This team has one of the most underrated defenses in all of the Tampa Bay Area, not only just Hillsborough County. This team had an elite offense in 2016, but did you know that the Tampa Bay Tech Titans only gave up 13 points per game last season?
Well, if you didn’t before, you certainly
That’s how good the Titans’ defense was last season, and that’s a stat that a lot of people didn’t expect out of a team with multiple offensive D-1 recruits and/or signees. Tampa Bay Tech did have Western Kentucky-signee Paul Taylor along the defensive line, which helped, along with Thomas Covington (Lake Erie College-signee) who played a nice role in the secondary, just as Angelo Owens did at the linebacker spot.
Aside from that, Tech didn’t have nearly the amount of big names that their counterparts on the other side of the ball had.
Another rising name for the Titans in 2017 will be rising senior LB Lesley Miller IV. He played in his first full season with Tampa Bay Tech this past season, and played alongside Owens and as a big part of the Titans front seven that helped for 64.0 TFL and 14 sacks on the year en route to a second round berth for TBT.
“I believe that we have one of the best defenses in Hillsborough County,” Miller said.
Miller’s backstory is one of intrigue, his grandfather, Lesley Miller Jr., is currently the District Three chaplain on the Hillsborough County Board. District Three focuses on the downtown Tampa region, extending out to the eastern most regions of Tampa, and as far north as Temple Terrace. Before that, Miller’s grandfather was an Associate Vice President and Dean for Students at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Miller Jr. was even a member of the Florida House of Representatives.
With that in mind, Lesley Miller IV has a background not only in politics, but in education thanks to the foundation he has in his grandfather. “School always comes first, I mean I always would like to play football, but my main goal is to not have to pay any money to go to school and to have no debt. I want the education first, and I’m also certainly happy to go to the next level,” Miller said.
Miller is a very mature student for being a rising junior. He understands the way that the world works, and is huge into blazing his own trail and making his own legacy in the family. “At home, they know me as Lesley, and they know my father and my grandpa as Lesley, but at Tech, they know me as ‘Jamie,’ so I really feel like I’m making my own path in my family.”
Not only is Miller making his own path in his family, he’s making his own path on this Tampa Bay Tech team at a critical point in the offseason for a team that needs a few people to step up and make an impact. Than impact could catapult the Titans to a second consecutive playoff appearance and a bid for the third or even fourth rounds of the playoffs.
Heck, we’re still not even in April, yet, though.
Even so, Miller still feels confident that his defense – his team, is going to get the job done. “We’ve already been working for the past two months, everyone has been working so hard. We’ve got some transfers in that will make an impact, and guys that will come up and be good players for us. A lot of people are just underestimating us because of what we’ve lost,” Miller said.
Tampa Bay Tech has been the dark-horse turned front-runner in their district, and they’re looking to take advantage of a huge opportunity in week one against Armwood. Miller, just like the rest of his Titans, feels confident that they will come out on top.
From here, it’s all about Miller’s work in seven-on-sevens and camps until spring football starts on April 24. “Obviously, I want to get bigger and faster, and to work on my technique, but really, I want to be team-player. I loved the guys like Paul, Angelo, and Tommy. I really think that if I can be a leader, we should keep going,” Miller said.