GREENSBORO - Wallace Miles admitted something that is not easy for most athletes to admit. There are others who are faster, taller and stronger. The key to Miles' success as a North Carolina A&T wide receiver is not his specs.
In fact, the source behind all of his accomplishments is rather cliché. But you don't need nuance when hard work is sufficient.
Miles (SR, 6-1, 193, Atlanta, Ga.) finished his career as an Aggie on Saturday by leading N.C. A&T to a 31-21 win over archrival N.C. Central. In the process, he took down school record after school record, which included becoming the first player in school history to go over 1,000 yards receiving in a season.
Thereby, he broke the school's single-season receiving yards record. Miles is also the only player in school history to lead the team in receiving all four years.
In addition, he broke the single-season record for receptions in a season (70) and he tied the school record for career catches (172). He also became just the second player in school history to compile more than 2,000 yards in a career. Most of the records he snapped belonged to Herbert Harbison.
"When I got here all I heard about was how great Herbert Harbison was as a player here," said Miles, who was 64 yards shy of breaking Harbison's career receiving yards record. "To be mentioned in the same breath as some of the great players who came through this program is an unbelievable honor. I could not have dreamed this."
Then there is this. Miles wasn't brought to N.C. A&T to break receiving records. He was a soccer player with the ability to be a placekicker.
He eventually convinced a previous coaching staff to let him work out with the receivers. His audition was good enough to put him in front of a defensive back instead of a kicking tee. He caught 26 passes for 188 yards on a team that went 3-9 in 2008. During Miles' four years on the field the Aggies went 14-31.
"The records are nice, but I would have taken wins over stats," Miles said. "I would have liked to have won more, but the records are something you can reflect on later.
"I've been in this program for five years, so I've seen the lows of the low," he continued. "We've had some rocky roads. But the sky's the limit for those guys."
Miles left his returning teammates with some advice. He wants them to find starting quarterback Lewis Kindle and catch numerous passes from him over the summer. He said that is what led him to make a career-best 70 catches for 1,048 yards and six touchdowns.
"The summer is where it really counts," said Miles. "If they put in the hours with Lewis, you're going to see three or four guys replace a Wallace Miles."
He said with the addition of hard work and head coach Rod Broadway and his coaching staff, records will not only fall, but wins will come along with those fallen records. The admiration is obviously mutual as Broadway spoke after the NCCU win.
"He brings so much more to your football team than just being a player," said Broadway. "Wallace said it best, we have guys that are faster, bigger, stronger, and so forth and so on, but he just works. Here is a guy with close to a 3.0 grade point average in engineering, comes to work every day, and works his butt off.
And he's an outstanding person, so we're going to miss him a great deal," Broadway continued. "You can coach a long time and you will not have the opportunity to coach many young men like him."