The Arizona Wildcats likely will pursue a medical hardship for senior receiver Terrence Miller, who just barely fits the criteria allowed by the NCAA.
“He is one we are hopeful we can get,” coach Rich Rodriguez said after Tuesday’s practice.
To qualify for a football medical hardship, restoring a full year of eligibility, a player must not previously have redshirted before, suffered a season-ending injury, played in no more than four games and not played after the halfway point of the regular season.
Miller started the first three games, then missed two because of a shoulder injury, returned to start the sixth game of the season — the halfway point — and was since been out because of a foot/ankle injury.
Rodriguez said he had been hopeful of getting Miller back for the final couple of games of the regular season, but that does not appear to be the case.
So, Miller should qualify for a medical hardship if the Arizona appeals his case to the NCAA.
Returning in 2013 would be a perfect scenario for Miller, who probably should have redshirted as a true freshman.
Not only did he hardly play enough to justify burning his redshirt, appearing in only seven games and making two catches, he was younger than most freshmen when he arrived. Miller did not turn 18 until after his freshman season.
As a current senior, he still won’t be of drinking age until Jan. 16.
Miller (6-4, 226) started to emerge late in his sophomore season, making 22 catches in the final four games. But he was buried on the depth chart last season (11 catches) before earning a starting role for Rodriguez this season.
Miller has 13 catches for 143 yards and two scores in four games.
Arizona’s receiving corps should be deep next season, losing only senior Dan Buckner and led by Austin Hill, who is a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award this season.
UA is redshirting four freshmen, including Trey Griffey, and has more help coming in the 2013 recruiting class, including junior college running back Mario Alford, a versatile offensive player who could end up in the slot.