After an impressive junior season, Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller has decided that he will return to the Buckeyes program for his senior season.
Updates from Thursday, Jan. 9
The university confirms what was already expected—Braxton Miller is coming back to Columbus, according to Rusty Miller of the Associated Press:
Bill Rabinowitz of the Columbus Dispatch provides quotes from Miller who spoke about his decision to return:
Braxton Miller on decision to return: “I want to help this team win a Big Ten championship next year." ...— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) January 10, 2014
Miller, cont.: "Plus, I want to improve as a quarterback in all aspects of my game."...— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) January 10, 2014
Miller: "I’m looking forward to working for another year with Coach Meyer and Coach Herman."...— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) January 10, 2014
Miller: "And I want to graduate, so this will help get me closer to my academic goal.”— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) January 10, 2014
---End of update---
Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated reported the news on Saturday:
Ohio State will be keeping two of its top players on the offensive side of the ball, however. Quarterback Braxton Miller and tight end Jeff Heuerman will both be returning for their senior seasons, a source said.
Miller's return is expected. He told SI.com after the Big Ten title game that he'd be back for his senior year. Miller is not considered by draft experts one of the Top 10 quarterbacks available. His return places him as a Heisman Trophy favorite, along with Florida State's Jameis Winston and Auburn's Nick Marshall, for next season.
Bill Rabinowitz of the Columbus Dispatch claims OSU is unaware of the report:
Cleveland.com's Doug Lesmirises has more:
However, ESPN's Joe Schad confirmed the report:
The 6'2", 215-pound star was one of the best athletes in college football this past season. Despite missing almost three full games due to an injury, he rushed for over 1,000 yards with double-digit touchdowns for the second year in a row.
Additionally, he made great strides as a passer this year, improving his accuracy and efficiency. He made smarter decisions throughout the season, and he finished among the nation's best in adjusted QBR.
However, the most impressive aspect of his college career was his ability to lead his team to success. In the last two seasons, the Buckeyes went 22-2 with Miller starting at quarterback.
While they were unable to play for a BCS title after losing to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game, this was still an impressive couple of years for the quarterback.
Not only will Miller vie for a championship one more time, he will have a chance to improve any knocks NFL scouts may have on his game. He does not have elite arm strength or accuracy compared to others in his class. Also, the fact that he was used mostly as a runner has limited his experience in reading defenses.
Will Braxton Miller be a successful NFL quarterback?
Still, his athleticism and playmaking ability give the quarterback a unique skill set that few possess.
Ohio State returns a bevy of talented players on both sides of the ball next season and a recruiting class that 247 Sports considers No. 2 in the country behind Alabama's star-studded group.
Miller's decision to return to Columbus for one final go will make the Buckeyes a force to be reckoned with in the Big Ten and in the BCS championship race once again.
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