Players of the Pine Belt: Richton’s Devin Miller talks softly, but delivers big hits

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RICHTON, Miss. (WDAM) _ Devin Miller is a man of few words, preferring to let his actions speak for themselves.

But Richton High School football coach Stephen Rice had plenty to say about his two-way junior.

“Devin is one of those kids who doesn’t say a whole lot, but he lets his actions speak for him,” Rice said of Richton’s Player of the Pine Belt.”

“He’s always in the weight room. He’s kind of that silent leader. He’s not a real rah-rah guy, but he works hard. He kind of pushes the guys and he’s done a good job for us this summer.”

The 6-foot, 195-pound Miller, whose two brothers donned the maroon and white before him, helped the Rebels reach new heights in 2019, as Richton made a run to the Class 1A South State title game.

Before 2018, Richton never had hosted a postseason game under the current playoff system adopted by the Mississippi High School Activities Association in the 1980s.

Miller said he and teammates want to keep the program’s momentum going.

"We've just been working like we have a game every day," Miller said.

Richton saw lynchpin quarterback/safety Dylan Farve graduate, so the Rebels will be breaking in a new signal caller.

“We’ve got some new weapons on offense (who) are young, but I feel like they’ll do pretty good this year,” Miller said.

Rice said Miller will have an expanded role as well.

“Last year he kind of anchored our defensive line, especially towards the end of the year in the playoffs.” Rice said. “This year, he’ll give us a guy on offense that we can move around and try to get the ball to and use blocking some and stuff like that, so I think his versatility and his athleticism will be huge for us.”

With the season’s start already pushed back two weeks and the COVID-19 threat still lurking, Miller said he and his fellow Rebels are just hoping there will be a season to play.

"We've been working hard all summer to get to this point, so it will be disappointing if we don't have a season," Miller said.

Rice said all the Rebels can do is prepare as if a season looms just past the horizon.

“We’ve lost a lot (of seniors) the last two years, so losing spring football really hurt us this year,” Rice said. “We were hoping to get an idea of who could do what, but we’ve just been plugging away and working and trying to prepare for the season as if it is going to continue.

“Our kids have really bought into what we’re doing this summer. We’ve just explained that we’re going to act as if we’re kicking off. We’re going to do everything as if this stuff was going on, but we’re taking all the precautions that need to be done to protect the kids, the faculty, and their families.”

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