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Jarelle Miller(’16) Receives Invite to NFL Regional Scouting Combine

The percentage of NCAA football players who make it to the National Football League is approximately 1.5%. In the case of an NAIA football players, that percentage decreases significantly.
Those odds don’t discourage Jarelle Miller, who finished his career in 2015 as one of the best defensive players in Jimmie history. The 6′ 2″, 235-pound linebacker from Orlando, Florida received an invite to the 2016 NFL Regional Scouting Combine, scheduled to take place March 5 in Minneapolis.

Miller will be working out in Jamestown to get himself ready for the combine. Former UJ running back Chris Johnson, a manager/personal trainer at Anytime Fitness in Jamestown, and Boya Quichocho, UJ associate head baseball coach and head trainer of the UJ Speed Enhancement Program will be helping prepare Miller for the various skill and strength tests he will undergo in Minneapolis.

Working out in Jamestown was a no-brainer. “My agent wanted me to come to New York and train there, but I told him my ultimate goal is to get my degree, which he totally understands,” said Miller. “Chris is doing a great job on preparing me for the upcoming events, and training with Boya will help increase my endurance, mobile stability, balance, and my running form.”

Miller has spent time training in the past few off-seasons with his longtime friend and current Green Bay Packer, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. The Packer defensive back was willing to share some advice with Jarelle before he heads to Indianapolis.

“He told me running the 40-yard dash is extremely important for the NFL, so really prepare myself for that, and do a lot of stretching and yoga classes. Also, he told me that when I walk into the stadium and see so many coaches and GMs there, it’s definitely intimidating, but the best thing to do is just go out there and have fun.”

Only two Jamestown players have reached the NFL. John Webster, who also played at the University of Chicago, played in two games for the 1924 Racine Legion, and J.J. Syvrud, who played in one game for the New York Jets in 1999, defied the odds and made it to the big stage. Miller knows the long road that awaits him, and is thankful for the opportunity that only a select group of players receives each season.

In December, Miller played in the FCS Bowl, an annual post-season college football all-star game consisting of the top players from college football FCS schools. He had an excellent showing during the game, leading his team in tackles. Miller also had an interview with the New York Jets, getting on the radar of the last NFL team to feature a player from Jamestown. Jarelle’s pro career aspirations will become crystal clear following the conclusion of the NFL Draft, which is April 28-30 in Chicago.

“Being drafted would be a big shocker,” Miller said. “My agent and I talked about the ups and downs on being drafted and the challenges I would face coming from a small school. He told me it’s not going to be easy, which I know, but I told him I don’t want it the easy way because that way doesn’t last long. I am considering being an undrafted free agent, which is fine with me.”

Jimmie fans are familiar with Miller’s playing style and his defensive prowess, which earned him the 2014 North Star Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year award as well as second-team All-American honors. But for those who haven’t seen much of Jarelle, he’s quick to point to two NFL linebacking greats.

“I’d say I mostly resemble Clay Matthews in playing style,” said Miller. “He’s a guy that plays fast and aggressive, and also a good team player. Ray Lewis is my biggest inspiration in becoming the player I am today. He was an animal on the field and inspired me to play linebacker. Before every game I have to listen to his speeches. His words give me wisdom to want to be great.”

Article by Ryan Mikkelson, University of Jamestown Sports Information Director

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Posted:January 11, 2016


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