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49ers Select FB Miller

Posted Apr 30, 2011

The 49ers selected fullback Bruce Miller from Central Florida with the 211th overall pick in the seventh-round.

Miller played in 52 games (46 starts) for the Knights and was a two-time Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year (2009-10). He recorded 214 tackles, 35.5 sacks, 57.5 tackles-for-loss, three interceptions (two for touchdowns), six forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and nine pass breakups. Miller also led all active collegiate players with 35.5 sacks and ranked third with 57.5 tackles-for-loss. In 2010, Miller was named Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year and was selected first-team All-Conference USA. The 49ers however, will ask Miller to play fullback. 

For more on the newest 49er fullback, read Miller's conference call transcript:

On the confusion of his position when he was picked, having played defensive end in college but getting drafted as a fullback:
“When I started talking to them (49ers) was the first time I had heard about any fullback, so this week I did know that there were a few teams looking at me to play fullback. I worked out there during my pro day. I worked out there with the fullbacks and tight ends. So, I’m just excited about the opportunity to play.”

On how he feels about playing fullback in the NFL:
“I’m just excited to have the opportunity to play in the NFL, if it was at defensive end, if it was at linebacker or fullback, I’m just ready to get out to San Francisco and play some football.”

On whether he played any fullback at UCF:
“I did not.”

On whether he played fullback in high school:
“In high school I did play a little bit of tight, but it wasn’t anything like a fullback, it was a true tight end in high school.”

On whether the 49ers told him they project him as a fullback in the NFL:
“Good size for a fullback I guess, but when I worked out there they did like the way I was running around, moving around. They said that they wanted to bring somebody in who was tough and could bring a hit every play, and I think that I could fit that description pretty well.”

On his size:
“6-1, 245.”

On what his primary position was last year:
“I played all four years at defensive end. In the spring, that was the first time I’ve stood up and played any linebacker at all, so I was new to both positions.”

On whether he is shocked by the position change:
“I am kind of shocked. I wasn’t expecting for any of the teams, it was kind of hard for me to believe that I was going to have a chance to play linebacker; that was a little bit more realistic than fullback. So, I’m pretty shocked that I got the opportunity to play as a fullback, however, they did say that, ‘Come in and hopefully get comfortable at the position and maybe in a little while we can try some rush on the defensive side.”

On whether he also caught passes when he did his workout:
“I did, yes sir.”

On how comfortable he is catching passes:
“I’m pretty comfortable. I always felt like I had pretty good hands. I was a baseball player my whole life, so when I was playing tight end in high school it was good, but when I went to UCF, they never let me play tight end or catch any passes. So, when I went to pro day to perform like I did at a fullback position, I was pretty happy with the way it went.”

On his baseball experience:
“I always played, ever since I was younger, so when I went out that was always my favorite sport, playing baseball. Luckily, a growth spurt helped out and I became a football player.”

On whether he talked much with the 49ers leading up to this draft:
“Right before the draft, I did speak to their running backs coach and they let me know that they did have me in there somewhere as a fullback. That was really the first time I had talked to him besides being at the NFL Combine, I spoke to a few of the coaches there.”

On whether he spoke to [49ers linebackers coach] Jim Leavitt at the Combine:
“Yes, I sure did.”

On whether at that point there was any thought to him being anything but a linebacker:
“Yes sir. Everything from that point was defensive end, linebacker, seeing if I might be able to fit in somewhere there up until right before the draft, it switched them.”

On whether there is anything he can take from playing defense into playing fullback:
“I think you can take everything. The mentality as a football player to run and hit and to make plays, I feel like I can bring those same things to the offensive side of the ball and at the fullback position.”

On whether he knew [49ers running backs coach] Tom Rathman or heard of him:
“That’s who I spoke to the other day, so that was pretty cool. I remember watching those teams and him being the fullback.”

On whether there were other teams that expressed interest in moving him to the offensive side of the ball:
“Very little after pro day. I do believe that I did show some people that I was capable of playing that position. I think that’s when the fullback stuff kind of came up a little bit more.”

On whether any other teams spoke to him specifically about that:
“No sir.”

On the 49ers being the only team with him listed as a fullback that he knows about:
“Yes sir.”

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