MORGANTOWN -- What Donovan Miles insists -- and what the fifth-year senior from Stafford, Va., wishes everyone understood -- is that almost nothing has changed for him.
Oh, it is true he is at a new position at West Virginia and was asked to play fullback after trying to crack the depth chart with mixed results as a linebacker the previous four years and three seasons.
This is offense, which he hasn't known since high school, and that was defense, for which he was so greatly coveted as a senior at Brook Point High in 2007. But understand, please, that Miles is still playing football and there was a time when he was very good at that.
Good enough to be regarded as one of the top 25 outside linebackers in the country. Good enough to have WVU, Maryland, Virginia and Virginia Tech battling for his signed letter of intent.
Good enough that when Bill Stewart was the WVU interim coach for the Fiesta Bowl in 2008, he found a quiet seat at the back of one of the buses taking the team to its walk-through the day before the game and decided to call Miles.
Stewart felt so sure about Miles as a player that he tried to convince him to stick with the Mountaineers on National Signing Day, no matter who was in charge or who was left on the staff.
Miles was that good. He says he always was and still is. All that changed was the opportunities to show what he can do. For the past seven practices at WVU, Miles has flourished after being moved to fullback.
"Even though I didn't play a lot, I still took a lot of reps, so this isn't really that different," he said. "I still got reps. I didn't play as much, but I always prepared myself.
"If at any given time I had to come in, I knew I could do it because I prepared myself like someone who did play a lot. This isn't much different for me."
Before the final practice prior to spring break, linebackers coach Keith Patterson pulled Miles aside and mentioned the position change. It's never an easy conversation for a coach or a player because the coach never knows how the player will react.
Further complicating this chat was the fact Miles had known Patterson for barely a month. How, a different player might wonder, could a coach who had been hired only weeks before claim to know what was good for someone who'd been around for so long?
"Actually," Miles said, "I look at him like he's been my coach since little league, even though he just got here. When he addressed me about it, I felt confident and felt like I could do it."
Whenever Coach Dana Holgorsen or running backs coach Robert Gillespie or even Patterson talks about Miles and his move, they mention his attitude. He plays hard and physical and he is big at 6 feet 1, 240 pounds.
So far, so early in his return to the position he played a little bit in the I-formation in high school, he is good at one thing above all the others.
Miles gets somewhere fast and generally arrives in a bad mood. And this, like everything else, isn't new. This is the same Miles, we must remember, whose high school described him thusly in 2008: