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Miles Travelled, Miles To Go

It is difficult to say what is most impressive about Rontez Miles. The 6-1, 210-pound defensive back out of Cal-PA seems to be the full package. He has the heart, attitude, and athletic ability—with a staggering amount of awards and titles to prove it—and the National Football League has taken notice.

The Division II prospect will enter this week’s draft with realistic hopes of hearing his named called.

Miles has spent both his football career and his life working hard and excelling. While attending high school at Woodland Hills, he became a three-year letterman, earning all-conference honors twice as well as a spot on Pennsylvania’s Big 33 team.

Miles was highly recruited out of high school, but ultimately chose to play football for Kent State with Vondre Griffin, his half-brother. Griffin, however, was kicked off of the team due to academic issues as well as charges for marijuana possession and driving without a license. Those chargers were eventually cleared, but because Miles did not want to play without his brother, he left Kent State and returned home. He began taking classes at community college to become eligible to play college football again, and when he was ready, he found a good fit at Cal.

It goes without saying that family is an important aspect in Miles’ life, so much so, that just the thought of his family pushes him harder toward his goal of making the NFL.

“I try to think about my family and try to keep my mind positive and remember that there are other people out there that are depending on me, and as well as depending on me they look up to me. I can’t let them down,” he said.

The success Miles experienced at Cal is overwhelming, earning four All PSAC-West selections, back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year awards, and two selections as a Division II All American.  PSR Rontez Miles

Miles attributes his success at Cal to the strength in talent that is recruited every year.

“The coaching is great the way they recruit and bring players in,” he said. They keep the talent at a level where you have to compete and work hard every single day at practice. You can’t slack off or someone will take your position.”

His on-field production at Cal, backed by his performance at the NFL Combine, have drawn serious interest from NFL teams. Experts believe that he will be a late-round draft pick.

Joe Butler of Metro Index Scouting sees a “true football player” in Miles and thinks his chances are high.

“He understands the flow of the game,” Butler said. “He’s very smart and he’s got natural talent. It’s all there. He’s got the skill level. He’s got the natural ability, he’s got the size to play safety and he’s got the love of the game.”

George Novak, head football coach at Woodland Hills High School, has coached ten players that went to the NFL, including All-Pro’s Rob Gronkowski and Jason Taylor. Novak has watched Miles grow into an NFL-ready player, and has faith that his former defensive back will be drafted.

“He has matured more every year,” Novak said. “You can tell in college and now he’s a young man, he’s a mature young man and he understands life and he has a dream to play in the NFL. He has the ability to do it and he set his goals and he’s not going to sway from that.”

Players like Miles are few and far between. Coming from a Division II school, Miles has had to go the distance to prove that he can play just as well as, if not even better than, players from Division I schools.

Butler commented that only four players out of 253 that were drafted last year were Division II players, so although it is a rarity, he believes Miles’ chances NFL Draft Rontez Milesremain good.

“This year the draft is a little down compared to last year, so they may look at smaller college guys,” he said. “I don’t know if it really has an effect playing at that level. A lot of D2 players step up when they get to the NFL camps. They step up their level of competition, but he’s had a good pedigree by coming out of Woodland Hills, and California has got high levels of competition in the PSAC conference. I think he’s ready to go.”

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