Bright mind, bright future

Head to InsideTennessee.com for all the best and latest Tennessee Vols coverage. Scroll down to read about sophomore Jaylen Miller and where his future with Tennessee lies.

As winter melts into spring and spring blends into summer, Jaylen Miller will have a better idea of where his future lies.

At 6-foot-2, 250 pounds, Miller is in a gray area as far as defensive linemen go.

Add more agility and speed, the Vols have a stout defensive end.

Put on a few pounds, however, and Miller could shift down to tackle.

"If I had to say right now, he's an end," Tennessee defensive line coach Steve Stripling told IT. "But if he gets bigger, he could move down."

If Stripling decides the sophomore is best suited as a three-technique, he's confident the transition would be painless.

"We cross train all our guys. All of them know both spots," Stripling said. "He would make the move easily and not have to have time to learn and develop."

If Miller doesn't emerge as a clear-cut end or tackle, Stripling is confident he'll find a way to get him on the field, saying Miller may play on the edge on first and second downs and shift inside on passing third down situations.

But end or tackle, one thing is certain – Stripling expects Miller to play a large role in the future.

"The kid is just impressive. I think he's got a bright, bright future ahead of him," Stripling told IT.

Miller, who is majoring in electrical engineering, stuck out to Stripling in both meeting and film rooms from his very first days on campus.

"He's very intelligent," Stripling said. "He picks stuff up a lot faster than all the other freshmen."

Intelligence, Stripling would tell you, can take a player a long way.

And according to the coach, Miller is the kind of player who never makes the same mistake twice.

"You tell him something once, he's got it down," Stripling said. "Pair that with his smarts, he'll be a good player."

Miller saw action in three games last season, recording three tackles. Miller took the field against Western Kentucky, Austin Peay and Oregon.

The former Scout three-star prospect tallied 27 sacks as a senior at Gaffney (S.C.) High School, which is historically one of the state's top programs. In all, he totaled 62 tackles, including 10 for a loss, nine pass breakups and three forced fumbles during his senior campaign.

"We know he's capable of doing some good stuff," Stripling said. "We're expecting a lot."


Inside Tennessee Top Stories