Canadian Football League

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Canadian Football League All-Star will always be a Husker

When Barron Miles left the Montreal Alouettes for the West Coast, the results were the same for the eight-year Canadian Football League veteran — he was on the winning Grey Cup team.Miles played with Montreal for six years and won a Grey Cup (the CFL Super Bowl) and his team finished runner-up twice.This year, with the BC Lions, Miles helped lead the team from Vancouver to a 25-14 victory against Montreal in the championship game in Winnipeg, Manitoba.The five-time CFL all-star continues to dazzle football fans the way he did when he played for Nebraska from 1992-94.

Miles was the cornerback who helped lead the Huskers’ resurgence in 1993 and 1994 with his consistent and aggressive play.His performance against Oklahoma in 1994, when he intercepted a pass, blocked a kick and broke up three passes in a 13-3 NU win for a fourth consecutive Big Eight title, was almost typical of his performances in college.The Roselle, N.J., native set NU school records for pass breakups in a season and career, kick blocks in a season and career, and was named All-Big Eight twice.“I’m a Husker and I’ll always be a Husker,” Miles said. “They gave me a chance to play. And to this day, no matter where I am, when I’m with my teammates, guys from Kansas, Miami, Notre Dame, I show them what it means to be from Nebraska. We can be in Vancouver or Toronto, and I yell out ‘Go Big Red,’ and somebody answers, ‘Go Big Red.’ It’s something special to a lot of people and always will be.”After three years of trying to earn a spot on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster, he finally signed with Montreal and quickly became a crowd favorite.Miles received the CFL’s Tom Pate Award in 2004. The award, named for the former Husker who died of a football injury, is given to the player who embodies the qualities of Pate, including charity and sportsmanship. He was named the league’s rookie of the year, has earned the top defensive player award twice. This year, he had a personal-best 10 interceptions.Miles and his wife, Jennifer, are known for their extensive charity work, first in Montreal and now in the Vancouver area.“We’re West Coast, warm-weather people now,” Miles said. “Well, it’s not all that warm right now. But it’s warmer than Montreal is usually.”Now aiming to complete the final two years of his three-year contract, Miles is looking at his 12th year in pro football. “There’s me, Zach Wiegert (Houston Texans), Will Shields (Kansas City Chiefs) still going in pro ball,” Miles said of former Huskers still in pro ball.“It’s still fun and it’s still a kids’ game. Once I grow up and this gets too serious, I’ll hang it up. Right now, it’s too much fun to pass up.”Miles has switched to safety but is still in position to take over games. In a game against Calgary this season, he had three tackles, a forced fumble, a pass breakup and two interceptions. That kind of performance is reminiscent of his 12 tackles, a tackle for loss and three pass breakups in NU’s national championship game against Miami in the 1995 Orange Bowl.“I work out a lot, but I do it differently than when I was younger,” Miles said. “When you’re young, you lift and pound your body. Now, it’s more endurance and conditioning for the workouts.“I get those mornings when it hurts to get out of bed, but it’s almost natural during the season to have some of that after 15 years of college and pros,” he said.


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