July 2, 2014
Editor's Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa's Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.
By DARREN MILLER
Hyde and Miller started side-by-side at cornerback and free safety for 23 straight games from 2011-12. Hyde finished his playing career in 2012 and spent the 2013 season as a successful rookie for the Green Bay Packers. Miller played his final game Jan. 1, 2014, in the Outback Bowl; on May 16 he signed a free agent contract with the Packers.
Between now and training camp July 26, Miller has found a valuable resource in Hyde. But Miller's familiarity with Packers personnel doesn't stop with his partner in the defensive backfield. Hawkeyes Bryan Bulaga (offensive tackle) and Mike Daniels (defensive tackle) are also on the Green Bay roster.
"It means a lot. I'm thankful I get the opportunity to be there," Miller said. "Having Micah, Mike Daniels and Bryan Bulaga up there throws me into a good situation, kind of like me coming into Iowa with Brett (Greenwood) and Tyler (Sash) there. I jumped the learning curve a little quicker being able to pick their brain more than I could somebody I didn't really know."
Hyde was in Miller's position a year ago, stressing about being in shape and what to anticipate at camp.
"As a rookie, you don't know what to expect so you have to establish yourself and start making plays, They talk up there that if you make a splash play or a good play every day to keep your name fresh in everyone's mind, you will be alright."
Green Bay Packers
"As a rookie, you don't know what to expect so you have to establish yourself and start making plays," Hyde said. "They talk up there that if you make a splash play or a good play every day to keep your name fresh in everyone's mind, you will be alright."
In his first professional season, Hyde made 55 tackles (41 solo) with two passes defended, a sack, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. He returned 24 punts for an average of 12.3 yards per attempt, including a 93-yard return for a touchdown against Minnesota. Hyde returned 22 kicks for an average of 24.1 yards and a long of 70 against Pittsburgh.
"I feel more comfortable than my rookie season," Hyde said. "Toward the end of last season you know the schedule, you get a routine down. Now going into training camp I know exactly how it is, what I have to do, and it's painting a better picture for this year."
Hyde and Miller coached hundreds of potential future defensive backs at the fifth annual LeVar Woods Football Academy from June 27-29 in Okoboji.
"Maybe some of these kids down the road will have the same chance I have," Miller said.
It is impossible to think of Hyde and Miller without remembering their big plays inside Kinnick Stadium. For Hyde, that was taking a lateral from Sash (who intercepted Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins) and returning it 66 yards for a touchdown at the end of the first quarter Oct. 30, 2010. No. 18 Iowa took a 37-0 lead over the No. 5 Spartans and won by 31 points.
"That's not just one of my highlights in college, but in my whole career," Hyde said. "Not necessarily for me scoring, but how big of a game it was, against Michigan State, No. 5 in the nation. It was really hyped."
For Miller, it was grabbing his first career interception on a pass by Northwestern's Dan Persa and returning it a school-record 98 yards for a touchdown Oct. 15, 2011. Iowa won the game, 41-31.
"I couldn't ask for my first interception to play out any better than that," Miller said. "I will never forget it."
The majority of times Hyde and Miller played at home, it was in front of 70,585 lively Hawkeye fans. To purchase tickets for the 2014 UI football season -- that includes seven home dates -- click HERE.