Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Senior Bowl Notebook; Theus Knows Who Tested Him Most

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Senior Bowl Notebook; Theus Knows Who Tested Him Most

Article excerpt

Byline: Hays Carlyon

MOBILE, ALA.| Georgia offensive tackle John Theus doesn't need long to respond when asked who is the best defender he faced.

"I went against Clowney my freshman year," Theus said.

Say no more.

The former Bolles standout brings a resume loaded with experience. Theus started 48 career games for the Bulldogs, not only facing former South Carolina phenom Jadeveon Clowney but a slew of top defensive linemen in the Southeastern Conference.

"You can't teach experience, and I have a lot of that," Theus said.

The 6-foot-6, 317-pound Theus entered Georgia as a five-star prospect, and his stock is high as the draft process begins. Most analysts peg Theus as a second- to third-round pick.

Theus is also getting an experience as a fan this week. Competing for the South roster, he is being coached by the Jaguars.

"I love [coach] Gus Bradley," Theus said. "I'm a Jaguars fan. He had a bunch of energy in our first meeting. I can see why people love him in Jacksonville. It was cool to see how he is in a team meeting."

Theus has fared well so far in Mobile through the first two practices.

"I know what I need to work on," Theus said. "Prove that I'm just as athletic as any lineman out here. I can play with the best of them. I'm starting out at left tackle, but I'll play both."

Following the Senior Bowl, Theus will compete in the NFL Scouting Combine in February and then participate in Georgia's pro day on March 16.

"He's done some good things," Bradley said. "It's a great challenge for him, because there's some speed on that defensive side. Now, to have four years underneath your belt can help you in making the transition, because you can draw from those experiences."

MILLER SHINING

Braxton Miller's decision to transition from quarterback to receiver at Ohio State last year looks like a wise choice.

Miller's muscle memory is further along this week at the Senior Bowl than the usual quarterback-switching-to-another-position situation.

His receiving numbers this past season were light (26 catches for 341 yards and three scores), but it's clear he's well into the adjustment.

Miller demonstrated quality route-running skills, especially on intermediate timing plays. He caught the ball consistently with his hands out front and appears to be a favorite target of multiple North quarterbacks.

"It helped that I started it prior to this season," Miller said. "It wasn't a last-minute decision. I gave myself a lot of time to get acclimated to receiver and get my body prepared for route running."

However, Miller wasn't flawless. He did muff a couple of punts. Still, it's easy to see why Miller is being projected as a second-round selection.

He is showing the athleticism that led to him running for 2,994 yards and 32 touchdowns in his three seasons at quarterback. …

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