Every ball drill Glen Miller had done through his four years with Maryland built to this moment.

A flustered quarterback, a floated pass and a flat-footed receiver created the perfect combination for him to secure the first interception of his career. Miller leaped and nabbed the errant throw to record the career milestone in the Terps’ 31-9 drubbing of Michigan State.

“It’s a surreal moment. ... It feels like all that work you did put in throughout the week to get there ... to actually have it pay off ... that’s a really great feeling,” he said.

Miller has been a “pain in the butt” for Michael Locksley over the past three years, the Maryland coach said. But, as a redshirt junior, he’s matured into a key contributor as Maryland’s nickel back, one of the team’s leaders and a “poster child” for what Locksley hopes his program can be for players.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

“Nobody has grown more in this program than Glen Miller has,” Locksley said. " I’m really happy for him because he’s a great football player. He’s the guy that has stepped in big and can play corner, can play nickel, can play safety, loves the game.”

The Terps, who frequently play with five defensive backs, had identified four starters in safeties Beau Brade and Dante Trader Jr. and cornerbacks Tarheeb Still and Ja’Quan Sheppard. Still, who played in the slot last year, moved outside to account for the losses of Deonte Banks and Jakorian Bennett. Miller has stepped inside to replace him and has firmly established himself as the last part of the Terps’ quintet.

Miller has played the third-most snaps among Maryland defenders this year; he’s spent about 60% of his defensive snaps inside, per Pro Football Focus. As a safety, he brings a different skill set to the position than Still, a corner.

“He gives me a lot of knowledge,” Miller said of Still, “especially coming from a corner perspective.”

Because of Miller’s ascent, Maryland has primarily employed what’s called a “big nickel” package: replacing that third corner with a safety. Playing in the slot requires defensive backs to make tackles — a role Miller relishes.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

He came up with the nickname Maryland’s safeties used to define their hard-hitting style of play last season: the Reapers.

“We be hitting,” Brade said last year.

Miller has lived up to his title. He slid back to safety when Brade missed Maryland’s Week 3 matchup and roared forward on a first-quarter run play — speeding past a blocker and whacking the ball carrier.

He called the hit one of the best in his career because it came early in the Terps’ comeback.

“That was like a little turnaround for us to get us back on track,” he said.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

How long has Miller been a big hitter?

“I’d say all my life,” he said.

Miller’s a throwback, Locksley said, a tough and hard-nosed player — albeit one who’ll do “some crazy things.”

Locksley highlighted the Spartans’ field goal at the end of the first half, one that appeared to be blocked and bounced around near the Terps end zone. If a Maryland player touched the kick, it would have become a live ball.

“When the field goal is blocked and you’re supposed to get away from it, does he run toward the ball a little bit?” Locksley said. “That’s Glen.”

More From The Banner