Walk-on ready to contribute

Not many people have heard of Vince Miles, but he has a good chance to contribute this season. Read on to see his thoughts on camp, who has helped him, and much more.

As practices open for the school year, the incoming freshman have had time to adjust to college life and have completed the fall camp. Now, they're going to shift their focus to the season's first test, Toledo.

However, the impressions that the incoming players take away from their first few weeks in program can shape their careers at Arizona.

Freshman walk-on Vince Miles is a player that stood out in fall drills and should see playing time this season. The 6-foot-1, 188-pound safety has been impressed so far.

"Fall camp has been great so far," Miles said. "The coaches have been working us very hard, trying to change the culture out here. Coach Rodriguez is making sure that everyone is working hard and doing what we need to do to get ready right now."

Miles came to Arizona not having any expectations. That has changed since arriving and has the freshman looking forward to getting on the field.

"Being that this is my first camp, I didn't really know what to expect, but it's definitely been a great experience," he said. "I'm working as hard as I ever have before and I just can't wait for the season to get here."

The practices are different from anything that Miles has experienced before. He believes that the speed and the focus are main keys that could help the defense once it gets settled from the transition.

"Everything is really fast-paced," Miles said. "Coach Rod likes to run a fast-paced offense, so that makes the defense have to work faster. I like the way that the tempo is going because it's going to make the games easier.

"If we work fast-paced now, then the games will go slower for us later on. Plus, we'll be ready for the faster teams and the two-minute drills."

How does he feel about the speed of practice?

"At the beginning, I don't think very many people liked the speed because we weren't really in shape at all," Miles answered. "The training staff has to get a lot of credit for getting us to that point where we are all in shape and keeping up."

Being a walk-on and a freshman, Miles didn't have any expectations of playing right away. However, once he got on the field and started performing well, his feelings on the matter changed and he thinks that he will see plenty of playing time this season.

"The coaches are going to play the best players," Miles said. "No one really thought that the walk-ons or freshmen weren't going to get reps. We all knew it was going to happen. If you came out and proved yourself, you were going to get playing time. The best man is going to play, because they like to win. "I think that I've proven myself for the most part, but I can always do more."

One of the biggest helps in his transition has been some of the upperclassmen, specifically the senior leaders.

"Mark Watley, one of our super seniors, has been helping me a lot," Miles said. "He makes sure that everybody is in the right places and tries to help with other little things. It's great that we have him out there working with us."

Miles' teammates may help his transition, but his football learning comes from the interaction with the coaches.

"Coach Lockwood has been helping me the most," he said. "He likes to fix the little things and make sure that everything is perfect. The little things, like making sure your eyes are looking at the linemen and backpedaling techniques, are things that are going to make us better players."

Coming into camp, Miles didn't have expectations, but he did have an idea of what he had to do physically in order to be ready for the college level.

"I think one of the biggest things we work on is trying to get stronger and faster," Miles said. "Coach Allen and the rest of the strength staff have really improved everybody.

"It's something I knew I had to work on coming into camp. We didn't lift weights as much in high school as we are doing here. I was never big on going to the weight room and I wasn't really forced to go, but it's a whole different game when you come here to the Pac-12.

"Everyone is faster; everyone is stronger. You have to improve yourself so that you can get out there on the field."

Many players have weighed on other players that have stood out to them, but few have noticed players on the other side of the ball. Miles has recognized a few standouts on offense that he needs to give extra attention to when he's on the field.

"Ka'Deem Carey is a guy that has played really well, but then again everyone knows that he's a good player," Miles said. "Dan Buckner is really big so far and hopefully he can have a great season. It would help us a ton.

"B.J. Denker is another guy that came on and has been working hard to make an impression. J.T. Washington is like the circle button out there with his spin moves. That guy is going to be hard to tackle. He's shifty and it always feels like his uniform is slippery.

"It's tough to go against those guys at times, but it's only going to help us get better. We're all working together to get better."


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