By Kevin Posival

Fort Hood Herald

By way of Killeen, Roy Miller made it to the NFL.

He waited anxiously through the first two rounds of the 2009 NFL draft but heard nothing until the third round on Sunday. Then, it was official.

His boyhood dream had been realized, even if it was later than he expected.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted former Shoemaker star Miller with the 17th pick of the third round and 81st pick overall.

Miller, who recorded 138 tackles, 25 for a loss, 10 sacks and 44 pressures at Texas, was the ninth defensive tackle taken in the draft.

"I'm definitely honored to be a Buc, but I feel like there are a lot of guys that went ahead of me that shouldn't have," Miller told The Associated Press. "Those kind of things I feed off of when I play."

Miller is viewed as a nice fit for the system being installed by Tampa Bay's new defensive coordinator, Jim Bates. "I take pride in doing both. I want to be able to show that," Miller said.

Miller is Tampa Bay's highest-drafted defensive tackle since the Bucs took Anthony McFarland in first round of the 1999 draft.

"It's something that you dream of," Miller said on the University of Texas Web site. "There aren't too many people that get picked in the NFL draft.

"I'm definitely honored to be picked by the Bucs. I'm so excited because they've had a lot of great players on defense there, so going to a place that's known for defense is going to be a lot of fun. I know they like to get after it on defense."

Shoemaker coach Ken Gray said he couldn't be happier for his former player.

"I'm excited for (Miller)," Gray said. "I kind of feel like I got drafted. I talked to him earlier and he's real ecstatic about it. He's happy to be with Tampa Bay. And I know with his work ethic, he's going to do great things for them."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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