The consummate collegiate student-athlete whose development, both on the field and in the strength and conditioning program, has fueled quick rise to the honors candidacy level in an already impact-producing career ... Work ethic, dedication and continued fundamental development has translated into a leadership role and, with a tactically-sound approach, serves as one of the anchors of ECU's front line ... Was limited in full-contact work during the spring to allow a nagging right hip injury to heal completely, but closed drills as the projected starter at one of the end positions for the third-straight year ... Named to Phil Steele's College Football Preview Magazine's 2012 Preseason All-Conference USA squad (third-team) ... Serves as the program's top scholar-athlete who has enjoyed a distinguished academic career to date ... Accomplishments in weight room also have few rivals as evidenced by a "super" rating during spring testing ... In all, has made an 177-pound improvement in the bench press (410/+45), back squat (615/+80) and power clean (338/+52) ... Also showed notable gains in the jerk wattage (1,331/+214) and vertical jump (33"/+3.0"), while being clocked at 4.75 in the 40-yard dash, 7.05 in the three-cone drill and turning in a broad jump of 9'5.
2011 Game-by-Game Statistics 2011: Served as a starting defensive end for the second-straight campaign ... Became the first Capital One Academic All-America in the history of Pirate football with selection to the second team ... Also earned a spot on the Capital One Academic All-District First Team ... Repeated as a member of the Conference USA All-Academic Team ... Played in all 12 games, but did not start at Houston or UTEP ... Booked 37 tackles, the third most among linemen ... Tallied 30 hits on running plays and made 11 solo stops ... Recorded 12 tackles in non-league action and 25 during C-USA tilts ... Credited with 4.0 hits for lost yardage (0.5/Memphis, Southern Miss, UCF; 1.0/Virginia Tech; 1.5/UTEP) and a half sack (UCF) ... Also a member of the Pirates' special teams units, booking a squad third-best three stops on punt returns ... One of only three players with three or more stops on punt runbacks ... Steady throughout the campaign with 18 stops during the first six games and 19 over the final six ... One of only six Pirates with four or more TFL during the year ... Added one pass breakup against Tulane as well as a quarterback hurry and fumble recovery, both versus UAB ... Combined with Jake Geary to sack UCF's Jeff Godfrey for a three-yard loss in the third quarter, giving Milner at least a half TFL in three of the final four games of the year ... Registered four tackles at UTEP, making three with 1.5 for lost yardage in the first half ... Dropped the Miners' Nathan Jeffery (one yard) and Joe Banyard (six yards) for losses in the second quarter ... Recorded two hits during Southern Miss' opening series, which lasted three plays, and four in the first quarter ... For the game against the Golden Eagles, booked a season second-best five stops ... Made a season-high three solo hits at Houston ... Stopped Cougar quarterback Cotton Turner short of a first down on a fourth-and-three carry in the final quarter ... Recovered third career fumble during the second quarter against UAB ... Registered season's quarterback hurry during initial series of the contest versus the Blazers, forcing a Bryan Ellis incompletion ... Finished two tackles short of career high with six hits versus Virginia Tech, booking four in the opening half ... Tallied two half tackles for lost yardage against the Hokies, knocking Josh Oglesby and David Wilson for thee-yard losses. 2010 Game-by-Game Statistics 2010:Lived up to potential during strong debut season, playing in all 13 games and starting 11 after injuries hit the defensive line ... Not in the starting lineup at North Carolina and Southern Miss ... Named to the Conference USA All-Academic Team in addition to receiving the C-USA Commissioner's Academic Medal (3.75 GPA or higher) and a spot on the league's commissioner's honor roll (3.00 GPA or higher) ... Ended the campaign with 47 total tackles, the second most among ECU linemen ... Credited with 30 assists and 17 solo stops ... 42 hits made on rushing plays ... Booked seven tackles for lost yardage, including three sacks ... Added five quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles, one pass breakup and one fumble recovery ... In very limited special teams' duties, made one hit on a punt return ... Recorded a TFL in the last three games and at least a half tackle for lost yardage in eight contests ... Registered multiple stops in every game but North Carolina and UAB, making one solo knockdown in each contest ... Booked a personal-best eight hits against Navy with six in the second and third quarters ... In the Military Bowl against Maryland, tallied three tackles, one for a loss (one yard), and a quarterback hurry ... Recovered a fumble for the second-straight game against SMU, picking up a loose ball in the first quarter ... Forced first career fumble versus the Mustangs on their initial play of the third quarter ... Booked a personal-best five solo tackles against SMU, a week after recording four versus Rice ... Tied for the team lead with 3.0 sacks after dropping the Mustangs' Kyle Padron for a seven-yard loss in the third quarter ... Recovered first career fumble in the second quarter against the Owls and returned it 50 yards, the longest by an ECU player since Van Eskridge's 50-yard runback at UTEP, Oct. 13, 2007 ... Recorded a personal-best two QBH, both in the first half, against Marshall ... Also tallied first pass breakup of career against the Thundering Herd ... Credited with first career quarterback hurry against N.C. State, forcing a Russell Wilson third-down incompletion in the fourth quarter ... Sacked Southern Miss' Austin Davis on the Golden Eagles' final play of the game, preserving ECU's 44-43 victory ... Recorded first quarterback drop at North Carolina, dropping T.J. Yates for a three-yard loss in the third quarter ... Tossed Tyrod Taylor for a five-yard loss in the opening quarter at Virginia Tech for first career solo tackle and solo TFL ... Opened the year with four assists versus Tulsa and two against Memphis.
2009: Redshirted during initial season in the Pirate program ... Officially signed in February ... Earned the defensive unit's Rick Bankston Memorial Award for outstanding scout team play.
High School: A two-way starter as a senior and overall four-year letterman for coach Mike Sheehan's Crusaders ... Named to the Mid-State All-Conference squad as a junior and senior ... Selected as defensive lineman-of-the-year and co-player-of-the-year in 2008 ... Was also program's choice as team MVP at conclusion of senior campaign ... Booked 104 tackles, 37 resulting in lost yardage, a team-best eight sacks, two batted passes and a pair of fumble recoveries in 2008 ... On the offensive side of the ball as a tight end, was credited with 64 knock-down blocks and was not charged with a sack allowed as a team captain ... Helped lead Cardinal Gibbons to a 7-6 record in 2008 ... Tallied 111 stops, six sacks, three pass deflections and three overall blocked kicks as a junior in 2007 ... Rated among the top 50 defensive ends according to ESPN.com ... Picked up one track letter and earned all-conference designation as a shotput and discus thrower ... Turned in power numbers of 330 pounds (bench press) and 575 pounds (squat) ... Named "Overall MVP" of the Schuman's National Underclassmen Combine in Ohio ... Also enjoyed an illustrious academic career with National Honor Society membership ... A two-time scholar-athlete selection who served student body as both a vice-president (2007-08) and president (2008-09) ... Resided in the top five percent of his class (Junior Marshall) with a 3.95 grade point average ... Participant in the Principal's Leadership Conference.
Personal: Full name is Matthew Paul Milner ... Born June 7, 1991 at Raleigh, N.C. ... Son of Andy and Ann Milner ... Father played college football at Allegheny College while grandfather (Emil Milner) is a football letterman at Delaware ... An applied physics major who consistently has earned selection to the ECU Chancellor's List (4.0 grade point average) ... Program's recipient of the prestigious Jerry T. Brooks Award in both 2010 and 2011, a honor representing status as the team's top individual academic performer ... Hobbies include hunting, reading and snow skiing ... Also plays the piano ... Picks prep coach as favorite all-time Pirate player (Sheehan lettered as an OL at ECU in 1998) ... Lists Pittsburgh Steelers' Hines Ward as favorite current NFL player ... Credits parents and coaches as most influential on career ... Was the 2010 winner of the Merck General Chemistry Achievement Award, which is presented to the top students who have gone through ECU's CHEM 1150/1160 General Chemistry Track ... Was among six chosen from approximately 600 students, based on grade-point average and results of the American Chemical Society's first semester general chemistry standardized exam.