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Michigan State football: Tanner Miller rated Big Ten’s best returning IOL

The interior is looking solid.



Michigan State football
© Craig Strobeck-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State football has a number of impressive incoming transfers and Tanner Miller is one of the best of the bunch.

Recently, I wrote a short piece regarding one of the newest Michigan State football transfers, Luke Newman. The transfer from Holy Cross was ranked the No. 1 returning lineman to the Big Ten, according to PFF.

Now on Monday, PFF released its grades for returning interior offensive linemen (IOL) in the Big Ten and one of Newman’s new teammates tops the list.

In the portal era, when a head coach makes a jump up a level to a new program, it’s common to see some players follow in their footsteps. Shortly after Jonathan Smith took the MSU job in November, Oregon State’s Tanner Miller hit the portal and followed his coach to East Lansing.

On Monday, PFF dropped its rankings and Miller topped the list for the highest-rated returning interior offensive linemen in the Big Ten.

Die-hard Michigan State football fans might be a little confused. How is Newman the best returning offensive tackle and Miller the best returning interior offensive lineman when they both play guard?

PFF graded Newman as a tackle and Miller as a guard. Newman played tackle at Holy Cross but projects to be a guard this fall. Miller, on the other hand, has always been on the interior, playing three games at center and 10 at guard in 2023.

New offensive line coach Jim Michalczik did great work this offseason patching up some of the line. Former offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic brought in good talent during his tenure in East Lansing. That said, development did not meet expectations. When the new staff was hired, a flurry of linemen left the program, leaving Michalczik the spring to patch some of the leaks.

Between the likes of Miller and Newman filling out the center and left guard roles, Michigan State football and star transfer quarterback Aidan Chiles are set up to have some pretty solid blocking from the guys on the interior.


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