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Penn State’s Top 10 for 2018: #6 Shareef Miller

We continue off our annual top ten preseason football players of 2018 list as voted on by the BSD staff. In creating this list, we considered players’ abilities, value to the team and past performance, among other factors. 

Penn State v Northwestern Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Our countdown continues with one of the best pass rushers in the Big Ten - defensive end Shareef Miller

#9 QB Tommy Stevens (tie)
#9 DE Ryan Buchholz (tie)
#8 DT Kevin Givens
#7 OL Connor McGovern

How He Got Here

As a redshirt freshman in 2016 Shareef Miller played in all 14 games for the Nittany Lions. He flashed his potential as a pass rusher recording 1.5 sacks and 5 TFLs. His play in 2016 also earned him a spot on’s All-Big Ten Freshman Team.

Entering the 2017 season expectations were high for Miller. The Nittany Lion coaching staff was looking for him to take the next step as a pass rusher to become a consistent threat off the edge and he did just that.

Miller played in all 13 games in 2017 - 12 of which came as a starter - and was named a third-team All-Big Ten defensive end by the media. His 5.5 sacks led the Nittany Lions in 2017 and he added an additional 11.5 TFLs.

He also made one of most memorable plays of the season with his key safety against Iowa. Miller also recorded a key sack to force a Washington punt in the fourth quarter of the Nittany Lions’ Fiesta Bowl victory. Oh, and let’s not forget that he was unblockable in last year’s blowout of Michigan.

At 6-5, 260 lbs., Miller has the size to play against the run at defensive end making him an every down player. His burst and athleticism are what make him a terror for opposing teams in passing situations.

What to Expect in 2018

Expectations will be sky high for Miller in 2018 and rightfully so. He has all of the tools needed to be one of the best pass rushers in the Big Ten this fall. The Nittany Lions should have one of the best defensive end units in the FBS in 2018 and Miller is a big reason why.

Miller will be looking to take aim at Carl Nassib’s single season sack record of 16 which was set in 2015. If Miller stays healthy and plays to his capability, getting to Nassib’s record is not out of the question.

The only bad part of Miller blossoming into a great pass rusher is that the odds of him returning to Penn State for his redshirt senior season in 2019 appear to be low.