MORGANTOWN - Julian Miller has been around the West Virginia football program so long now that the years don't even register anymore.
Old age might be one reason for that, although, relatively speaking, is a fifth-year senior in college really that old?
No, Miller's confusion over years and dates has more to do with what he's been through during the four years he's spent in WVU's football program.
He arrived in 2007 as a 207-pound freshman defensive end. While he has managed to play - and play well - every year since 2008, what has consumed him is his effort to transform his body.
"I can't even say the years now, but I'll say that around the 230s I was kind of struggling just to get over that hump and get to 240 or 245,'' he said. "Honestly, that's when I thought about just moving over to tight end or something else where I could still use my speed and just maintain that type of weight.''
Suffice it to say that sticking with the original goal of gaining weight and staying on the defensive line has worked out well.
Miller will go into his senior season this fall at a robust 270 pounds. He's no longer even a defensive end, having been moved to tackle to make room at end for pass-rushing phenom Bruce Irvin.
"I wanted to gain weight eventually even if I stayed at defensive end,'' Miller said. "But the fact that I've been moved to tackle makes me focus on it a lot more and try to get my weight up.
"The 250 days are over with. I'm trying to stay up there and potentially even bulk that up for the future.''
The result now is that in a year in which West Virginia lost two-thirds of its starting defensive line in tackle Scooter Berry and nose guard Chris Neild, the overall position might actually be in for an upgrade.
Yes, Neild's hole in the middle will be hard to fill - even more so if Jorge Wright remains suspended - but at tackle and end the Mountaineers might be as well off as any three-man-front team in the country.
Irvin was second in the country in sacks a year ago with 14. Miller wasn't far behind with nine.
It is, to say the least, a nice pair of bookends.
"Yeah,'' Miller said. "I think we have the potential to do some pretty good things.''
That Miller has been able to play as well as he has for the past three seasons while being significantly undersized is a tribute to his work ethic. But so much of that work in the past has had to be focused on simply getting bigger.