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He played linebacker for the South Carolina Gamecocks and then had a 9-year career in the National Football League, playing mostly for the New York Giants before retiring with the Minnesota Vikings.

These days he is the television sports anchor at WACH-FOX 57 in Columbia, along with being Alabama starting outside linebacker Christian Miller's dad.

Corey Miller has had quite the life experiences since his days playing football for Central High in Pageland. On Thursday by the invitation of South Carolina State head football coach Buddy Pough, Miller was the guest speaker at the Orangeburg Touchdown Club, a few days removed from being in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to see his son's unbeaten defending national championship Crimson Tide team shut out LSU.

"I grew up in Pageland, South Carolina, the Watermelon Capital of the World, with 10 brothers and sisters; mom and dad are still living, and it's such a blessing where I came from," Miller said. "I had a great career with the New York Giants, playing alongside the greatest defensive player in the history of the game, in my opinion, Lawrence Taylor."

Miller said he probably has plenty of stories to tell about his days with L.T. and the Giants, but not many he could talk about in public. So, he stuck mostly to other subjects.

"A few weeks ago, around the South Carolina football program, all the noise we heard was 'bench Jake Bentley, he's the reason we aren't doing any better," Miller said. "I thought that was absolutely ludicrous; but Coach Muschamp did the right thing, stuck with Jake and they needed Jake to get that win last week against a very good Ole Miss offensive team, that can score a lot of points."

Being around the South Carolina football program on a weekly basis during the preseason and season, Miller sees all the positive signs that even the most faithful Gamecock supporters may not see.

"One thing I can tell you, these guys are well prepared, and these guys compete better than any that I know," Miller said. "Will Muschamp is a Nick Saban disciple (from their days coaching at LSU), so everything that I see at Alabama, I'm seeing at South Carolina.

"One thing that I wish is that the fans would exercise more patience. Rome was not built in a day. What they have the opportunity to do this weekend in Florida is to have another winning record in the SEC. That would make it in back-to-back years, which is something I'm not sure South Carolina has ever done. Despite all the injuries and setbacks, Will Muschamp's team is on pace to go back to another bowl game and build this program up. They are definitely headed in the right direction."

Miller admitted that he recognizes how most fans compare South Carolina football with Clemson football, currently quite a measuring stick in recent years.

"Give Clemson credit, and Dabo Swinney a lot of credit; they have a really good football team," Miller said. "Their defensive line is great, Trevor Lawrence is going to be an extremely good football player.

"But, for me, it's about seeing what Clemson does when they get to the College Football Playoff. I say when, because I believe they are going to be there. They are that good. But, when they play the likes of Alabama, Notre Dame, Michigan or whoever else ends up there, we will see if that decision to play Trevor Lawrence right away pans out."

Miller also mentioned some of the smaller college football programs in South Carolina.

"From what Buddy is doing here at South Carolina State, to The Citadel to Newberry, all over our state, I love covering all these teams," he said. "We've got a great state, when you look at the athletes who come from this state.

"The percentages of players who make it to the National Football League are extremely small. But, a lot of great guys get a lot of great degrees thanks to their involvement with football, and they build a lot of great families and circles around them from taking those great opportunities. You never know where you can go. My mom used to have to slap me on the back of the neck so I would stand up and speak in our Baptist church, but now I'm talking on TV. Only God can do that. Work to study and learn and get what you need to be successful in life."

As for college football compared to pro football.

"Don't get me wrong, I loved pro football because they used to hand you that envelope when you got back on the plane after a game, and inside there was a check that had pay to the order of," Miller said. "But, college football is where the excitement is and it is just amazing.

"I love college football much better than pro football."

During a brief Q and A time with the OTC crowd, Miller answered that the running back he found hardest to stop in the NFL was Barry Sanders. He also said that his most memorable game for South Carolina was in 1990 in his last game playing inside Williams-Brice Stadium, which was one of the few games his parents were ever able to attend. It was on ESPN on Thanksgiving, resulting in a win over West Virginia (29-10, as the 6-5 Gamecocks' did not play in a postseason bowl).

Also at Thursday's OTC meeting, two weeks worth of ATI Physical Therapy Players of the Week were recognized. 

Bethune-Bowman junior running back Jesus Benjamin was recognized as offensive player of the week from two weeks ago, while Bamberg-Ehrhardt senior defensive back Dashawn Gray was recognized as defensive player of the week from two weeks ago.

Also, Clarendon Hall junior quarterback Zyan Gilmore was recognized as offensive player of the week from this past week, while Hunter-Kinard-Tyler senior defensive tackle Jamario James was recognized as defensive player of the week.

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