Miller Bulking Up, Ready to Compete for Playing Time

Texas Tech 2016 defensive end signee Houston Miller, out of Keller (TX) High School, is itching to get to Texas Tech and begin his college career. checked in on 2016 Texas Tech defensive end signee Houston Miller for an update between workouts and school before he reports to the Red Raiders in June.

It was no surprise to find the Scout four-star recruit and 2015 AP Class 6A first-team all-state performer has been hitting the weights hard this offseason in preparation for college ball. In fact, Miller said he's already packed on some weight on his way toward a final goal of 265-270 pounds by the time next season kicks off.

"I've been hitting the gym every day and then doing extra stuff with my trainer or on my own," Miller said. "I've been doing extra things that other people don't want to do just trying to set myself apart. I've just been eating, putting on weight. That's the biggest thing, I have put on a couple pounds since signing day. I'm at 250 right now and trying to get to 255 by the time I get there, but I think I'll be a able to do that."

The desired extra weight points to the possibility Miller may not play standing up as was first expected, but primarily at strongside defensive end. 

"Absolutely, that's what I believe we're looking at. I talked with (defensive line coach Kevin) Patrick the other day and he said they are going to start me out at strong side," Miller said. "I'm going to learn that and then later on in the summer and into fall camp that's when we'll move and try and learn the rush (end position) and try different things like that. We're going to be versatile no matter what.

"I see myself more with my hand on the ground, getting off the edge, standing up an O-lineman and then getting in the backfield. There's a lot of different things we're working on, but I'm just excited to get out there and play."

Photo By Greg Powers
Miller stressed during the interview the plan isn't simply to add weight, but solid muscle and to retain his speed and quick twitch athleticism despite the extra pounds. Tasked with helping him accomplish that task is personal trainer Kyle Meadows, a former Olympic athlete and NFL veteran who has worked with Miller since his sophomore year.

"Oh no, I have put on the weight, but maintained the speed. Trust me on that," Miller said. "I haven't lost a step on my speed or my starts, so that's the good thing."

It's no secret several incoming freshmen on defense, especially up front, will have to play next season and Miller is one of those expected to make an immediate impact. With his final high school days whizzing by, Miller knows the June 5th report date is just around the corner and he believes he's ready to compete for playing time.

"The reason I chose Tech, I mean I fell in love with the campus, I fell in love with everything, but I knew I could get there and make an impact and that's what I have talked with coaches about. I'm not trying to get there and just hang out a year or two. I have been learning the plays, that's been a good deal and I have a lot of confidence in being able to get out there as a freshman and play a lot. I mean I'm not going to let anyone outwork me."

The 2016 class appears to be an unusually tight knit group that was nearly finalized by August. That bond was tested by a massive coaching staff turnover, including the loss of three defensive assistants, but the class stayed together anyway. Now they are just weeks from finally moving in at Tech together.

"We were tight before signing day, even through the changes that happened and everything like that, but nothing fazed us," Miller said. "It's just a matter of we know we're going to get there and make some big time plays and we're going to make some things happen that people aren't expecting." 

Miller plans on majoring in sports management and minoring in business. 

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