Iowa State redshirt sophomore Tyler Miller – a 2020 Greene County graduate – will start at left tackle on Saturday when the Cyclones open the season against SE Missouri in Ames.  JEFFERSON HERALD | BRANDON HURLEYIowa State's Tyler Miller (66), a 2020 Greene County graduate, saw sporadic playing time as a redshirt freshman last year. He earned his first career start in the Cheez-it Bowl. JEFFERSON HERALD FILE PHOTO

Miller Time: Greene Co. grad Tyler Miller nabs starting tackle spot at ISU

“H’s really just a blue blood player. He’s a nasty, physical player that I feel like is what we need on our offensive line to have success.” - ISU offensive line coach Jeff Myers on Tyler Miller

By Brandon Hurley
Managing Editor


Tyler Miller is steadily becoming the man in Ames.

His sheer strength has sky-rocketed in a few short years with the Iowa State program, while his knowledge of the game of football has blossomed as well. The offensive lineman is executing at a high-level, catching the eye of one of the most respected coaching staffs in the country.  

Miller, a 2020 Greene County High School graduate, left Jefferson as the highest-rated football recruit in county history, garnering a three-star ranking and scholarship offers from several programs throughout the country. He opted to stay close to home, committing to Iowa State University where he’s being rewarded handsomely for his decision.
Miller has steadily become one of the most talented and physically strong athletes on the Cyclone’s roster, securing the opening day starting nod at left tackle, his first-ever regular season start.

ISU beat Southeast Missouri Saturday, Sept. 3 and Miller is poised to power a veteran offensive line, blocking for a new-look unit, complete with a rookie quarterback and an inexperienced running back.
Head coach Matt Campbell has been impressed with Miller’s progression so far into his young career. The Cyclone head man remembers scouting Miller during his high school days - witnessing an incredibly gifted, yet raw talent. There was potential that he knew was yet to be untapped. Miller’s realizing it now as ISU heads full steam into the 2022 schedule.

“(Tyler) has grown and matured a great deal on and off the football field,” Campbell said during his media day press conference in Ames. “Tyler came in with just tremendous raw ability. I remember going to watch him play basketball as a junior and watching him play football as senior year. You just were so enamored with this young man that was long, tall, athletic, and could really just run. I talk a lot about it.”

Miller noted how Iowa State’s conditioning program, from the weight training to the nutrition regimen, has helped him grow into the player he is now.

“Definitely the weight room has been really good to me,” Miller said. “I feel like getting a good nutrition program has been really (good). I’m taking it seriously understanding more. You have to know what you’re doing. Just understanding that better has been able to help me a lot.”


Miller is listed at 6’9” and 318 pounds as a redshirt sophomore. He’s bulked up significantly since he left high school, up nearly 30 pounds from his senior year playing weight of 290.
That dedication to the weight room has allowed Miller to become one of the strongest guys on Iowa State’s roster. There’s a lot of skill yet to be explored, Campbell said. The coach had a feeling Miller was a project eagerly awaiting his chance to shine.

“There’s no quick fix to be a great offensive lineman, it takes time.” Campbell said. “And Tyler, I would say even for some of the linemen that we’ve had, has expedited the process because of his natural God-given ability, he’s certainly extremely talented.
I think for him, really, the middle of last year, you really saw him start to take off.”

Miller earned sporadic playing time as a redshirt freshman in 2021, earning his first career start in the Cheez-it Bowl against Clemson. Campbell said Miller really experienced significant gains during the bowl prep. He was deserving of that first start, the coach said.

“When we got to time for things to slow down, like in the bowl prep, you know, we really felt Tyler had come so far, so fast that he had earned the right to start in that bowl game,” Campbell said. “I think that experience played really well in the bowl game.
I think he took that opportunity to be confident into this offseason, and man, he really had a great offseason.”

That experience in the bowl game, despite a tense loss against one of the most tradition-rich programs in the country, helped with Miller’s development, the sophomore said.

“I was pretty nervous,” Miller said. “(But) having that extra time to really prepare yourself and have a great staff around and teammates to help you prep, too, helped a lot.
(I was able) to have another game under my belt and understand and learn what it felt like to be in a game like that.”

Miller took the lessons he learned during the trip to Orlando and transferred them into his offseason training regimen. He improved his strength and zeroed in on his technique, paving the way for a bright future. Miller is a guy
Campbell really has faith in to anchor the left side of the line.

“(He’s) big, strong, physical - a guy that (gets) us back to having a true offensive tackle, which is exciting,” the coach said. “A guy that we think has got a great future, to be a mainstay there on the left side of our offensive line for a long while.”

ISU offensive line coach Jeff Myers gushes over Miller’s height and athleticism, his ability to move side-to-side and locate his assignments quickly. There’s a lot there, the coach said.

“He has a unique ability, being as tall as he is, to still be mobile and flexible,” Myers said. “Where sometimes, you see a (guy) at 6’9” and you think will he be able to get underneath and gain leverage on guys?

The way that he can bend, the way he snaps his hips (that’s unique). But in all honesty, he’s really just a blue blood player. He’s a nasty, physical player that I feel like is what we need on our offensive line to have success.”
Myers appreciates how Miller adjusted to the Big 12 game in two, quick years. The fact he played all of his prep ball in Iowa’s Class 2A was not as big a detriment as he would have thought.

“I think his overall learning has transitioned to the speed of the game,” Myers said. “He was from a small high school football program here in the state in I think that transition for him early on was was unique. It was the first time that, yeah, he’s still probably taller than everybody, but he wasn’t as strong as some of the guys he was going up against.
So, the combination of learning and getting reps, but I (also) think developing in the weight room has been really, really big for him. I think, top to bottom, he’s one of the stronger guys that we have.”


Theoretically, at Miller’s size and athleticism with three years of eligibility left, he has a chance to start through the year 2024. The potential is there, and the Cyclone coaching staff expects big things from their massive offensive lineman. Hearing his name called one day during the NFL draft isn’t out of the question. Miller may be playing on Sundays sooner than later.

“When you look in the National Football League, some of those raw traits of size, speed athleticism, the way that sports being played now, I think you would say yes (he does have a future in the NFL),” Campbell said. “Does he still have a long way to go to live up to that potential? I would say yes. But, Tyler has a great understanding of what his ceiling looks like and what his potential looks like. I think for all those, him and myself, his family, we’re all really excited about his future.”

Miller admits he sees the game much better now in his third year in Campbell’s system. He’s learned what it takes to excel at the D-I level, and he’s ready to prove so as a full-time starter on one of the biggest stages in the Midwest.

“(I’ve progressed) the last few years definitely in film and understanding football so much more,” Miller said. “In high school, I feel like you just go out there and play, but when it comes down to it, it’s like a whole different ballgame. The ins and outs of everything. I feel I’ve become a better student and film was what actually helped me the most.”


The Sept. 3 game marked Miller’s first regular season start and his first start in front of the home fans of Jack Trice Stadium. If there was any type of pressure, Miller wasn’t feeling it.
“It’ll be pretty cool,” he said. “I try not to worry about the whole starting aspect of it. I just go day-by-day, I have to worry about what’s in front of me.  But, I’m definitely really excited for the first game.”

Myers hopes to see Miller produce great moments at a higher rate. He hopes to see him man-handling opponents, paving the way for the newest crop of Cyclone running backs.
“The biggest thing that he’s hammering away on is his consistency,” Myers said. “Right now, we’re focusing on the here and now in how do we get better tomorrow. How do we get better throughout the week, in this next month? I think for him, he’s got to take it one day at a time and one practice at a time.

He’ll continue to take his lumps, I’m sure and get beat just as many times as he’s having success. And that’s all part of the process. It’s all part of the journey.
He is very talented. If he stays on this trajectory, will he have an opportunity to play football for awhile? I think so. But right now, this has been a lot of our conversation, is he feels like he’s got a lot to prove.”
Iowa State travels to Iowa City Saturday to take on Iowa in the annual CyHawk game at 3 p.m.

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