As a junior in 2009, Miller adopted the role of the jack position, a defensive end/linebacker hybrid, which allowed him to utilize his pass-rushing abilities. He enjoyed a breakout season for the Aggies, leading the nation in sacks with 17 and ranking fourth in the nation with 21 tackles for loss. For his efforts, Von Miller was named first-team All Big-12 at defensive end and was named a first-team All-American by Sporting News and Sports Illustrated. He became the first Aggie to be named a first-team All-American since Jason Webster in 1999. Then-Aggies defensive coordinator Joe Kines compared Miller to the late Derrick Thomas. Miller then studied and watched the film of Thomas to familiarize himself with his game.
As a senior in 2010, Miller switched to playing as a 3–4 outside linebacker under Tim DeRuyter’s defense. Early in the season, Miller suffered a high ankle sprain that held him back for the first six games. He posted 10.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss. Again he made first-team All-Big 12 honors and won the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker. He has also named a consensus first-team All-American. He received first-team All-American honors from Walter Camp, Scout.com, Pro Football Weekly, ESPN.com and the Associated Press. Miller graduated with a degree in poultry science and raises chickens in his spare time.
On March 29, 2011, Texas A&M defeated Baylor to advance to the program’s first-ever Final Four appearance.
At the Final Four, the Aggies defeated Stanford 63–62 and Notre Dame 76–70 to win their first national championship. Gary Blair became the first male coach other than Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma to win a women’s basketball national championship since Leon Barmore led Louisiana Tech to the 1988 championship.
Texas A&M values traditions highly, many of which revolve around the sports in which the school competes. A few of the athletic traditions of Texas A&M include:
- The 12th Man – The entire student body is referred to as The 12th Man after E. King Gill stood ready to play on the sidelines in 1922.
- The Aggie War Hymn – The War Hymn is played at athletic events during the game and after a win.
- Aggie Bonfire – Built and burned before the annual football game with the University of Texas. Bonfire is now an off-campus event after the university cancelled it following the 1999 collapse.
- Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band – The Aggie Band is the largest military-style marching band in the United States and performs at halftime during the football games.
- Midnight Yell Practice – Held the night before a home game, the student body gathers at Kyle Field to excite the crowd.
- Yell Leaders – Attending many events, wearing uniforms modeled after a milkman uniform the yell leaders use hand signals to keep the crowd yelling in unison.
- Gig ’em – The slogan used by Aggie supporters, often accompanied with a thumbs-up sign, the first hand sign of the Southwest Conference.
- Reveille – The official mascot of Texas A&M since 1931. Since Reveille II, all A&M mascots have been collies.
- Maroon Out – One designated home football game of the year is a “maroon out” game. All Aggies are instructed to wear maroon.
College Sports Established
College Station, Texas
Texas A&M University
1973 – Present / NCAA Division 1
1921 – 1973 / University Division of the NCAA
1915 – 1921 / Athletic Association of the United States
2012 – Present / SEC Conference
1996 – 2012 / Big 12
1915 – 1996 / Southwest Conference
Aggies – An Aggie is a student at Texas A&M. In the early 1900s, Texas A&M students were referred to as “Farmers.” The term Aggie began to be used in the 1920s, and in 1949, when the yearbook changed its name from The Longhorn to Aggieland, Aggie became the official student body nickname.
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