Arthur Miley is a 6-foot-6, 265-pound defensive lineman who doesn’t like to say much.
But he’s a captain the Southern football team, and being vocal recently became a requirement for him.
Before Southern’s certification issues, Miley and linebacker Daniel Brown complemented each other as defensive leaders. Miley led by example while Brown was the vocal leader.
With Brown ineligible to play this season, Miley noticed he had to speak more with so many players looking up to him.
“(Daniel) just gets loud; he gets everybody ready to go,” Miley said. “I just stick to myself a little bit and get everybody going by doing what I have to do. The fact that he’s not here means that I have to do a little bit of both. We just have to adapt to everything.”
Miley said he was a vocal leader in high school, but when it came time to learn in his first years with the Jaguars, he stopped talking and started listening.
“It’s because I was quiet as a young player, and I learned from the players before me and it just stuck with me that way,” he said. “If you watch me, I’m going to do the right thing. I just never became a vocal leader here. I don’t know why.”
Miley credits his leadership style to his humble beginnings at Southern. In his first year, he knew he had to gain weight and improve his skills if he wanted to play. He’s put on 25 pounds since his freshman season.
“As I got bigger, I got better and faster and my game improved,” Miley said. “I was always a hard worker, so (coach Dawson Odums) said if I continue to work hard I would continue to get better.”
Miley had three sacks against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and leads the Jaguars in sacks while ranking third in total tackles. Defensive line coach Myron Jackson said Miley has been showing up in the statistics more lately, but the lineman often completes selfless, intangible tasks for the defense like keeping the opposing quarterback in the pocket or taking away big gaps on potential run plays that go unnoticed.
“Sometimes you have to just give yourself up for the defense,” Jackson said.
Both Jackson and Odums complimented Miley on his character and work ethic. Miley grew up in the small town of Mangham, which is near Monroe, and his grandmother contributed to how hard he works.
Miley started working at age 6. On Saturday mornings he would mow the lawn and complete chores around the house before he could go play with his friends.
“As you can see, I’m a pretty big person,” Miley said. “So as a kid, I was pretty big. My chores started pretty early because I was big enough to do things.
“I was raised a little different, and that helps in life.”
Miley has a lifelong dream of playing in the NFL, something he wants to accomplish after graduating in December 2015.
Odums said Miley has the potential to live out his dream.
“He’s on track, he’s going to graduate, and God willing, he’ll be able to play on Sundays,” Odums said.