Ricardo Miller at TE: the why and the wherefore?

Submitted by Rasmus on April 24th, 2011 at 9:49 AM

I was wondering if anyone had any insight into the move of Ricardo Miller to tight end? I had him pegged as a likely starting wide receiver in 2012. Is there a sense that this move in 2011 is only temporary, to get him on the field while JH, DS, and MO are all still around and also to fill a need behind Koger (not sure how Moore fits into this) until Barnett and the 2012 recruits are ready? Might Ricardo move back to wide receiver after the three seniors graduate this year?

NOTE: Excellent, concise disquisition on the set phrase "why and wherefore" here:



Eat Your Wheatlies

April 24th, 2011 at 9:55 AM ^

As I recall, this was a move that was mentioned by scouts when he committed...hes probably a guy that will play TE and get split out wide on a regular basis. Funchess/Williams/?Thompson? are likely 2 years away, so even with Barnett coming in, it seems like a solid idea.


April 24th, 2011 at 10:00 AM ^

Miller is pretty dang slow to play wide receiver.  You could see that in his film.  He was either going to be a slow WR or a small TE.  They've essentially moved him to H-back, which isn't exactly a TE.  If/when he plays, they're probably going to put him in the slot, at fullback, off the line of scrimmage, etc.  I don't think the coaches want him trying to drive block a 265-lb. defensive end.


April 24th, 2011 at 11:40 AM ^

I spoke to Coach Ferrigno at the coach's clinic a couple weeks ago. He told me they LOVE ricardo and are doing anything they can to find ANYTHING for him to do. Ferrigno explained that while Ricardo does not have great speed, he is an outstanding route runner and they feel that he has the skills to get open against any linebacker. Obviously, everything is written in pencil in the spring but they are experimenting getting him across the formation in motion and letting him work 1 on 1 with a Will backer

EDIT: Everything he said was directed at the passing game. Im sure any success blocking would be gravy


April 24th, 2011 at 9:12 PM ^

i don't recall riemersma being a very good "drive blocker" of DEs, yet he turned out to be a very good TE.

i'm no coach, but i remember reimersma just doing his best at getting good position on the DE; ie. slowing him down.

maybe miller could have similar results, assuming he can approach the surehandedness of riemersma.


April 24th, 2011 at 10:45 AM ^

wishful thinking? Just that he was always listed as a WR and I seemed to recall he was pretty fast, which appears to be wrong. Plus, he is for-sure smart, decisive, and charismatic -- likely to be a team leader regardless of how much he sees the field during games.

I still think he can be very useful if they can find him a role.


April 24th, 2011 at 11:05 AM ^

I see. I agree he could be very useful I didn't mean that post to insult you or Ricardo. He looks like he could fit the H-back description very well (read magnus post up top for perfect explanation). Also, he fits the personality model you said. I remember during recruiting he was always calling other recruits to come look at Michigan.

I think everyone started out with higher expectations for RM due to his very lofty start to recruiting (then he moved to MI and rankings submarined). I just remember practice reports and considerable reviews looking at his average speed and body type projecting a possible TE move.

King Douche Ornery

April 24th, 2011 at 10:20 AM ^

I think it was Magnus the Great who has said there is a strong possibility of "pass catching" tight end and "blocking tight end"

Miller would be more versatile as a tight end who can catch and run--while being able to block LBs on blitzes and such. A Secret Weapon, if you will.

And while you have that, and if Brady Hoke has his way, you have true burners at wideout who can stretch field. Miller is not, as others have said, noted for speed.


April 24th, 2011 at 10:24 PM ^

Nothing official has been updated, but I bet he's somewhere around 225-230 by fall.  That 215 was from the beginning of fall camp, and before he was moved to TE.  Once they decided to move him, I assume he started to work more on bulking up, and 10-15 lbs isn't out of the question on a guy looking to put on a good amount of bulk.  225 is probably the realistic number with 230 being the optimistic yet plausible figure.


April 24th, 2011 at 10:31 AM ^

Miller would be perfect for the H-back position. You don't have to be a great blocker, many times you are put in motion putting you in great position for a crack back block. If he can become serviceable as a blocker, this position could be his for the taking the next couple of years.


April 24th, 2011 at 12:48 PM ^

I would love Ricardo to have a pro career as a pass catching TE that provides a matchup problem. He'll have to fill out over the coming years but that seems like the best case scenario right now.


April 24th, 2011 at 2:14 PM ^

I think the guy he maybe most resembles (at least from an optimistic perspective) is Fred Davis who won the Mackey Award at USC.  He was a very highly rated WR prospect who came in at about 6'4" and 210 lbs.  It took him a while to bulk up and see the field, but by his senior year he was up around 240-250 and was an absolute nightmare for defenses. 

Not sure if Miller's frame will support it, but if he can put on that kind of weight over the next couple of years he could be a beast by the time he graduates.

Steve in PA

April 24th, 2011 at 1:06 PM ^

Sounds like Miller is too small for TE, but too slow for WR.  Both are listed at 6'4" with Miller being 10 pounds lighter right now.

Used right, he'll create mismatches like Colston did his first year in the NFL.


April 24th, 2011 at 3:12 PM ^

Wasnt Miller one of the biggest cheerleaders bringing in his recruiting class. If he has that much passion paired up with work ethic, no wonder this staff loves him


April 24th, 2011 at 3:21 PM ^

Though he seems to be lacking the elite speed to be a WR, perhaps his great attitude and personality will lead him to becoming a humble, or even gallant captain by his senior season. 

Webber's Pimp

April 24th, 2011 at 8:28 PM ^

Wow. Talk about over-hyping a kid. I remember when Miller was a hot shot WR still playing high school football in Florida. At the time he was billed as a beast. A super athlete w/ great size and speed. Turns out now he doesn't have speed? This is exactly why I don't trust the recruiting services and allot of the stuff you read on rivals and scout.com


April 24th, 2011 at 9:13 PM ^

People on these here message boards are just as guilty of overhyping recruits as the scouting services.  I remember a certain Facebook group that was talking about Marvin Robinson as a sophomore, saying he was 6'3", 220 lbs. with lightning fast speed.  I'm not even exaggerating.

Then he's listed at 6'1", 190 by the scouting services and now is officially listed at 6'1", 200 lbs.

It's kind of like the game of telephone.  You need to wade through the bulls*** and find the information you can trust.  


April 25th, 2011 at 12:24 AM ^

In this case, it would seem to be the Florida recruiting gurus -- I spent some time trying to figure out where I got the idea, and it must have been Brian's Hello post, which called the reports of a 4.47 40 "vaguely plausible" and gave it one FAKE (out of three, I think), all based on something called Florida Football magazine or something like that. I'm on my phone or I'd link.

I realize this was later tempered in the signing day post on him, but I guess because he has so much upside in all other respects I just chose to ignore the doubts about his speed as a WR.


April 24th, 2011 at 9:10 PM ^

Ok I wasn't trying to be a smart ass by asking measurements. I often am checking
This on the go from my iPhone. if I was on a computer and had the time I would post that kind of info if asked by someone else.

Coming out of high school.

So he probably won't grow. I'm assuming he's put on a few lbs


April 26th, 2011 at 3:33 PM ^

For the record Ricardo Miller is not by any means slow. I do not know where you all have recieved his official times in the the 40 but i can tell you with certainty he has ran 4.47 times and nothing greater than 4.5. Ricardo has ran track ever since he was in middle school and came in 2nd in County meet with a time of 52 seconds in the 400 meter. In freshman year he was the only freshman on the 400 x 400 relay to compete in the state finals in Florida in which they came in third. When Ricardo takes the field everyone will see he is not too small or to slow for  any safety. Scout and Espn was not lying when they said he he has good speed for his size. He has the ability to play WR or Tight End.