In Troy Smith and Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State has had two of the most electric quarterbacks in recent memory. Braxton Miller is cut from a similar cloth, but he only showed glimpses of his ability as a true freshman last season.
That's all set to change this year.
With Urban Meyer now running the show in Columbus, Miller is in a system that is perfectly suited to his talent. Alex Smith and Tim Tebow both starred under the tutelage of Meyer, and there's little reason why Miller won't be able to have the same level of success.
"Braxton Miller has a lot of skill sets Tim Tebow didn't have," Meyer told the Bucyrus Telegraph Forum. "He's the most dynamic athlete I've ever coached at quarterback."
Big things are on the horizon once the 6'2" Miller becomes more confident with the Buckeyes' scheme. Last year, shortly after he assumed the reins as the starter, Miller led the Buckeyes to a 33-29 upset of the then-No. 12 Wisconsin Badgers. In his last five regular-season games in 2011, Miller ran for a total of seven touchdowns.
With Miller's growing confidence will come leadership—at least that's what Meyer is banking on. At Florida, Meyer had a natural-born leader under center (Tebow), but if Ohio State truly has BCS aspirations, Miller will need to be more vocal with his teammates. And, according to early reports, that's exactly what has happened so far this summer.
"He was a little timid at times [last season]," said Ohio State senior fullback Zach Boren. "Now he's telling guys what to do and he was even bringing guys in on Sunday to work on his pass routes."
There were only two games last year in which Miller threw more than 18 passes, but the sophomore quarterback will have to rely more on his arm in 2012. Meyer's offense isn't pass heavy, but the days of Miller throwing 10 times a game are pretty much over. "Braxton has to pass the ball for us to have a chance for success," said Meyer.
Once the Ohio State passing game starts to get rolling, the rest of the Big Ten will have to sit up and take notice. While Miller's performance last year was impressive in its own right, it will soon pale in comparison to the show that he puts on this season.
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