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Kansas State assistant helped mold Collin Klein into Heisman Trophy finalist

By Kellis Robinett, The Kansas City Star Published: December 31, 2012

Miller watched, offering advice when he could and repeating his favorite phrase: “Play fast, play with confidence.”

Klein always listened.

“Coach Miller cares so much,” Klein said. “He really does have a heart for each one of his players and is very demanding like Coach (Bill) Snyder. He has helped me so much in my knowledge of the game of football, top to bottom.”

Co-offensive coordinator Dana Dimel has watched Klein and Miller build a relationship during their time together. It is so strong that Klein invited Miller to the Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York, and they regularly talk about various topics.

“He is very professional with his players and he is very detailed with them,” Dimel said of Miller. “He has been around so many programs and experienced success. He has brought that with him here. He is very detailed, has great understanding for what the quarterback needs to know in the run game and the pass game ... He and Collin have a really personable relationship. They respect each other a lot and work well together.”

Their time together is almost over, though. As soon as the Fiesta Bowl ends, Miller will turn his full focus to grooming Klein's successor. He has been working with backup quarterback Daniel Sams for two years but will soon welcome highly touted junior-college transfer Jake Waters to campus.

They both have potential, but the pressure will be on Miller to help them reach it. He helped Klein blossom. Can he do it again? K-State returns its entire offensive line, all but one receiver and its starting running back next season. A capable quarterback could step in and have immediate success.

Miller is ready to help. Helping quarterbacks like Klein reach his full potential is not only his job, it is his passion.

“That's what has kept me in coaching all these years,” Miller said. “I enjoy watching young men develop, not just from a quarterback standpoint but also as young men. That is very gratifying.”

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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