Miller Makes Move to Middle

Miller Makes Move to Middle

ATHENS – There has always been talk about Brandon Miller changing positions – finally he has.

Miller won't be moving to defensive end, however. He's headed to the middle of the defense to play Mike linebacker, a switch he's been preparing for more than most realize.

"We have been training him there for a year now," defensive coordinator Willie Martinez said. "It will be a new position in the game for him, but he's been practicing there for some time."

Miller will be replacing Tony Taylor, who made play after play last season. Taylor's touchdown against Georgia Tech and his interceptions against Virginia Tech and Kentucky swung the momentum in Georgia's favor in those contests.

Now, Martinez says, the Bulldogs are hoping for more of the same from Miller when he slides inside. Martinez says he's not interested in pulling Miller off the field because he's the linebacker that is most prepared to play now.

"Last year Brandon was the first guy to go out during the nickel, and we didn't feel good about that in certain situations," Martinez admitted. "He's got experience to play, and I think it's a good move for our defense."

Miller, at 6-4, 257, is the largest linebacker on the team. In fact, he's bigger than both of Georgia's starting defensive ends, a position most thought Miller would try out while he was in Athens.

No matter his size, Martinez is quick to point out that he wants more than just playmaking from Miller – he wants leadership, too.

Miller, the only senior linebacker and the only linebacker with significant starting experience, will be the focal point of a group of linebackers who are fast, but young. Darious Dewberry and Dannell Ellerbe, both still relatively inexperienced, are penciled in as the starters on the outside, but Akeem Dent, Akeem Hebron and Darryl Gamble, Miller's backup, all have a redshirt year under their belts and speed to burn.

All that speed is fine, Martinez says, as long as Miller leads the way for the group.

"We are looking for leadership from the linebacker position from Brandon," Martinez said.

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