other schools he considered most closely.

Top schools lined up because not too many athletes can match his size (6-4, 235 pounds), speed (4.69 40-yard dash), strength (bench presses 285 six times) and athleticism (can dunk a basketball from a standstill).

He had to get past the down times. The broken tibia and partially detached medial collateral ligament kept him out of the final few football games, including Andover's first postseason game in 35 years, and kept The Eagle-Tribune All-Star power forward/center off the hardwood as well.

"It was tough, but there is always someone who has it worse," said Miller, whose twin sister, Sara, will be playing lacrosse at Colby. "Still, I'm at Boston College and I'll be healthy soon. At times I was real upset but I took a pretty mature approach."

Bobby Vardaro

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