Knight Profile: Bruce Miller

Bruce Miller (John Raoux/AP)

Prior to his freshman year at UCF, Bruce Miller had never played defensive end. "I was always more on a linebacker and tight end in high school," says the versatile sophomore.

Despite being a little skeptical about switching positions, Miller took the transition in stride and became one of the Knights best defensive players, winning Conference USA Co-Defensive Player of the Week after totaling nine tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble against Tulsa. After emerging as a marquee player for the Knights, Miller is ready to step up as a full-time starter for a UCF squad that logged 39 sacks last season.

Miller emerged as a playmaker immediately this past season when he collected his first career sack against N.C State. The sack went for a safety and Miller also had 6 tackles in the game and two tackles for a loss. Miller didn't know what to expect when he first stepped on the field as a defensive end. "I really wasn't sure what was going to happen or how everything was going to go. Eventually, I opened up to the idea of playing end was excited to be able to help out my team in any way possible."

After Miller's strong start against N.C State, he didn't disappoint and continued to terrorize C-USA opponents. On the season he finished second on the team with seven sacks and also had 38 sacks to boot. "It felt great knowing I could help my team and just be able to get on the field and do whatever was needed of me."

While making an impact as a redshirt freshman, Miller wasn't listed as a starter and is now ready to take over as a leader on the defensive line and be a starter for the Knights. In order to make the transition from pass-rush specialist to key member of the front four, Miller knows that he has several things to work on. "I need to improve on everything, especially speed and strength." Miller, who is 6'2", 249 lbs, has the size to hold his own against the run, but likely needs to add a few pass-rush skills to his repertoire in order to become a completely dominant player. Miller would also like to work on play recognition and feels that he has a little maturing to do now that he is a critical piece of UCF's defense.

UCF's defense was one of the best in the conference and could emerge as one of the nation's best with eight returning starters. Miller and fellow defensive end David Williams will both be considered new starters, but Miller has plenty of experience and he could catch the eye of the national media if he continues to improve. However, Miller is more concerned about focusing on each and every opponent and letting everything else take care of itself. "We just need to go one game at a time and get every one of them." If the Knights can step it up like Miller did last season, there is a distinct possibility that it can happen.

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