- Name: Houston Miller
- Position: DE/TE/OLB/Special Teams
- College: Texas Tech University
- Height: 6’4”
- Weight: 260
- Twitter: @houstonmiller88
Right now, people are not talking about you the way I feel they should. Do you feel you are an underdog?
- I do feel like an underdog. That is how I like it; I have been doubted by the media, doubted by people, and have been doubted by certain coaches, and every single time I have proved them wrong. So, those same people can continue to doubt me,and my abilities and I will continue to prove them wrong. Being an underdog is incentive and motivation to do my ultimate best.
What is one thing that NFL teams should know about you?
- When an NFL team takes me into their organization, they will be receiving the hardest working athlete and student of the game. I am constantly evolving as an athlete. No one will out work me, out train me, or will fight harder than me for that organization. I will represent that organization with class and an undeniable work ethic to make the community and fans proud to cheer for their team.
If you could donate to one cause in the world, what would it be?
- The Wounded Warrior Project. These brave and courageous men and women put their lives on the line to protect our country and our freedoms from enemies and terror, foreign or domestic. As U.S. citizens, we are forever in debt to these honorable men and women.
Who was your childhood hero?
- It sounds cliché, but my parents, Doug and Lori Miller are and have always been my heroes. They have put every single ounce of themselves into me and my football playing career and did everything possible to help me succeed. They have traveled the country taking me to camps and anywhere I needed to go from the time of my first rec ball game in the fifth grade. They never missed a single game of mine, and even purchased a second home in Lubbock, Texas to ensure they could be there to see me play. They have sacrificed much to provide me with every resource imaginable. My parents’ work ethic is unsurpassed and their effort to help me get this far has been tireless. I am forever grateful and blessed for all they have done for me.
Who is the most underrated teammate in your locker room at your school?
- While I was at Texas Tech, I would say that is Quinten Yontz. He and I are close friends and I had always seen him work with extreme discipline and great effort and that reflected when we were on the field. He was a fearless football player and a strong individual, and always up for a challenge. I feel like this often went unnoticed. He has joined the army since he finished his playing career and college education, and I thank him for his service to our country.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
- Ever since I was young, going to the gym with my Dad, I would hate it when people did not rerack their weights and put them in the right spot when they are done with a set and leave that machine or bench. I worked at a gym as an operations manager and nothing was more irritating than, at closing time, seeing weight plates all over the place and dumbbells in the wrong slot. At Texas Tech, all the weight plates and dumbbells had a Texas Tech double T on them, and our strength coach, Coach Rusty Whitt, a former Green Beret, wanted all the double T’s to be perfectly straight and everything in its rightful place. To avoid a punishment workout the next day, I would make sure all the double T’s were straight and everything was where it should be at the end of workouts.
Overcoming adversity is what defines character, what was the hardest moment in your life to overcome?
- Honestly, my college football career. Upon my arrival at Texas Tech University, my position coach who recruited me and had the most plans for me was let go. Almost instantly the playbook involving me was tossed out the window. With that coach, I was slated to play as a true freshman and play as an outside linebacker/rush. I ended up redshirting as a freshman and did not have a set position. Ultimately, this redshirt season helped me graduate in 3 years with my degree and begin to pursue a Masters’ degree. The scheme on defense changed as well as several more staff members. I was told that I am no longer an outside linebacker and to become an interior defensive lineman and that I needed to add 45 pounds to my frame. I had not played interior defensive line (3 technique) at all up to this point. I ate and ate to become the weight they wanted but I was eating healthy foods and it takes time to add quality weight, but I only had 3 short months before season. I ended up getting injured during this season which sidelined me for 8 games. After a swift recovery, I was ready to gear up for spring ball. Still not at the weight they wanted, I was moved again to become a nose guard and it was insisted that I add even more weight to my frame. I continued to eat and eat to try to gain the weight and stay positive through the process of transitioning positions every couple of months. I kept being moved around on the depth chart because of my weight gain not being enough, as well additions of players who did weigh that weight and were truly a nose guard. It was the equivalent of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. I met with coaches and asked questions as to why I was moved to a position like nose guard, not weighing nearly enough to even look like a nose guard when I was still as athletic and moved just like I did when I was an outside linebacker. I received vague answers and never quite understood why it was happening. I remained positive because I knew God had a plan for me. I worked harder than anyone else and was not going to be out worked. I knew the playbook like the back of my hand for every position on defense, not just defensive line. Eventually, during the season I was not seeing the field as much as I anticipated based on my work ethic, smarts and play in practice. I was then told I did not fit in their scheme, and also told if I didn’t look and think a certain way, things might be different. I continued to remain positive and work my tail off. A new staff was set to come in and I thought it would be my chance for a rebirth and show them that I am a defensive end or linebacker or tight end. I continued to work with extreme effort and grit to earn a chance and was told many different things about my future. I had a very successful summer training,exhibited my abilities on the field, and believed what I had beentold about my future. However, at the beginning of the season, none of these promises materialized. I asked about the reasoning behind my limited amount of time on the field, other than special teams, which I was on all 5. The response I received was,” You’re everything we want in a Red Raider, you work extremely hard and you’re a very smart player. Unfortunately, you just don’t really fit in here. We really just don’t have a good spot for you in our defense.” I was baffled that there was not a position on the field that a 6’4” 255 lb., athletic guy with somany abilities could not fit in to help this program win. I continued to keep my head up high and continued to work like I have never worked before. I wanted to be the best and be able to look back and say I gave everything I had to give.
Tell me something about your school and why it is so special to you?
- The people and the town. The citizens of Lubbock bleed Texas Tech Scarlet and Black. They are some of the nicest, most passionate people I have ever met. They want nothing more than success for the players and students at Texas Tech University. It was always special and gratifying when I had opportunities to represent the Texas Tech Football Program at numerous community service events, one almost every week during the season. Throughout my college career, I also was able to speak to multiple groups of middle and high school students about their education and how important it was.
What is your favorite snack food?
- I don’t really eat many snack foods. I generally follow a fairly strict diet to optimize my performance. So truly my favorite snack foods would be ground beef and eggs.
The NFL Draft is quickly approaching, if you could sell yourself in one sentence what would you say?
- “I am a swiss army knife; there is not a thing on the field I can’t do. Say it and I will execute it.”
If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be?
- Taysom Hill. I play all 5 special teams and I can play anywhere on those special teams. If a coach tells me to run routes and catch passes, I will catch everything. If a coach tells me to block, I will block the hell out of someone. If a coach tells me to run the ball, I will run with a purpose, and if a coach says play defensive end or linebacker and defend the run, set the edge and or pass rush, I will do exactly that.
If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would it be and why?
- Tim Tebow, because we share the same faith and passion for Jesus Christ and his salvation.
- Chris Kyle, because of his service for this country. I would love to thank him and hear more of his stories about protecting and serving our country.
- Bob Marley, because his music has had an impact on my life, especially the song “Three Little Birds”. I have a tattoo of angel wings covering most of my back and triceps that I associate with the song “Three Little Birds” and what it means to me. I would also like to learn more about his bright outlook and his positivity and love for life.