You may not have known this, but Miller Forristall was a quarterback at Cartersville High School in Georgia.
Some guy named Trevor Lawrence showed up — you know, the one expected to be the first-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft — and now you know how Forristall became a tight end.
By NFL standards, he's considered a bit small for the position, and it wasn't until he arrived at Alabama that he really began to learn the nuances of blocking.
“In recruiting, Coach [Nick] Saban told me, ‘Hey, you do A, B and C really well, but you suck at blocking,’” Forristall said. “That was brutally honest and no one said that to me.
"He said, ‘Come here and be the best version of yourself,’ and I think in five years, we’ve come pretty darn close."
Meanwhile, Forristall wasn't an all-conference selection. Instead of being on the watch list for the Mackey Award (most outstanding tight end), he was up for the Wuerffel Trophy (community service).
Injuries plagued his Crimson Tide career as well.
A knee injury forced him to redshirt the 2017 national championship season after just three games. In 2019, he missed four games after needing surgery to fix a broken larynx and hyoid bone. Last season he played through ankle and shoulder injuries while starting 10 games for the national champions.
But the more NFL teams look at Forristall, they more they'll like him. He's a smart player, has a knack for getting open and can fill a lot of spots including on special teams.
"He showed great versatility," former head coach Jim Mora Jr. said. "NFL teams are looking for tight ends who are versatile. He played next to the tackle. He lined up in the slot. He played B-back. They could put him out wide.
"I’ll tell you this, having played in a Steve Sarkisian offense I think is going to help him because he’s been asked to do a lot of things. He understands route concepts. He’s a strong-handed guy. I think he’s a pretty darn good route runner, just he didn’t get the opportunities because the ball was going elsewhere."
Hometown: Cartersville, Ga.
• Caught 23 passes for 253 yards with one touchdown during his final season.
• As a junior in 2019, played in nine games with 167 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 15 receptions.
• Played in a total of 42 games during his Crimson Tide career.
What they said ...
Zierlein, NFL.com: Blocking tight end lacking the size and strength that teams desire. Forristall gives good effort both at the point of attack and in space but doesn't have the necessary power to consistently sustain blocks near the line of scrimmage. He's a pure zone-beater as a pass-catcher who needs the scheme to help him uncover. He's been part of many talented teams, but he will be a longshot to play as a pro.
SI analyst Jim Mora Jr.: “When you look at Miller in particular, you see tremendous upside, or at least I do. You think about the superstars that he was surrounded by. The pass-catchers on the outside, the running back in the backfield with Najee [Harris]. So he was an overlooked commodity in that offense."
The Draft Bible: Overshadowed a part of one of the more talented passing attacks in recent memory, Alabama tight end Miller Forristall has some intriguing physical tools to work with. Although underused, Forristall has made an impact whenever targets have come his way. He is a flexible athlete who has shown the talent to run a variety of routes to multiple levels of the field. Forristall is a versatile move piece that has lined up at multiple spots during his career at Alabama, including inline, H-Back and in the slot. He has some strong hands, making himself a very dependable target in the intermediate level of the field. Forristall even has some nice YAC ability for the position, flashing some nice spatial awareness in the open field. As a blocker, he is an adequate positional player but lacks power in the lower half. He sports a thin frame that could limit him as more of a move piece than full time inline blocker. There are some athletic gifts to work with here that are still untapped. It is his combination of size, flexibility and sure hands that could make him a draftable prospect when all is said and done."
Draft projection: Seventh round/free agent
This is the seventh in a series of Crimson Tide profiles for the 2021 NFL Draft