Miller Indecisive About Future

By Kyle Rowland on December 18, 2013 at 3:25p
64 Comments
Braxton Miller is nowhere near decidiing about his future.

The sting lingers. The fateful fourth-down play is played over millions of time. But the dwelling must end, and it has for the Ohio State Buckeyes. More than a week removed from the hurt of missing out on a national championship, they now prepare for win No. 13 in the Orange Bowl against Clemson. 

A new cloud now hangs overhead – speculation. The far-fetched possibility of Urban Meyer going to Texas was put to rest by the head coach himself.

“I’m here,” Meyer said, adding that he has no interest in leaving Ohio State.

But that isn’t the only question surrounding the Buckeyes. Striking up even more conversation is the upcoming decision quarterback Braxton Miller must take – college or the NFL?

“Am I ready [to play in the NFL]? Oh yeah, of course,” Miller said. A verdict is still weeks away, though. Miller said he isn’t leaning one way or the other and laid out many reasons why returning for his senior season would benefit him.

A group of seniors is eager to end its stay at Ohio State with a victory and set the Buckeyes back on a road to prominence. The journey’s been turbulent at best. To end 25-1 in the final two seasons would put Ohio State in rarefied air even without a title. First, though, adjustments must be made on both sides of the ball during bowl preparation for the Tigers.

“We understand we just need to play better football as a whole,” junior tight end Jeff Heuerman said. “Good football teams don’t rely on just one side of the ball. Both sides get it done, and I think that will be the focus going through bowl practice, finding that medium with both the offense and the defense to make us more well-rounded.”

Notes

  • This week’s practices have been hard, according to Meyer. He said time off due to recruiting forced the team to go really hard this week.
  • Meyer said he will sit down with Miller and Ryan Shazier after the season to talk NFL. He did not say who turned in paperwork.
  • Meyer said Christian Bryant applied for a medical redshirt. The status of the request and Bryant’s possible availability for the Orange Bowl are unknown.
  • The team was very down following the loss to Michigan State, but Meyer said a bid to the Orange Bowl changed the demeanor almost immediately. He said the team’s motivation is up and he’s happy with how they’ve responded.
  • Part of bowl practice has been used to develop younger talent, according to Meyer. The goal entering each game is to win, and that type or preparation is unchanged. 
  • Meyer said the specter of staff changes always exists when teams win a lot of games. He said nothing is imminent with any OSU staff members, but the possibility is there. Corey Linsley talked up Ed Warinner for the Army job. Linsley said it’d be a perfect fit.
  • As the Buckeye secondary was shredded throughout the season, Meyer would mention Vonn Bell as a candidate to play more. On Wednesday, Meyer said that should be the case in the Orange Bowl.
  • C.J. Barnett said Bell is instinctive, fast, a playmaker and someone who has a nose for the football.
  • “Oh yeah,” –Meyer on if Clemson’s passing game worries him.
  • Miller said his decision will not be influenced by any outside factors. He said getting hit is irrelevant, as is his family’s financial situation, which he said is fine.
  • Benefits to returning, according to Miller, are learning under Meyer for another year and graduating. Miller said he has not accomplished everything he set out to achieve at Ohio State.
  • Linsley said Ohio State's true character will shine through in the Orange Bowl. He said this is the first real adversity they've faced in two years.
  • Jacoby Boren, Pat Elflein and Taylor Decker are the underclassmen offensive linemen who’ve shown the most progress in bowl practices, according to Linsley. Darron Lee, Tyquan Lewis, Mike Mitchell, Eli Apple and Kevin Niehoff are scout team performers who have stuck out. Michael Bennett also praised Lewis.
  • A loss in the Orange Bowl could mean the season is a failure, Linsley said. The goal was to win a national championship, but a 13-1 record and BCS win would be difficult to not consider a success, he added.
  • “We play against a quarterback like him in practice everyday.” –Bennett on Tajh Boyd
  • The Orange Bowl is an opportunity for the defense to get its confidence back, act as a springboard to next season, Bennett said. He described it as a must-win game.
  • Bennett said bowl practices have been high intensity with few lulls. The atmosphere is loose, but serious at the same time. A businesslike setting.
  • The defensive issues are not relating to the scheme, Bennett said. Meyer alluded to possible changes in that area, but Bennett said guys just need to perform better. According to Barnett, a majority of the work has been on fundamentals with not much of the game plan being put together yet.
  • When the defense was questioned, Barnett took exception. He said people are also critical of LeBron James.
  • Bennett said Chris Carter is someone to watch. In the few weeks since the regular season ended, Bennett said Carter’s technique has improved dramatically.
64 Comments

Comments

Killer nuts's picture

So sad that we only have one game left before another long off season...

cinserious's picture

At least it won't be as long as 2011;)

Gone ham, be back soon...

tennbuckeye19's picture

I love Braxton and I want him to make what he believes is the best decision for him, but what would make him think he is ready for the NFL right now? 

Doc's picture

I agree. Leaving early could be a huge mistake. The NFL stands for Not For Long for a reason. I would hate to see him wash out because of "ants in his pants". 

"Say my name."

unknownmusketeer's picture

A strong desire to play in the NFL. Rough edges are not a bad thing. Pryor made it into the NFL with poor throwing mechanics. Sometimes, it is not about being perfectly ready, but rather the willingness to try.

teddyballgame's picture

He's not even close to the physical specimen that is Pryor though.  TP is like 6'6 250 and looks like a thoroughbred horse with his long strides during runs.  I don't think Braxton's body is physically capable of taking much NFL punishment when plays break down and he has to scramble.  Even still, TP would probably tell you it's not fun to run around in the NFL.
I think Braxton's intermediate passing needs a lot more work if he's going to have any success at the next level.  Every team in the NFL is like Michigan State defense but on steroids...bigger and faster.

Oakland Buckeye's picture

Agreed Teddy - and TP really didnt have much of a choice... He also won 2 BCS Bowl games vs Xbrax ) BCS appearances...

45has2's picture

TP deserves to be in the NFL on the strength of his stiff arm alone. Dude can throw linebackers to the ground like used Kleeenex.

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

Norwalk's picture

I don't remember TP ever getting hit as a college quarterback. He dished out a lot of punishment with his stiff arm and almost always found the sideline before a defender could unload on him. Brax takes too much punishment. Rather than find the sideline or slide after a long gain, he takes the hits to get the extra 2-3 yards. I almost more concerned that he is going to injure himself than I am about being injured by a defender. He's going to break his neck one of these times if he keeps diving into the end zone to score.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I guess it depends on what we mean by "ready" for the NFL. 
Pryor was ready to get drafted in the 3rd round of the supplemental draft and play in his second season. He wasn't ready to play in his first season and, arguably, wasn't ready to perform at a high enough level in his second season to secure his position in the league. If he doesn't get better in the next five months or so, the Raiders will be getting his walking papers ready.

DefendYoungstown's picture

Pryor has already been benched for Matt Mcgloin, we all know Pryor is a superior athlete compared to Matt.  Maybe throwing mechanics are just that important. 

What we can't do in the air we'll do on the ground.

Hovenaut's picture

Tell me that's not true - I thought McGloin was playing because Pryor was banged up?
Haven't kept up on all things Oakland Raiders, my apologies.

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

DefendYoungstown's picture

I checked the Raiders injury report prior to posting and he's not listed as being injured, may be a case of wanting to see what Matty boy has... 

What we can't do in the air we'll do on the ground.

Hovenaut's picture

Wow....I thought Pryor was starting to get it.

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

tennbuckeye19's picture

Pryor did get injured and McGroin played while Pryor was hurt. But, Pryor has been healthy for several weeks and yet McGroin is still starting over him. Pryor has played a total of 2 series since then. 

DJ Byrnes's picture

Getting Christian Bryant back next year would be a pretty sweet bonus.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

UrbanBuckeye's picture

Christian agrees.

In Urban We Trust!

osu07asu10's picture

pretty sweet bonus doesn't describe it. His leadership back there would be invaluable, especially if Shazier decides to bolt for greener pastures.

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

Toilrt Paper's picture

If Bryant plays in the bowl game, it would be throwing away the slim chance for a Medical Red Shirt.

Hovenaut's picture

It would be great to have that him back. Hate to see a kid go down to injury - he deserves to finish his OSU career on the field.

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

UrbanPirate's picture

What do you think the chances are Bryant does get that medi redshirt?

Just... Go Bucks.

    

UrbanBuckeye's picture

Just sitting here thinking, "Imagine if we had our offense from this season paired with a 'Silver Bullets' defense from about 5-7 years ago." If we can achieve that elite balance on both sides of the ball, then special (as in "crystal ball" special) things are destined to happen. I'm very excited for this program. A win over Clemson would be a major stepping stone to returning to our glory days, IMO. Lots of momentum right now with the commitments from Raekwon McMillan and Johnnie Dixon, despite the tough loss to Sparty (I was there... It was not easy driving home.). Our boys seem more motivated than ever after that upset. Could it be that game will ignite the fire for our Bucks? Time will tell. Go Bucks!

In Urban We Trust!

Hovenaut's picture

Great updates across the board.
I keep thinking back to that Fiesta Bowl loss to UFM and Florida, and the amount of downtime the Buckeyes had between the end of the regular season and the bowl game.
Sure doesn't sound like Meyer is going to let this team lose focus.
Hope to see Braxton back - his athleticism gets him to the NFL, but I think staying another year and further developing his QB play could keep him there.

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

Kaceybrown's picture

He had stretch of games when he came back from his injury till the windy conditions in Champagne that he was completing 70% and just looked like the best thing since sliced bread. I wonder if the weather conditions in the final 3 regular season games hurt his confidence as a passer. 

Hovenaut's picture

I think the weather and just the grind of B1G ball wears play down as November arrives. Throw in some conservative play-calling, Philly Brown being nicked up, etc., and the decline in the passing game.
Even with a new offensive line and primary ball carrier next year, I think the offense opens up further as the young playmakers start making their presence felt. I don't think Urban will stray away from a power run attack, but I still look for progress in the passing game.

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

Oldschoolbuck's picture

C'mon, Hove! The B1G is no "grind"! Nobody hits hard in this league, unlike the SEC where EVERY defense is elite! Heck, even Vandy is going to send 7 or 8 players off its D to the NFL... And they'll all be first round selections!

Hovenaut's picture

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

Bucks777's picture

He does not throw the ball well wearing those baseball gloves....there I said it,,, QB's should never wear a glove!  Ever.  It would be like having a pitcher in the Major leagues wear a glove during a cold night game while pitching,,,,  I have played many a sport and can tell you this your finger tips when delivering the football connect with the receptors in your brain of when to let go, how hard to hold the ball, angle of release all this is affected by wearing a glove on a throwing hand, football, baseball, any ball...  Heck there have been numerous studies on this fact. The first time he wore the glove I made a bet with my best friend that he would not complete above 60% of his passes and he did not, and was even worse throwing the ball over 15 yards, his release was to early and the balls sailed, just like what happens when throwing a baseball while wearing a glove, the release point is so very important in relation to the accuracy of the pass!  Just my two cents what do I know...

TheAFBuckeye's picture

For arguments sake... and I am in no way implying Braxton is Peyton Manning but the glove!!!
He didn't wear the glove in Indy but now wears it and I would say he still tosses the ball around pretty decently.
In my opinion Peyton is one of if not the greatest rock slingers to play the game.
Then again... It is just an opinion.

Let's Go BUCKEYES!!!!!

jccavanaugh's picture

Miller is not ready and has tons of room to improve, but he wants to go.
Shazier is already a 1st/2nd round pick and doesn't have much room to improve, yet he's leaning towards staying.
I don't quite understand what these guys are thinking.

jccavanaugh's picture

Also, are a medical redshirt for Bryant and Bryant being available in the Orange Bowl mutually exclusive things? I assume if the redshirt was granted, he wouldn't be eligible to play, but can anyone confirm that?

Kaceybrown's picture

If he plays in the Orange Bowl, he deffinitely wont get another year of eligibility. But he may not get that anyway

RedStorm45's picture

He said this is the first real adversity they've faced in two years.

So, that whole B1G Championship Game thing...

Orlando Buckeye's picture

He probably meant bouncing back from a tough loss is the adversity they are facing.

BamaBuckeye144's picture

Just to play devil's advocate here, I can see some upsides to Miller moving on. I want the kid to graduate with a degree - I think all college kids should make that their only priority, but I also can see the benefit of getting some new blood in there and teaching them now. We're going to take a hit on offense next year and like ripping off a Band-Aid, best just get it over with so we can start to heal. We've got talent behind him. Let's see what we can do with it.

OH-IO!

niblick's picture

"As the Buckeye secondary was shredded throughout the season, Meyer would mention Vonn Bell as a candidate to play more. On Wednesday, Meyer said that should be the case in the Orange Bowl."
That should have happened a LONG time ago.  The fact that Pitt Brown was ever on the field in Ann Arbor or in Indianapolis is beyond an inexcusable mistake.

Bucks777's picture

Agree 100% I watched Bell  and Apple in many practices and have heard how well they both have performed with Tyquan as well.  Simply should have been made ready throughout the season against the likes of Purdue, Illini. Indians, etc.... they should have seen playing time in the first 3 games as well and then by the end of the season ...HECK we would have very prepared young , fast, athletic DB's for the Championship Game and Natty if need be.  This should have been the plan from day one when you are ranked #2 in the Nation you have to be getting people ready, especially when you know all season our DB's are getting smoked, playing inconsistent, playing on their heels, need I go further... it was a simple lack of preparation and that unfortunately is on the staff.

FROMTHE18's picture

That friend I mentioned in the post about Fickell meeting with ND (the thread about Cass Tech), also mentioned that it is believed that Bell will start in the Orange Bowl and that Burrows could also push for the starting spot. There is a belief that given our struggles in pass coverage and tackling that getting the underclassmen some legit experience would be beneficial even if they have issues. Pitt Brown was a 5 star out of HS and never developed (injuries played a factor but also he just isnt very good), Bell should have been in there during the latter half of the season and the coaches are starting to realize their mistake. Will Bell start? He could. Will he get an opportunity to get legit minutes in the bowl game? All signs point to yes, and its about time. Needless to say, it cant make us any worse in the defensive secondary. Im expecting us to give up a ton of points regardless who is in there. 

Toilrt Paper's picture

On a 25 game win streak heading to the BCS Title game, the last thing you want to do is make any major changes. Especially jerking Seniors and playing Freshmen. Team Chemistry?? SENIOR leadership?? Now that the streak is over and the BCS Title game is gone, as Urban eluded to, looking to next season is a very high priority. Seniors playing less and underclassmen playing more, hopefully will still lead to a BCS Bowl win.

jccavanaugh's picture

There's plenty of room, over a 12-game season, to rotate young players into the mix and give them some chances to develop, without necessarily benching seniors altogether. That should have been done from the beginning of the season, and maybe by the end of it we'd have had some guys in the secondary who could handle pass defense. Maybe not, too, but we didn't get the chance to find out.
Senior leadership is great, but not when your senior leaders can't get the job done on the field.

FROMTHE18's picture

I think the 2014 team, with or without Braxton, will definitely be in contention for a national title. Money is money and having a second child soon will add to that desire to make a living for his family. But, as a QB, he has a chance to come back and legitimately win a national title and push for a Heisman (if he can stay healthy). Next year's QB stock in the draft will be pretty hefty with Mariota, Petty, Winston, etc. joining the fray so itd be a tough draft year in terms of competing for top spots. I still and suspect on whether or not he can throw the ball at a consistently high level (he still has issues with touch passes and hitting the mid-range routes). Then again, he can earn cash whilst developing. Theres a lot to weigh, but I think the scales point to coming back and improving his on field productivity in the passing game and potentially taking home the Heisman and winning a national title. Also, nothing against Spencer, Brown, or D. Smith, but I think the underclassmen WR's are going to be on a completely different level than the starters were this year, so enjoying that assortment of riches for a year is another pull to come back. 
Should he leave, itll be incredibly interesting to see what JT Barrett can bring to the table. Is he a better passer than Braxton at this stage? Does he have some legit wheels when needed? Can he make proper decisions in this offense (really the most important part of the offense)? Spring would indeed be very intriguing at the QB spot. 

BuckeyeQ6's picture

When the defense was questioned, Barnett took exception. He said people are also critical of LeBron James.

True, but LeBron is the best while OSU's pass defense ranks 75th in FBS and 11th in the B1G ahead of only Northwestern (243.5 yds/g).  Sometimes criticism is deserved.

SPreston2001's picture

I agree. Our defense and Lebron James shouldnt even be mentioned in the same sentence... LBJ is the best player in the NBA our defense is far from that.

d5k's picture

If Chris Carter can be a plugger at nose tackle on running downs, that might be better for this D-line than being undersized at that spot and over-worked at the DE position.  We were running the Bosa, Bennett, Washington, Spence lineup to death toward the end of the season it seemed like.  But those were our best 4 by far vs. the pass especially.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Good point, although with offenses being better equipped to play at a fast tempo, that might complicate the rotations. Next season, the defense is going to be loaded with talent. I can see them being really nasty against the run (even more so than they were this season), especially when they have one of the big nose tackle-style pluggers in, but still a work-in-progress on pass defense. That will give offenses extra incentive to go fast tempo against them - either keep a plugger like Chris Carter on the field for 5+ plays in a row, or force the Buckeyes' coaches to play a more nimble defensive front.

Toilrt Paper's picture

A running game plugger OSU had, to the tune of being Top 5 in the county stopping the run. What was missing was a consistent pass rush by the front 4 ALONE. THE #1 requirement of a good pass defense.

45has2's picture

The Orange Bowl will be very interesting from the QB perspective. TOSU recruited Tajh Boyd hard, he chose Clemson. So, which team ended up with the better QB? Tajh will definitely try and prove he made the right choice. What will Miller's mind set be? I'm jumping ship and don't want to get hurt? I just don't want to get hurt? I hope they don't call my number for running plays? Fuck it, I'm going to show these bitches how a Buckeye balls?

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

jaybuckeye16's picture

What are the qualifications they take into consideration for a medical redshirt? Can anyone shed light on this? Thanks!

Jay16

Seattle Linga's picture

My understanding is......... they could not play in more than 30% of the games.

skid21's picture

Brax is one of my favorite players and a hellva college player but I'm still not seeing him as a major player in the NFL. Of course he doesn't have to be to make good money so the question is will another year really affect his potential that much? I'm not even close to being a good judge of NFL talent so I have to ask....How much of your decision would be based on draft position vs. potential long-term success? How well do his talents translate to the NFL? If you were a NFL GM why would you draft him and where?

One Bad Buckeye's picture

How many of you completely forgot about monsters like Tyquan Lewis and Darron Lee like I did......go on.  It's okay, admit it!!!!!
We have ridiculous amounts of talent just lying around and it's only getting better.  
I feel like these first two seasons have been Meyer's trial period and we're just starting to see the tip of the iceberg as to where this ship is headed......

"I'm One Bad Buckeye, and I approve this message."

SPreston2001's picture

I really hope our young guys get some playing time!! Secondary cant get any worse lol.

German Buckeye's picture

"Bennett said Chris Carter is someone to watch. In the few weeks since the regular season ended, Bennett said Carter’s technique has improved dramatically."
So, what was Carter doing since August? 
 

skid21's picture

Great question. But sometimes the light comes on at odd times. I think anyone who has been a competitive athlete can tell you there is a moment when you just seem to figure it out. It comes earlier for some and later for others.

CowCat's picture

Let's not get ahead of ourselves.
We need to beat Clemson, probably more than we needed to beat MSU.
Win it for Woody!

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

73buckeye's picture

I wonder where Miller is getting advice regarding the NFL. I love football and watch a lot on Sundays. It doesn't make me an expert, but watching how the good NFL quarterbacks go about their business throwing the ball and managing the game makes it pretty obvious that he has a very long way to go before he's ready to perform at that level. If he thinks sitting on an NFL bench for a year as a backup will make him a better quarterback as opposed to getting another year leading an offense, reading defenses, and getting coached as a starting quarterback, then he should go. I think he'd be much better served staying for another year and learning and maturing.

ernie

skid21's picture

If he thinks sitting on an NFL bench for a year as a backup will make him a better quarterback

As I said above I love Brax but he would be sitting on a NFL bench longer than just a year.

73buckeye's picture

My bad, I meant to say he'd be sitting on an NFL bench another year, over and above the years he'd be there if he waited and went through the draft next year. I don't see him jumping into a starting position in the NFL after only one year as a backup. To get there that fast, he'd be in the Luck / Wislon / RG3 / Cam Newton level, and I don't see him in that class. I think he's closer to Terrelle Pryor in ability. I think Brax is a better broken field runner, but TP was bigger, stronger, and at least as good a passer as Brax at similar points in their careers. Quarterback is the toughest position in pro sports. Brax would be well served with another year to continue learning his craft. 

ernie

Toilrt Paper's picture

Braxton will be the most missed QB in decades around here, regardless if his passing technique improves at all. 

BuckinBama's picture

My question is he wouldn't even be getting this great coaching, because the NFL doesn't have time for the back-up let alone a 3rd string QB. Most of the practice snaps will go 2 the starter then the little that's left over the back up. So why does everyone think he'll be getting this great coaching?

nm_buck's picture

Brax would be better to stay.  This year's QB crop is pretty good.  
I know I'm dreaming... but how good would it be if Brax and RDS both stayed... and CB got his redshirt? 

buckeyedude's picture

We've seen what happens when players are dreaming of the NFL and then they decide to stay for another year of college life.
 

 

 

matt96's picture

I think that miller should really stay for is last year with Ohio state, it could really benefit him in the future, because you never know what could happen good or bad. 

MATT PETERSEN

southernstatesbuckeye's picture

The future potential for Miller is off the charts...if he stays.
Think about it. 
IF he were to win the Heisman, he would be Ohio State royalty for life.
IF he were to win a national championship...well, add a statue somewhere down the road.
IF he were to go to the NFL, and IF he were to flop...all he has is a little bit of scratch to live on while he contemplates some other career field.
IF he were to go to the NFL, and IF he were to be a serviceable backup...all he has is a little more scratch to live on, and enjoy NFL prestige a little longer.
IF he were to go to the NFL, and IF he were to excel...then he has a whole bunch of scratch to live on.  But the career will still end.  Then what?
I would guess that the potential for a Heisman and a National Championship would not be that far of a stretch, given the fact that his name has already been in the mix, and the fact that the Buckeyes will be reloaded in 2014 (the offensive line will be fine) and motivated to make another run at the Natty.