"To sit back and watch that stuff go on was pretty tough," said Miller. "I kept thinking if I was there, I could help."
Miller came to UK as a relatively unknown freshman lineman in 2004. However, he worked his way into the starting lineup at left tackle and seemed set to be a key building block for UK's offense. But Miller left the team after spring practice last year and stayed out of school the fall semester.
Now he's back at Kentucky and enjoying just being able to participate in spring practice. "It has been nice to be back and just do something as simple as putting a helmet and shoulder pads on," Miller said. "I always planned on coming back. Sometimes you just need a little time away to reassess what is going on, but I always knew I would come back. I loved football too much just to give it up."
Miller doesn't want to dwell on what led him to leave Kentucky for a semester. He admits it was a bit "overwhelming" athletically and academically. "I could have done better in every aspect from football to academics. Now I have a chance to make the best of it," Miller said. "I worked out most of the time I was away to stay in good enough shape because I knew when I came back, I wanted to be ready."
Miller knows his return has added to expectations that Kentucky can be a bowl team. He knows many are counting on him to add stability and depth to UK's offense, but he actually welcomes the challenge.
"Being away a year does make me appreciate football and having the opportunity to come out and do something I love and still be able to get an education at the same time," Miller said. "I am just going to play football. I feel like I am a pretty good football player. Pressure can be good sometimes becuase it can help you perform your best. If there is pressure on me to help make the team better, it is a good pressure because I want to get better and I want our team to be better."