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Originally published June 11, 2012 at 11:40p.m., updated June 12, 2012 at 11:20a.m.

LB Schyler Miles happily trades surf for turf

Berkeley Prep linebacker Schyler Miles takes part in a morning practice session in this file photo from Sept. 5, 2011, in Tampa. Miles followed coach Charlie Weis from Florida to Kansas.

Berkeley Prep linebacker Schyler Miles takes part in a morning practice session in this file photo from Sept. 5, 2011, in Tampa. Miles followed coach Charlie Weis from Florida to Kansas.

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It may sound crazy, but Schyler Miles could not wait to leave his home state of Florida for his new home in Kansas.

Forget the sun, the surf and the familiarity with his hometown. The Berkeley Prep linebacker who picked Kansas University over in-state powerhouse Florida longed to leave the sights and sounds of Tampa, Fla., for the Midwest for a couple of reasons.

The first was obvious. Miles is a born football player, and his arrival June 4 marked the beginning of a life devoted to the sport from sun up to sun down, year round.

The other reason, though not as obvious, was equally important. Since the day he committed to KU in early February to the day he left for college, Miles fielded countless questions about why in the heck he chose to play football in Kansas.

“I still get it today from some of the former players I played with,” Miles said. “I get it almost every week. They ask me, ‘Why didn’t you go to Florida,’ or ‘Why didn’t you go to West Virginia or Notre Dame,’ and I just tell ’em that (KU) coach (Charlie) Weis was the main reason why I was gonna commit to Florida when he was there, and he just made me feel real comfortable, and I wanted to play for him.”

It has been well documented how Miles ended up at Kansas. After visiting him as Florida’s offensive coordinator, Weis got the rare luxury of a second visit a few months later, this time as the head coach of Kansas. Although the colors and mascot changed, the philosophies did not, though Miles said Kansas wasn’t on his radar.

“I didn’t even want to visit there at first,” he said. “But out of respect for coach Weis, I visited, and once I stepped foot on that campus, I ended up falling in love with it, and I loved everything about it. I love (linebackers) coach (DeMontie) Cross, I love (defensive coordinator Dave) Campo, and I just felt like that was the best place for me to get early playing time and make an impact right away.”

That’s the goal. And by impact, Miles is not talking about being a solid practice player or a good teammate. He wants to start and believes he can.

“That’s been my goal ever since I committed,” he said. “And it was one of the main reasons I committed. I plan on starting as a freshman. I know it’s not going to come easy. It’s gonna take hard work, and I gotta get in that playbook, but I think I’m very capable of doing it.”

He’s not alone. Campo once said that Miles was the kind of player he could build a defense around. And Cross has said that he likes Miles’ blend of power, smarts and speed. All are traits Miles developed as a young linebacker while playing for his father.

“I’ve been playing linebacker since I was 7 years old,” said Miles, a 6-foot-2, 230-pounder. “I grew up with my dad coaching me, so I’ve been doing film study since I was 10 or 11 years old, watching little league games and having my dad correct me if I’m taking wrong steps or how to read the guards or read the quarterback’s eyes in pass coverage.

“My whole career, I’ve really been trying to make a name for myself, and I don’t really like to compare myself to someone. If I had to say my style, I’d say I’m aggressive, a run-stopper, I’ve got a good nose for the football, and I’ve got a lot of good instincts that I carry with me, and that’s probably the main part of my game.”

While those subtle nuances appealed to him and made film study fun, Miles was drawn to one other key component of the position.

“I just love to hit,” he said. “I’ve gotten in trouble many times in practice and stuff, tackling people when I’m not supposed to and that kind of thing. Linebacker’s just always where I’ve felt the most comfortable, and I just have the most fun playing it.”

• A previous version of this story has been updated.

Comments

ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 6 months ago

This guy should change his name to "Opposite of Brock Berglund"

Ted Toulouse 2 years, 6 months ago

To quote the great Rod Tidwell: "I'm ALL Heart Mutha F-er!!!"

Dirk Medema 2 years, 6 months ago

How about shortening it to Anti-Brock, or even more Abrock, tho I found myself slurring that into A-block.

Michael Pannacciulli 2 years, 6 months ago

This was a huge grab. This kid is legit and so glad he is a Jayhawk. Hoping he can help attract other dudes here as well.

HAWKTOPIA 2 years, 6 months ago

Miles will start at 6'3, 235! a summer of resistance training will spur growth and he'll pack the muscle on too. Everything else is in the bank. Hawk-On!

Chris Bailey 2 years, 6 months ago

I have no doubt he'll weigh 235 but asking him to grow an inch is a stretch. He'll play at 235-240 I bet that is true. Rock Chalk!

vd 2 years, 6 months ago

You have little faith in our new lifting coach. Many believe he will have our players gaining weight and height.

Max Ledom 2 years, 6 months ago

Matt,

11th paragraph. "6-foor-2". I'm guessing you meant "6-foot-2". Just a little correction.

Ron Prichard 2 years, 6 months ago

Man, I must be getting old. Miles looks so young in that picture its hard to imagine him playing college football. At the same time, I can't wait to see him play. I think he will be a huge get for Weis and KU over the next few years. This was one kid I was really hoping we would get and we did. Welcome to KU, Mr. Miles!

flyingfinn 2 years, 6 months ago

My Gawd I love his attitude, can we get 50 more please

Randy Bombardier 2 years, 6 months ago

“I didn’t even want to visit there at first,” he said. “But out of respect for coach Weis, I visited, and once I stepped foot on that campus, I ended up falling in love with it, and I loved everything about it."

What I have always thought. If we can just get guys to visit KU sells itself. Fortunately we now have a name (names) whose credibility will get us more visitors. We will get our fair share of 4-star recruits and even a few five-stars I think, as long as we can get momentum and keep HCCW until he retires.

Steve Brown 2 years, 6 months ago

We were blessed to watch Willie Pless, one of the KU best, albeit a wee bit height challenged, he could hit. This kid could be cornerstone, go get handful of world class LB and let them know they can be part of something really special, we have the first piece. Here's a side note: all of us are googooing over HCCW recruits, the real impact of the new coach is how he turns around performance of existing TG players, those that make the transition might surprise us.

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