Braxton Miller: Ohio State Quarterback for Doak Walker Award?
The Doak Walker Award is handed out annually to the best running back in the nation after every college football season.
Former winners include Eddie George, Ricky Williams (twice), Larry Johnson, Cedric Benson, Reggie Bush and Darren McFadden (twice).
Braxton Miller is listed as a quarterback, lines up as a quarterback and, for the sake of overstating the obvious, is a quarterback. But four weeks into this college football season, Miller is the best runner in the land. Better than Montee Ball, Knile Davis, Kenjon Barner, etc...
This season, only Chris Thompson of the Florida State Seminoles could give Miller a run (no pun) as best runner in the NCAA.
Miller reminds me of the aforementioned McFadden when he was running the "Wild Hog" for the Arkansas Razorbacks a few years back. Not just because they both rocked jersey No. 5, but because of Miller's obvious running ability.
As far as his quarterback ability goes, he still has a ways to go to improve as a passer. But a year-and-a-half into his career, I can confidently say he is the best pure running quarterback I have ever seen.
That includes the likes of Jamelle Holieway, Darian Hagan, Beau Morgan, Tommie Frazier, Eric Crouch, the Vick brothers, Tim Tebow, Brad Smith, Antwaan Randle El and Armanti Edwards, just to name a few.
If Miller would declare for the NFL draft after his junior season, I believe he could go top 10 overall as a running back.
Although the importance of the running back position has been significantly reduced over the past few seasons, the truly elite explosive running backs still seem to be coveted by teams in the top half of the draft.
For example, Darren McFadden went No. 4 overall to the Raiders in 2008, and Trent Richardson went third this year to Cleveland.
After what I have seen over the past four games, I put Miller in that company. Barring injury, I could see some team taking a flier on him as a running back somewhere in the first round, most likely in the 2015 draft.
What's not to like?
Miller is fast, explosive, strong, tough, makes people miss (especially with his Barry Sanders like spin) and is listed at 6'1", 210 lbs. That is big enough to be an every-down back in the NFL.
By comparison, Darren McFadden is listed at 6'1", 218 and is arguably (when healthy) the best running back in the league.
While I don't think Miller will qualify for the Doak Walker Award because he is technically not listed as a running back, if you ask around (especially in Columbus, Ohio), I am sure Miller's name will come up in the conversation for best running back in America.
Who knows, if he improves his passing, we may be making the case for Miller as the Heisman Trophy winner in 2013 and 2014. Imagine how improved Miller will be in year number two of Urban Meyer's spread attack.
He is going to be downright scary.
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