Interview: LB Willie Miller

Willie Miller is a red shirt sophomore entering 2002 as the backup will linebacker. He has drawn rave reviews from teammates on his work ethic and attitude. He talks about that in this interview. He discusses his goals from the spring through the summer and into the 2002 season. He takes a very team oriented approach and he should see plenty of action this upcoming year due to his attitude and work habits.

Talk about your attitude toward football
I've been known to have a very positive attitude, I think it makes practice more enjoyable. I'm always out there yelling and getting people energized. I try to go in on off days and lift even if we don't have to. I also will watch extra film say on a day off.

What are your goals for this spring?
I want to become a better technician. I am also always trying to work on my speed. I'd also like to be considered a leader by my actions. I like to think I have a good attitude and try to lead by example.

What are you at now?
I'm 6-3, 230 and recently ran a personal best 4.51 in the 40.

Talk about yourself as a player
I pride myself on having a great work ethic. I am always working on the total package whether it be conditioning or being more coachable. I am always in the coaches' ear asking them what more can be done. I also try and always to some extra reps when working out and that has helped.

How was the transition from high school to college?
It was a big transition, at the college level you can't get by just on your athletic ability.

What are you studying?
Integrated Supply Management

Did you choose WMU due to growing up here in the area?
Yes, overall. The summer of my senior year my high school coach called me in and he said that several colleges said they were interested as they had seen me on highlight tapes of a teammate (Noah Herron). I was recruited by Kansas State, Michigan State, Indiana, Toledo, N. Illinois, Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan in addition to Western Michigan. Basically I am a mama's boy and Western is close and it is very respectable here. We have a tremendous coaching staff. Coach Knowles recruited me and he was honest and not pushy. I was comfortable with him because he treated me as a human being and gave me space during the recruiting period.

Who are some players that stick out to you on this team?
Nick Melcher and Eric Oleson are two. Those two are best friends for life. Nick is a very positive person and is always encouraging others on the team. He is always pushing people to get better. I think he is the total package as he does a lot off the field as well. Trovon Riley also has an excellent attitude, very positive. Willie Pope has been a pleasant surprise. He just got here and has looked great and he has an excellent attitude out there as well. I'd also say Philip Reed as he leads by example. He is a great guy to model yourself after.

What are your plans for this summer?
I will stay here and work a lot on my speed.

How is the shoulder?
I had a full separation and tore the ligaments the spring of my freshman year but I'm 100% now.

How have you liked the NeXturf?
I'm someone who likes to play in the rain and mud and all the elements but it has been better than I expected. I like it mostly because people move quicker then grass. I think as a team we perform well on it.

What do you do outside of football?
Actually I like country music a lot and I am a professional bull riding fan too. Pretty much I just like to be outdoors. I'll work on my car and things like that.

Thoughts on the upcoming season?
Each day we are getting better and improving on weaknesses. Game time we'll be ready!

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