Back in Ga., Miller preps for NFL
Published: Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 16:01
Bruce Miller, who was the NCAA's active sacks leader while at UCF, had no problem standing out on the field in his playing days with the Knights.
Now that he's moved back to his homestate of Georgia, Miller has plenty of time to train for his next adventure— the NFL Draft. The Central Florida Future caught up with Miller on his move back home and his journey to the pros.
Central Florida Future: What have you been up to lately?
Bruce Miller: Well, I actually just moved in to my new apartment today. Where I'm training at was like, about an hour and half away from my parents' house [in Canton, Ga.]. My new apartment is right next to the training facility so I don't have to leave two hours early for training any more. It's pretty cool because I can literally run over there.
CFF: Where are you training at?
Miller: Competitive Edge Sports in Duluth, Ga.
CFF: Last Saturday you were at the East-West Shrine Game improving your draft stock. What's next on your road to the NFL Draft?
Miller: I got a Combine invite, so I'm training really hard for that. That's at the end of February stretching into the beginning of March. Then I have our Pro Day, which is two or three weeks after the Combine so I have a little bit of time after the Combine to get ready for that.
CFF: When did you start training?
Miller: I started training here two weeks before the Shrine game. I weigh 258 pounds now. I want to play linebacker at the next level. I feel faster and more explosive.
CFF: You looked a little slimmed down at the Shrine game.
Miller: Haha, I actually gained some weight — about eight pounds — but I look slimmer because I cut a lot of body fat. I'm leaning up and I'm trying to run as fast as possible at the heaviest I can be. Right now, I can run faster and I'm lighter on my feet.
CFF: It seems like the biggest knock on you playing on the defensive line is your size. Is that why you want to make the switch to linebacker?
Miller: The positive thing for me is, I'm so confident in my play at defensive end. I do think with my body type most teams are going to bring me in as an outside linebacker, stand-up type of guy. In fact, instead of focusing on Combine training, for the first couple of weeks I was focusing on position drills—just practicing standing up and getting into coverage. Linebacker stuff. I'm working on my techniques.
CFF: Why were you lined up at defensive end during the Shrine game?
Miller: You know, I was planning on playing my snaps at linebacker at the Shrine game but they were short on D-linemen so I was at defensive end the whole game. I don't mind playing either position.
CFF: You seem to have a natural ability to just get to the quarterback.
Miller: First of all, I've worked with some amazing people. I've been coached so much to help me polish my game. There's a lot of effort and hard work that goes into getting to the QB. I'm excited about moving to outside linebacker. Guys my size use that extra space between the offensive line to their advantage [to get to the QB].
CFF: Have you given any thought about playing middle linebacker?
Miller: Most of the teams that I spoke with want me to play linebacker. They feel like I can play in the middle or on the outside. It's a compliment to play on the inside and direct traffic at linebacker, to be the quarterback of the defense. I'd love to play any of those positions. I just feel like I have a better shot as lining up as an outside linebacker.
CFF: Do you see yourself fitting into a 4-3 or a 3-4 defense better?
Miller: The game is changing, offenses are throwing the ball more. That's why 3-4 defense is more popular. I see myself as more of a 3-4 guy, but I believe I can fit into either defense.
CFF: You said that you're trying to get faster. What's your 40?
Miller: Haha. I actually haven't timed it yet. I feel a lot faster and lighter on my feet though. Last time it was timed, I ran a 4.69 in spring practices. I can't remember the last time I've ran 40 yards on the field, though. To me, it's all about getting to the QB and that's what I can do best.
CFF: What's your diet like now?
Miller: I'm taking in about 300 grams of protein a day in shakes alone, and that's not including food that I'm eating. And I'm eating a lot of chicken and fish and steak. My trainers said that I need to eat a lot because of all the training I'm doing. My body is definitely changing, it's in shock. My goal weight is to play at around 245-250. I feel comfortable with that size with my body type.
CFF: How many days a week are you training?
Miller: Six days a week. Just a lot of running, lifting weights, and position drills. And eating.
CFF: Where do you think you will go in the draft?
Miller: You know, I've heard everything from being a second-round pick to going undrafted, but my goal is to make a roster. I just want to be on the team, and make a roster and contribute. Even if I'm just playing special teams, I just want to play.