Haasan Miller has done the right things, but the Tyner quarterback is better now because he began doing them much better.
It still sounds somewhat strange to Miller to associate himself with the quarterback position, even though he had played it or receiver through his youth football and middle school days.
"When I came to Tyner, Coach [Wayne Turner] asked me what position I wanted to play," Miller recalled. "I said, 'I'll play wherever you need me.'"
Miller has played running back, receiver, cornerback and safety in addition to returning punts and kickoffs.
Willingness to sacrifice has been part of his creed.
"Whatever [coaches] needed. I always thought the best way to be a good player was to be coachable," the senior said. "If you have that mindset, you can learn more."
Turner said Miller always has been willing to do what was best for the Rams, even if it didn't include quarterbacking, and now has matured.
"He always had a good attitude as long as things were going well, but when things didn't go so well he had a tendency to lose his cool. He has done a lot better job with that," the coach said. "And he could have been our quarterback sooner, but we wanted to use him in other seasons in different ways."
Handling adversity in a more positive fashion is just one of the improvements Miller took it upon himself to make.
"He's paid his dues. He's shown a lot of good leadership that he hadn't shown in the past, and he worked awfully hard in the weight room," Turner said. "Football means more to him this year. Last year about midseason he started setting goals for himself. He wants to play college ball. He's always been a good student, and he sees that he has a good opportunity to accomplish something and make something of himself through football."
Miller's arm has become a plus because of his offseason work.
"It's improved tremendously, partly because of his work in the weight room and partly because he threw a lot over the summer," Turner said.
Because of the weight-room dedication, Miller is bigger, strong and faster, clocking a 4.52-second 40-yard dash.
It was, perhaps, because of that dream every youngster seems to have.
"Everybody wants to be the quarterback, especially when they're young," he said. "I didn't really want to play it so much in high school because nine chances out of 10 that isn't going to be my position in college."
Some recruiters like him as a defensive back, others as a slot receiver.
"I don't complain," Miller said. "As long as I get on the field I'm going to like it."
Contact Ward Gossett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter/wardgossett.
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...