It all started with a mop and a bucket.
Every Saturday growing up outside Salt Lake City, Durrant Miles would be tasked with a checklist of chores by his mom. As boring and repetitive as cleaning the bathroom or making sure the kitchen floor was spotless seemed, it prepared him for his role as a starting defensive end at Boise State.
“She would always say, even things like that, if you’re going to do it, do it right and to the highest standard,” Miles said. “That’s really how I’ve tried to live my life, football included.”
Ask any Boise State coach what is most impressive about the junior defensive end, and the same word comes up — the sort of word that isn’t flashy, but one that every player strives for every year.
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“Durrant is a guy that is consistent,” defensive coordinator Andy Avalos said. “What he does is he’s very mature. he’s fun to be around. he brings that energy, and he’s got that blue-collar mentality when we get on the field. He’s always ready to get to work.”
Said coach Bryan Harsin: “Durrant is a hard worker. He’s consistent. Everybody talks about that ... he’s one of the guys that can do it. He can be a disciplined guy for five hours of football every single day.”
Harsin said Miles has a passion for the team and a passion to improve.
“Why not try to do everything great, and do it that way every time?” Miles said. “It’s not always easy, but I think putting my best foot forward each practice or game, you’ve got to do it. Coach Harsin talks about that all the time, and that’s a lot of the fire behind what I do.
“I’m still a pretty mean cleaner. But it’s more fun to apply that on the field.”
Miles has flown a bit under the radar, as he’s racked up 38 tackles, with 4.5 for loss, a sack and a fumble recovery in two seasons. But Boise State fans will get to see a lot more if all goes according to plan.
Last season, Miles played defensive end and STUD, with six starts at the latter because of injuries. He said learning behind Sam McCaskill, who had a team-high 14 tackles for loss at defensive end, was a major benefit, and that “I like being in there in the trench.”
“He’s one of your classic Boise State guys,” senior tight end Jake Roh said. “... You know he’s going to go out there and give it his all.”
It was evident to Miles he wanted to become one of those sorts of players, but he had to wait. And even the coach he committed to hoped to pull him away.
In June of 2012, Miles committed to the Broncos before his senior season at Bingham (Utah) High. The following summer, he departed for a two-year church mission to Bolivia. While he was in South America, he was offered by former coach Chris Petersen at Washington.
But Miles was sold on Boise State since his visit three years before.
“The first time I was up here, it was for the spring game. I remember seeing someone walking their dog, and it had Boise State stuff on,” Miles said. “The way the town loved the team, the charisma of the people, and how I fit in this program, I was always wanting to come back.”
Weighing 207 pounds after his mission, Miles played as a true freshman at about 230. He’s now a solid 6-foot-5 and 253 pounds. Harsin said “physically, he’s in a different place.”
That’s thanks in part to someone who also inspires him each day. Miles got married to his wife, Karra, on June 29.
“She makes really good protein shakes,” Miles said. “It’s been the best. I love being able to come home when I’m done with football and she’s there.”
He has the size necessary to play the Broncos’ defensive end spot, and with his athleticism, the Broncos are optimistic Miles can step in for McCaskill.
“I’m hoping that happens, and I think it will,” Roh said.
Troy at Boise State
When: 1:45 p.m. Saturday
Where: Albertsons Stadium (36,387, FieldTurf)
TV: ESPNU (Mike Couzens and John Congemi)
Radio: KBOI 670 AM/KTIK 93.1 FM (Bob Behler, Pete Cavender)
Records: BSU 10-3 in 2016; Troy 10-3
Series: First meeting (Boise State is 6-0 all-time against Sun Belt teams)
Vegas line: BSU by 10 1/2
Kickoff weather: Mid-90s, clear and sunny
Ticket update: Boise State reported more than 28,000 tickets were out as of Thursday afternoon. About 2,000 have been sold this week. To purchase tickets, stop by the Athletic Ticket Office on the west side of Albertsons Stadium, visit BroncoSports.com/tickets or call 208-426-4737.
Five questions with Durrant Miles
If you could have dinner with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?
“Both of my grandpas. My dad’s dad died when I was 3, and I only have a few memories of him, some Christmas traditions he did. My mom’s dad was a mentor of mine, he died when I was on my mission. He was like my best friend. I’d also have to say Conor McGregor, that’s an interesting guy.”
What’s your favorite NFL team, and why?
“If I had to pick one, I’d say my dad’s favorite, the Colts. My wife is a big Cowboys fan, but I grew up cheering for the Colts. One year, his mom got him a Colts hat and helmet when he was a kid and he loved them ever since.”
What’s your favorite movie?
“The Batman trilogy (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises). I love that story. The old ones are good too, but I like the newer ones. If I had to pick, it would be Batman Begins, sets it all up well. Bane, from the last one, he’s my favorite character.”
Who is the funniest teammate?
“Probably between (redshirt freshmen) Curtis Weaver and Avery Williams. Those guys are the class clowns. They’re hilarious.”
Do you have a favorite football moment?
“I’d say my first college game (in 2015 against Idaho State). To be in there, get that chance to play, that was great.”