Kyle Miller: Making a Difference

Kyle and Chris

On the football field and off, Kyle Miller has one goal – make a difference.
The University of San Diego quarterback made his initial splash at quarterback for the Toreros last season, playing in 3 games as a redshirt freshman and getting his collegiate career off to a promising start.
As he prepares for his sophomore season at USD, Miller will be competing with Mason Mills for the starting QB job.
“It was definitely a learning experience as a redshirt freshman,” Miller said in between summer training sessions. “This year, I’m looking to compete big-time during camp and find my way on the field.”
You can bet Miller is going to be ready when he gets back under center.
In addition to starring at St. Francis High School in Saratoga, Calif., where he passed for 2,153 yards and 25 touchdowns as a senior, Miller hooked up with National Football Academies when he was in fifth grade and knew he was on the right path as a football player and person.
“The leadership I learned at NFA, I’ve brought that through literally from sixth grade all the way to now,” the 6-foot-1, 210-pounder said. “I’ve kept the same leadership models. The first time I ever heard (NFA founder) Darin (Slack) speak, it was one-on-one, just him and me. From that moment on, I knew that was the camp for me, that was the place I was going to learn the most about myself and about football and fundamentals.”
Miller attended NFA/QBA camps through his senior year of high school, and he was also recruited by Cal Poly, San Jose State, Washington State and Sacramento State before deciding on San Diego.
Even as his collegiate career begins to accelerate, Miller continues working with NFA as the lead College Mentor.
“When I got the opportunity to give something back, I was so down with it,” Miller said. “I had a mentor myself, Curt Phillips, who is playing at Wisconsin. Having a peer helping guide me through my football career was such a big help, so I am trying to do the same thing with other young quarterbacks.”
Miller is focused on helping the Toreros live up to their preseason ranking as the No. 1 team in the Pioneer Football League as well as helping develop future collegiate quarterbacks and leaders with NFA.
He is also making a difference in the community.
A Business major at USD, Miller also minors in Leadership Studies. In a Leadership and Groups course last spring, Miller helped his class launch “Lace Up Stand Up,” an anti-bullying campaign.
“Our basic objective was social change,” Miller said. “Make a social change on our community or in the world. We were able to do whatever we wanted, but the idea that kind of resonated was anti-bullying.”
Miller and Chris Barrett, a former high school teammate and Southern California football recruit, presented the Lace Up Stand Up idea to the rest of the class.
“They were really into it,” Miller said.
In addition to being an excellent cause, LUSU hits very close to home with Miller.
“I had a personal experience with bullying,” he said. “When I was in middle school I actually got bullied, I was really big for my age. In sixth grade, I was 6-feet tall and I had a lot of eighth graders trying to put me in my place. That kind of resonated with me, and actually a lot of people in the class went through it was well.”
Now, the same group is working to make sure bullying is finally put in its place.
With the help of USD Student Advisor Crystal Dujowich, Lace Up Stand Up quickly came together and produced a YouTube video.
“The next step is to recruit more people this upcoming school year and get them into the process,” Miller said. “From there, we want to go into schools and keep growing. Our goal is to expand into high schools across the nation and have Lace Up Stand Up as one of their student organizations on campus.”
Stopping bullying is a worthy cause, and there are plenty of groups working to stop the burgeoning problem. But Lace Up Stand Up is taking a unique approach to bullying.
“A lot of the organizations say, ‘Tell the teacher; tell your parents,’” Miller said. “We really put it on the witness of bullying. We say to the witness of the bullying, it’s your job to stop it. The person getting bullied – the victim – has no control. They need to be strong, but it’s really up to the witness to step up and say: ‘Listen, this is where we’re coming from.’”
It’s a challenging task to confront a bully, but Lace Up Stand Up provides the training.
“There are whole bunch of ways to stop bullying,” Miller said. “If you are you just sitting there and letting it happen, that’s just as bad as doing it yourself. We teach techniques to the witnesses so when they approach the bullies, it’s called interventions. What we do, we teach the witness to approach the bully and ask the right questions.”
With Miller helping run the program, Lace Up Stand Up has the right leader in place.

Lace Up Stand Up