Trojan linebacker duo ready to return home

Published 11:56 pm Tuesday, August 28, 2012

While the majority of the Trojans will be looking for retribution from 2010’s heartbreaking loss to UAB in which the Blazers scored on a 44-yard hail mary on the final play of the game. This year, several Troy players will have an added incentive to perform well. Troy will carry at least four players that hail from the Birmingham area.

Starting linebacker Dimitri Miles says he’s expecting as many as 40 family members, friends and former teammates at the game.

“I’m excited to see my family and old teammates. I’m excited that they’ll get to see me play,” Miles said. “We only get four tickets to each game so I’m going to have to come up with some more before then.”

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Miles said one perk of playing in Legion Field is his familiarity to the stadium.

“When you play on the road, you try to get as comfortable as possible,” he said. “For me, I know the stadium; I’ve played in Legion Field before. It’s a humbling experience.”

One of Troy’s other linebackers Tyler Roberts is a Hoover High School graduate and is anxious to play a college game near his home.

“All of my family and friends are going to be there so it’s exciting,” said Roberts, who was named Troy’s starter at the bandit position last week. “I didn’t think I’d be getting most of the reps. It came as a pleasant surprise.”

For Roberts, the UAB game will be unique in another way. It will also be the freshman’s first-ever college game as he redshirted last season.

“It’s important to have a good game every game but this is special,” he said. “You only get one, first college game. It will be something I’ll remember.”

Miles and Roberts have talked about the game and when the two line up next to each other Saturday afternoon, they know a lot of eyes will be on them.

“We’re excited to go back and play in our own backyard,” Roberts said, who was recruited by both UAB and Troy. “I felt like Troy was the better fit for me and had a better program.”

Miles connection with the UAB runs deeper than that. The sophomore has an older brother that is in the nursing program in Birmingham.

So what colors will his brother wear on Saturday?

“I told him that he’d better wear Troy colors,” Miles said with a smile.

Troy and UAB are set to kickoff at 11 a.m. The game will be broadcast on Fox College Sports.