Braxton Miller will go down as one of the all-time great players in Ohio State history.
The quarterback-turned-wide receiver and two-time Big Ten Player of the Year has a rolodex of highlight throws, runs and catches he made over his career playing for the Buckeyes.
On Friday, Miller released a heartfelt letter to Ohio State fans in The Players' Tribune.
Dear Buckeye Nation https://t.co/jo25q9pGge— BRAXTON MILLER (@BraxtonMiller5) January 8, 2016
On watching the 2003 Fiesta Bowl and what made him want to play for the Buckeyes:
By the time we finally won in double overtime and held up that crystal football — yeah, it was “we” even then — I must have jogged 10 miles around my house.
After that game, it was all over. My fanhood went to another level … and there was no turning back. My biggest goal in life became simple: to get accepted to The Ohio State University, to put on that scarlet and gray uniform, and to one day play football for the — my — Buckeyes.
Can you imagine anything better?
When the big day finally came, I signed my national letter of intent with no hesitation. I’d dreamt it, and then I’d done it. It almost felt like destiny.
On his shoulder injury during fall camp heading into his senior season:
It was all, suddenly, coming together. Until — just as suddenly — it almost all fell apart.
I don’t know that there’s another organization or community that rallies around its own quite like ours does.
I’ve made what seems like a million throws in my lifetime. This particular one I made during a practice leading up to my senior season could only have been described as routine. But when I felt that pain rush up my arm, I knew something was really wrong. I was right. Shortly after, I had surgery on what turned out to be a torn labrum — the second serious shoulder injury I’d had in a year. I was out for the entire season.
As an athlete, there really is nothing scarier than suffering a serious injury that you don’t fully understand. And that’s why I can’t thank the training staff at Ohio State enough for their guidance after the injury happened. The school served as my support network throughout — setting me up with some of the best doctors in the world to make sure that I got healed up properly. I also owe a lot to Kristen Holbrook, my physical therapist, for personally assisting me throughout my rehab and constantly encouraging me the entire way. I always knew I was in great hands, and I’m very thankful for all of the hard work that everyone at school put into helping me get better.
On watching Ohio State win a national championship while standing on the sidelines:
It’s difficult to describe the feelings I had while watching my boys win it all last season.
On one hand, it was so gratifying. We were a dominant football team, and we were able to assert our will against any opponent. Everything I’d envisioned for us, as a program, it finally came true — except for one small part. I wasn’t on the field. That killed me. That part was heartbreaking, honestly. But at the same time, it was still an awesome experience: to get to watch the Buckeyes — my Buckeyes — accomplish something that I had truly helped to build toward.
On his Ohio State career:
My time in Columbus has meant the world to me, and has shaped me into the man I am today. I’ve felt such tremendous highs, and I’ve experienced such trying lows. But now that I’ve gone through it all, I feel ready for whatever awaits me on the other side. I don’t fear adversity. I don’t fear the spotlight. I don’t fear success. And I don’t fear failure. I’m stepping toward this new chapter of my life with a confidence that I wouldn’t have had if it wasn’t for the experience that Ohio State has given me. And for that I will be forever grateful.
Miller's final goodbye:
From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank every Buckeye fan who took the time to watch me play the game that I love. I lived for those moments that we all experienced together, and I’ll always feel a special connection to you.
And that’s because I’m one of you.