Clemson football right tackle Blake Miller has started from game one this season, his first as a member of the Tigers.
Last year this time, Miller was playing for Strongsville High in Strongsville, Ohio where he played left tackle and did not allow a sack his junior or senior seasons.
That hasn’t been the case at Clemson, which is not unexpected as the rare true freshman that can arrive on campus in January and start in September along the offensive line.
In fact, Miller gave up a sack in his very first game against Georgia Tech on Labor Day and another in the Tigers double overtime win against Wake Forest and while Miller struggled in pass blocking against a good North Carolina State defense, his run blocking graded out as the best of the season for No. 78 per Pro Football Focus.
As a matter of fact, Miller now has the best run-blocking grade for any player at any position for players in the regular rotation, coming in slightly ahead of Jordan McFadden.
There’s still work to do on the pass blocking and at least to some extent that’s to be expected. This ain’t high school anymore.
Despite the work that needs to be done, Miller is still right in the middle of the grades for the five starting offensive linemen in pass blocking, meaning while he certainly needs to improve, he’s already performing better than some of the more veteran offensive linemen.
Clemson football offensive tackle Blake Miller has improved over the first 5 games
On the season, Miller’s given up the aforementioned 2 sacks, 2 hits and 6 hurries in 183 opportunities as a pass blocker over the first five games of the season.
We all knew there would be a learning curve, an adjustment from high school to college, especially at this level. There will be more bumps to come.
The early returns are positive, but as Miller becomes a veteran before our eyes, we can start to see what the coaches saw preseason. Namely the opportunity for Miller to develop into a solid anchor on the offensive line, if not much more than that in the future.