WAPAKONETA — It’s been a whirlwind year and a half for Elida grad Kyle Miller.
Since Feb. 2011, he signed to coach football at Columbus Grove, signed with the Colts, was waived by the Colts and signed by the Dolphins.
Right now the 6-foot-5, 260-pound tight end from Mount Union looks forward to joining the Dolphins at the team’s practice facility at Davie, Fla., July 19.
“It’s a lot of fun right now,” Miller said before working out and signing autographs at Harmon Field on Thursday. “If I was from any other Division III school in the country I would be big-time news, but being from Mount Union we have Cecil (Shorts, Jaguars) and Pierre (Garcon, Redskins) doing big things paving the way for guys like me.”
The Dolphins’ tight end last year Anthony Fasano signed with the Chiefs.
Miami’s roster now lists the following tight ends: Veteran and former Jets tight end Dustin Keller, fourth-round draft pick Dion Sims (Michigan State), second-year pro Michael Egnew (Missouri), fullback/tight end Charles Clay and Miller. Egnew was a third-round pick in 2012.
After doing well catching passes in the recent mini-camps, Miller hopes to fit somewhere in that mix.
“Keller is the lone veteran, they brought him in from New York,” Miller said. “He’s a smaller guy (6-2, 250), but for his size, he blocks pretty well. He’s pretty quick and agile and gets open pretty well. Clay is the new hybrid, H-back type tight end.
“Egnew is still transitioning into tight end. He played at Missouri and never put his hand on the ground. He was more a big wide receiver. Sims played at 285 last year and is down getting used to running routes. He was more a blocking tight end before.
“I just do what I can and make sure that I do what I’m good at and hopefully there’s a spot for me.”
Miller proved at his career at Mount Union that he could catch the football. He helped the Purple Raiders win two Division III National Championships and was a two-time all-Ohio Athletic Conference tight end. As a senior, he had 62 receptions for 872 yards and seven TDs.
“I pride myself in taking advantage of the throws that I get,” Miller said. “No quarterback wants a guy that he can’t trust when he throws him the ball.”
The Dolphins quarterbacks include second-year pro Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M) and seven-year veteran Matt Moore.
“I have a good relationship with all the quarterbacks,” Miller said. “Matt Moore loves throwing it to the tight end so whenever we’re in their together I feel I’m one of his first looks.”
Miller was undrafted out of Mount Union, but signed with Jacksonville as a free agent in 2011. Because of the lockout, there was a short camp and Miller didn’t make the final cut.
Then, after committing to coach Columbus Grove, the Indianapolis Colts wanted him to come to camp in 2012. He made the team and was activated for Week 11, Nov. 18, against the Patriots.
The the day after that game, he was waived by the Colts. The plan was to re-sign him the next day.
The Dolphins claimed him on Nov. 20 and he stayed with the Dolphins the rest of the year.
“A lot of people don’t understand the business side of the NFL,” Miller said. “They released me only to re-sign me the next day only so they could make a few transactions with a few other guys. And Miami picked me up when I cleared waivers. I was going back to the facility to re-sign my contract with the Colts when I found out I got picked up by Miami. I had to call my wife and we had to be on a flight four hours later in Miami.”
On the plus side, he knew the Dolphins had kept an eye on him.
“It’s always good to be wanted,” he said. “Indianapolis would be a tough place to crack the lineup with them drafting two tight ends (in 2012). My opportunity is probably better in Miami.”