At 22, plenty of time remains for Ed Miles to gain life experiences. However, it might be hard to topping the goal he achieved late last year.
Miles, a partial qualifier coming into Iowa, graduated in December with a degree in Health and Sports Studies.
"I'm the first person in my family to graduate," Miles said. "Getting my degree is by far the No. 1 thing on my list…to this point."
Reaching his goal of playing in the NFL could equal Miles' academic accomplishment. The 6-foot-1, 228-pound outside linebacker will eagerly awaiting his future when the draft takes place this Saturday and Sunday.
"I don't know if I'll be drafted," the linebacker said. "At best, I'll be a second-day pick. If not, I'll be a free agent. I know I'll be in somebody's camp."
After a strong prep career in Tallahassee, Fla., that saw Miles earn a spot on the state's dream team, he started two seasons at Iowa. As a senior, he racked up 100 tackles, which ranked second on the team. His 11 tackles for loss topped the squad.
The biggest question mark surrounding Miles is his height, or lack of it according to NFL standards. He is listed by Iowa at 6-1, but Miles admits he's likely closer to 5-11 or 6-0.
"It's something I've been facing most of my life, but I think my speed makes up for my lack of height," Miles said. "I can make plays. That's all that matters."
The postseason all-star games passed on Miles. While most teams have received his highlight tape, the only live workout in which he took part was at Iowa's Pro Day. During that exercise, the Cleveland Browns grabbed Miles for an individual workout.
"My 40 time actually was better in that workout than it was in the regular pro day," Miles said.
Miles ran the 40 in 4.65 seconds in the pro day before cutting it to 4.57 for the Browns.
There was chatter early in Miles' Iowa career that he might give safety a shot. He stayed at linebacker and that's the position his agent is pushing him for now.
"There's not much talk about me playing safety," he said.
Miles feels comfortable playing in a system as he did at Iowa and believes he is technically sound. However, he would prefer a certain type of defense in which to perform.
"I would like to play where the linebackers make plays and the defensive linemen keep guys off of them," Miles said.
In addition to the Browns, Miles' reps have been in contact with Miami, St. Louis and Indianapolis.
If things don't work out in the NFL, Miles would pursue professional football at another level.
"I want to keep playing football as long as I can," he said.
Miles will spend the draft with his family and friends in Tallahassee for a cookout. Chances are his mind won't be too far from Iowa.
"I'm proud of what we've done at Iowa in the last five years," he said. "It was a great time, and I've made a lot of good connections and friendships."