2009 sack leader Miller to return to A&M

Updated: January 13, 2010, 5:43 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

All-America outside linebacker Von Miller has decided to return to Texas A&M for his senior season, the school announced Wednesday afternoon.

Miller made his decision to turn away from declaring for the NFL draft after consulting with A&M coach Mike Sherman earlier this week.

"I appreciate Coach Sherman for assisting me in gathering information and allowing me and my family a chance to make this decision," Miller said. "It's important to me and my family to earn my degree from Texas A&M and this will put me much closer to that goal. I can't leave A&M right now."

Miller was impressive during his junior season. He led the NCAA in sacks in 2009 with 17 and had 48 total tackles, with 31 solo tackles. He had 21.5 tackles for loss (a total of 125 yards lost).

Miller's return is pivotal for the continued development of a leaky Aggie defense which ranked 105th nationally in total defense and scoring defense and 106th in pass defense. The Aggies were blistered for at least 45 points by opponents five times last season, including three of the final four games of a 6-7 campaign. But they should be improved with nine returning starters, including Miller.

"We've got most everyone coming back on defense and I think we have some good recruiting coming in," Miller said in a release. "I have confidence in Coach Sherman and I know we will have a great defensive staff. I am looking forward to having a good year."

Miller's sack average of 1.31 per game was tops in the NCAA, and the 17 sacks in a season were the second-best in school history, behind Jacob Green's 20 sacks in 1979.

ESPN Dallas reporter Richard Durrett and ESPN.com Big 12 blogger Tim Griffin contributed to this report.