Paul Chryst and the Wisconsin football team have been looking closely at the defensive tackle position for their 2022 recruiting class. We’ve already talked about 4-star defensive tackle Curtis Neal, who could be choosing between Wisconsin and Ohio St.
The Badgers could be closing in on another big-time defensive lineman, KJ Miles. Miles is a 4-star prospect from Jersey City, New Jersey. Normally, the Wisconsin football team goes to New Jersey for running backs; i.e. Ron Dayne, Corey Clement, Jonathan Taylor, and Jalen Berger, but they are finding success with other positions there as well.
According to 247Sports’ composite rankings, Miles is the 30th defensive tackle and 349th overall prospect in the country.
Currently, Miles has over 25 scholarship offers from teams all over the country. Aside from Wisconsin, he has offers from teams like Alabama, Penn St., Georgia, USC, Texas, Michigan, Notre Dame, and many more.
He has official visits set up with Georgia Tech (June 11), Wisconsin (June 17), and Texas (June 25).
He has two predictions on 247Sports’ Crystal Ball. Wisconsin Insider Evan Flood and Notre Dame Insider Tom Loy both have their predictions set to Wisconsin. Granted, they are both a 3 (low) confidence, but it’s somewhat telling that both Insiders felt they could give a prediction on Miles.
Brian Dohn, 247Sports’ National Recruiting Analyst provided a scouting report for Miles back in 2018. At the time, he projected Miles to be a future Day 2 or 3 pick in the NFL Draft and compared him to Frank Clark, who is currently on the Kansas City Chiefs.
Here is Dohn’s scouting report:
"Nice frame with wide shoulders and length. Elite athleticism. Ability to play defensive end or 3-tech. Position versatility includes huge upside as guard. Explosive at snap. Has speed to get around edge. Can rush with power. Quick, strong hands. Strong at point of attack. Disengages quickly. Changes direction well. Speed to pursue backside. Can redirect down line. Has to continue to develop upper-body strength. Needs to work on technique. Multi-year starter at Elite program. Day 2 NFL draft potential."
If you want to watch his film on Hudl, you can see Miles lines up in multiple spots on defense. He can play defensive end or jump inside to the 3-technique. He is pretty quick off of the snap, giving him a head start on the offensive lineman lined up across from him. He gets pressure on the quarterback very quickly.
At 6-3 and 280 pounds, I’m not sure where Jim Leonhard would play Miles. He’s a similar size to Bryson Williams, but he could easily put on some more weight to play inside if they need him there. Otherwise, I could see him kicking out to defensive end and playing a role similar to Matt Henningsen and Garrett Rand have the past couple of years.
If the Badgers can land Miles, it would be a big win for the Wisconsin football program. Bryson Williams is a senior this season and Keeanu Benton could potentially leave early for the NFL. That would leave the Badgers pretty thin at the defensive tackle position. It’s going to be important to grab a few players at the position this recruiting cycle. KJ Miles would be a very good start and likely a difference-maker on the Wisconsin football team in the future.