Miller fighting for spot

DeAndre Miller

DeAndre Miller may have the most to gain with two spots open in the linebacker corps. Read on to find out how his camp is going, what he is doing to improve, and more.

With the first game of the Arizona football season just around the corner, fall camp is officially underway and multiple positions are up for grabs.

One position group that could have a bright spotlight on it this season is the linebacker corp, which has two openings with key departures this offseason.

Sophomore DeAndre Miller is hoping that he can slide into one of those spots with a successful camp.

"Camp is going pretty good," Miller said. "Each day is a learning experience and we just try to get better every day.

"We all need to work on our game, our technique, but it has been some pretty good practices for everybody."

Early on in camp, there have been good days and bad days. The not-so-good days are usually signaled by the disapproval of Head Coach Rich Rodriguez, but Miller turns it into a positive.

"When Coach Rod gets upset, he is just doing that because he knows we can do better if we push harder," he said. "When that happens, we just can't take it personal. We need to use it as motivation and push ourselves to go harder the next practice."

Jake Fischer and Marquis Flowers both graduated from Arizona at the end of the 2013 season and left two holes in the starting lineup.

More so, they took eight years of combined experience with them, which played into helping develop the younger players last season.

"I definitely miss those guys," Miller said. "I was close with them and they were good mentors for me. We have other defensive players who are stepping up to lead us. I miss them, but we just have to step up now that they are gone."

As for the two open positions, Miller is working hard to become a starter, but knows that even if he doesn't start, he will still see the field.

"I'm definitely trying to fight for one of those positions", Miller said. "I respect all of our linebacker's game and we have some talented guys out here.

"Whoever gets the spot, gets the spot because he earned it, but as long as we are all out here competing, it'll be okay.

"There's going to be one starter, but we will all be rotating in and sharing the time on the field."

Miller is still young in the system, but the Wildcats have other players who have been around the block a few times since Rodriguez took over the program.

"We have some older guys that lead us young guys and keep us motivated," he said. "We have a guy like Hank Hobson, who is always getting us together to watch film. He'll text us to get together and work on stuff. As a whole we are all working hard to get better."

The linebacker is taking a somewhat unique approach in how he is preparing his body for the season, as he has started doing yoga with some teammates in order to get his body ready.

"I've been working on my flexibility," he said. "I've been doing yoga so that I can be more flexible. It can cut down on injuries and it helps my linebacker stance and getting more mobile.

"I've been doing it with my roommates, Jacob Alsadek and Adonis Smith. We are just trying to get better every day."

Miller was hesitant to name any of the incoming freshmen that are standing out to him, but he did point out that they are all working hard to earn some playing time during the season.

"They all have talent, otherwise they wouldn't be here," he said. "I respect all of their game. They are all in the weight room working hard and trying to get better so that they can get some playing time. It's just like we were when we were freshmen."

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