1. Sports
  2. /
  3. USF Bulls

A Bulls bright spot? That would be Bryce Miller

The walk-on slot receiver, an East Lake High alumnus, has worked his way into USF’s starting lineup
USF walk-on receiver Bryce Miller (19) celebrates with guard William Atterbury (78) after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Sunday, September 28, 2019. SMU defeated USF, 48-21. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times] [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
Published Oct. 2

TAMPA ― His Division I-A breakthrough has been overshadowed by his team’s staggering mediocrity, but Bryce Miller is used to it.

The anonymity, that is. Dude’s been glossed over most of his career.

“That’s why I take pride in going out there and giving 100 percent every play, just because that’s who I am and that’s what I have to do,” USF’s 5-foot-9 walk-on slot receiver said. “I’m not 6-4 and run a 4.3, I’ve got to do the little things right.”

True to the spring and preseason projections of coaches and peers, Miller ― a transfer from NAIA blip Southeastern University in Lakeland ― has cracked the playing rotation and is producing in his first season of eligibility at USF.

RELATED: WR Bryce Miller enjoys breakout spring for USF

His seven receptions (one for a touchdown) rank third on the team. On Wednesday, offensive coordinator Kerwin Bell said Miller will make his first start as a Bull on Saturday at Connecticut.

“He’s a hard-nosed football player, just a good football player,” Bell said. “Not the biggest, not the fastest, but man, he gets open.”

Problem is, that emergence has coincided with the Bulls’ southward spiral, robbing him of potential limelight.

Story of this 20-year-old’s life.

A dependable, disciplined route runner at East Lake High, Miller was overshadowed for most of his prep career by blue-chip teammates such as Artavis Scott (Clemson) and George Campbell (FSU, Penn State).

As a senior in 2016, he caught 56 passes for 916 yards and 16 touchdowns while helping lead East Lake (9-2) to a Class 7A region final, but received nary an overture from a big college.

He says he had never heard of Southeastern until the school reached out to him.

“I went to a practice and it looked pretty good,” Miller said. “And it was my only offer.”

MORE BULLS: USF’s Charlie Strong: Changes coming in wake of latest home loss

After a solid rookie year at Southeastern (24 catches, 319 yards), he transferred to USF and sat out the ’18 season per NCAA guidelines. Yet his work on the scout team last fall and with the first team in the spring and preseason turned heads.

“He kinda reminds me of like, I don’t wanna say Wes Welker, but kinda like an Adam Thielen, the way he runs his routes,” said Bulls middle linebacker Patrick Macon, referring to the Vikings’ Pro Bowl receiver who was undrafted out of Division II Minnesota State.

“He’s very precise. He just does everything right in his routes in order to get open, because he’s not the biggest.”

That precision brandished itself in the second half of Saturday’s 48-21 loss to SMU, when Miller ― operating out of the slot on the left side ― ran a textbook post route and snagged a Blake Barnett pass between two converging defenders for a 13-yard touchdown.

Miller’s coach at East Lake, Bob Hudson, was there to see it, though a majority of the sparse audience already had abandoned Raymond James Stadium by then and missed it.

Bryce Miller is used to it.

Contact Joey Knight at Follow @TBTimes_Bulls


  1. USF center Michael Durr is guarded by IUPUI's Elyjah Goss in the second half of the Bulls' 70-53 loss Wednesday at the Yuengling Center. [JOEY KNIGHT | Times] Joey Knight
    The Bulls finish with more turnovers than field goals in an embarrassing 70-53 defeat
  2. USF coach Brian Gregory hopes to sign two players in the 2020 recruiting cycle. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times] OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    The combo guard from Georgia is the highest-ranked Bulls signee of the Rivals era
  3. South Florida offensive coordinator Kerwin Bell during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Wisconsin Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP
    The Bulls have scored 31 first-quarter points, second-fewest in the American Athletic Conference
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon III Hargreaves kneels in the end zone after the Seattle Seahawks defeated his team in overtime in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer) JOHN FROSCHAUER  |  AP
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: It’s a mailbag episode, with answers on Jameis Winston’s future, Lavonte David’s season, Mike Evans’ plight, Kevin Cash’s third-place finish and Charlie Strong’s job...
  5. Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder leads the No. 17 Bearcats into Raymond James Stadium on Saturday to face USF. JOHN MINCHILLO  |  AP
    The Bearcats can exit Raymond James Stadium with an outright East Division title.
  6. USF career goals leader Evelyne Viens (14) and the Bulls open NCAA Tournament play Friday at the University of Florida. [USF Athletics] TRAVIS PENDERGRASS  |  USF Athletics
    Basketball is ranked again, and soccer is tourney-bound, but both have reason to be perturbed
  7. USF coach Charlie Strong was widely blasted for not using two timeouts on his team's final offensive possession Thursday night against Temple. The Owls won, 17-7. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    The Bulls coach clarifies his reasoning for not using his last two timeouts Thursday against Temple.
  8. USF guard David Collins (0) and Boston College guard Jared Hamilton (3) battle for the loose ball during the first half at the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida on Sunday, November 10, 2019. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times] OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    The Bulls force 28 turnovers, but struggle to hit a basket anywhere from the floor
  9. USF freshman Maria Alvarez attempts a one-handed runner in the lane during the second half of Friday's 64-57 upset of No. 15 Texas. [JOEY KNIGHT | Times] Joey Knight
    An ensemble effort gives the Bulls a win that could prove critical come March
  10. Quarterback Jameis Winston and the Bucs play their first home game in 49 days at 1 p.m. Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. Times
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Can Jameis Winston make the Bucs’ welcome-home game a success?