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UMass football announces addition of Michigan transfer Ricardo Miller

AMHERST — The University of Massachusetts football team is hoping that its second fifth-year transfer from Michigan works out as well as the last one.

The Minutemen officially announced the addition of Ricardo Miller, 6-foot, 4-inch, 225-pound wide receiver/tight end from Florida who spent the last four seasons at Michigan.

Because Miller earned his undergraduate degree and has eligibility remaining, he can transfer without sitting out a season. He chose to follow the same path that former Wolverine teammate Mike Cox did and will finish his career in Amherst.

Cox barely played in Ann Arbor, but was the Minutemen’s leading rusher a year ago and a seventh-round draft pick of the New York Giants.

Miller, who didn’t have a catch in three seasons in Michigan, said Cox’s success helped sell him on UMass.

“Mike played a role in me coming here. He came here and had a tremendous year and got drafted by the Giants,” Miller said. “That really showed me there’s a lot of stuff to look forward to. He told me that I’d fit right in.”

Miller said he received interest from schools in Florida, but he liked the opportunity at UMass, which was has few experienced players at receiver.

“There was a sense of urgency to see the field at the collegiate level,” Miller said. “I wanted to come to a team that needed me the most, which is UMass.”

Molnar expected Miller to be an impact player right away.

“He has natural leadership qualities. He’s passionate about everything that he does,” Molnar said. “ He’s in great physical shape. He’s big enough to play tight end, but fast enough to play wide receiver. I’m really, really excited to have him on our football team. I think there’s a lot he can do.”

Miller was eager for the fall to arrive.

“I’m just here to show what I can do and help UMass and be a leader,” Miller said. “I’m excited for the upcoming season, to put in the work and hopefully win a MAC championship.”

UMass is expected to announced shortly the addition of Maryland defensive end Justin Anderson, another fifth-year transfer.

BATTLE OUT, HILL GONE — Freshman wide receiver Dalvin Battle, who missed most of last season after suffering a knee injury in the second game of the season, isn’t expected back for 2013.

“He’s making slow progress. The best route for him would be to sit him and rehab him,” Molnar said. “Our medical staff said it would be best not to speed him back on the field.

Junior quarterback Brandon Hill, who finished the spring, third on UMass’ depth chart, has elected to transfer.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage.

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