Before this weekend, Kyree Miller had never been to Knoxville. In fact, the mammoth offensive lineman from Texas didn’t even have an official scholarship offer from the Vols until a month ago when offensive coordinator Jim Chaney offered him over the phone.
But once Miller was on UT’s campus, he knew he had found his future home.
Miller, a 6-foot-5, 370-pound offensive lineman who plays for West Mesquite High School in Mesquite, Texas, took an official visit to UT’s campus this past weekend as the Vols hosted UAB for Homecoming. Miller picked up an offer from Tennessee back on October 8th, and his trip to Neyland Stadium over the weekend marked his first visit to Knoxville.
After that visit, Miller knew Tennessee is where he wanted to spend the next four years of his playing career, and he announced his commitment to the Vols on Tuesday.
In an interview with both myself and Matt Ray of Vol Recruiting Reports, Miller detailed his reasoning behind his commitment. According to the Texas offensive lineman, Tennessee just gave him a completely different feeling than any other school he had been to. Couple that with his relationship with UT’s coaches, and it was an easy decision for him to commit.
“Their vibe came off different,” Miller said of Tennessee. “They showed more support than other schools did. Don’t get me wrong, other schools show support, but Tennessee’s support level is high. They care about their athletes on and off the field.
“They don’t just look at them as athletes; they look at them as humans, and they want them to succeed in life.”
As for the visit itself, Miller came away impressed with what he saw. His conversations with UT’s coaches stood out, too.
“It was a great visit. They showed me everything,” Miller explained. “I asked a bunch of questions about things. I learned a lot from the coaches. I taught the O-line coach (Will Friend) some things, and he taught me some things. It just rolled over to some good vibes. Everything went perfect.”
During the Vols’ 30-7 win over UAB, Miller was focused on how Tennessee’s offensive line played. Miller paid attention to the physicality of the group and the overall attitude displayed by the unit.
The aggressiveness and mentality from UT’s O-line made an impact.
“I just enjoyed watching them hit (UAB) in the mouth,” Miller said of the Vols’ offensive line. “I’m all about physicality and technique. Just watching them play and do what they do best, it showed me that I can be one of those guys.”
Now, Miller will be “one of those guys” thanks to his commitment.
The 6-foot-5, 370-pound lineman primarily plays guard for West Mesquite, but Tennessee’s coaches told him that if he “shaves off some pounds” that he could play tackle in college. While Miller is happy to play anywhere that will get him on the field, he prefers playing guard.
“I like guard, but I could play tackle also,” Miller said. “At guard, I get to do a lot of double teams, and I get to smash linebackers.”
Miller’s smashmouth demeanor and physical play immediately stands out on his high school film. That’s what intrigued Tennessee’s coaches, and it’s something he prides himself in.
When Miller is on the field, he doesn’t just want to be a footnote; he wants everyone watching to remember who he is.
“I bring a different vibe,” Miller said of his play. “It’s not a vibe like where you say, ‘Oh, that kid is there.’ It’s a vibe where you’re going to remember my name when I leave.”
As of right now, Miller says he’ll talk with his coach at West Mesquite about whether or not he’ll take any more visits now that he’s committed to Tennessee. He also noted that he won’t be an early enrollee and will join the Vols over the summer of 2020.
Tennessee has four offensive linemen committed to them in their 2020 class now that Miller has pledged himself to the Vols. UT’s coaches focused on the tackle position in the 2019 class, and the interior of the line has been the major focus of this current cycle.
With Miller in the fold, Tennessee has a group of large linemen with a propensity to knock defenders flat on their backs. The Vols now have 17 overall commits with four of them coming from offensive guards/centers.