Miller pressures himself

ATHENS – Georgia is forced to use young players at linebacker to deal with Odell Thurman's three game suspension. One young linebacker, Brannan Southerland, was has been moved back to fullback because of Kregg Lumpkin's injury.

"It is kind of hard to transition from high school to college football. As they say, it is a whole new level out here," said Georgia freshman Brandon Miller. Miller was perhaps Georgia's biggest catch of the 2004 recruiting season.

Now in camp, Miller said his focus is completely on playing linebacker for Brian VanGorder's defense. But according to Miller, that is not an easy thing to do. He mentioned the differences between high school and college football are making learning a difficult thing. Right now, Miller is just trying to learn as fast as possible.

"I am getting used to it. I am trying to learn all of it," he said. "I am not learning things as quickly as I should, probably, but I am learning more and more day by day. The stuff that I learned the other day is already starting to click in my head."

When hyped high school player goes to the next level, inevitably, there are expectations thrust upon him, even before he steps on the practice field. Miller must deal with the expectations of coaches, and fans, too.

"It seems like there was pressure from the get go," he said of the expectations. Miller, like Lumpkin last season, must learn how to cope with fans expecting him to make an impact on the program immediately.

"I don't try to worry about that though. I am going to come out here and perform. People can say what they want to say," Miller added, indicating that he does not read his own press nor would he buy into it is he did read it.

Miller and Josh Johnson are two linebackers that will likely play a healthy amount this season. Miller says that he expects both to make an impact this season.

"Coach really needs some linebackers," Miller said. Thurman's suspension coupled with Tony Taylor's injury last season leaves Georgia somewhat inexperienced at linebacker going into their first three games.

Miller will likely play a fair amount on special teams as well. But on defense, Miller said that he can't really tell if VanGorder thinks he is improving yet, or not.

"It's hard to tell," he said, again being hard on himself.

Miller's expectation level of himself, it turns out, might be higher than the fans that will cheer him at Sanford Stadium.


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