SI report: Ryan Shazier to enter 2014 NFL Draft, Braxton Miller to return

Streeter Lecka

Per Pete Thamel, who is chummy with Urban Meyer, Buckeyes star linebacker Ryan Shazier is expected to go pro, but juniors QB Braxton Miller and TE Jeff Heuerman reportedly will be back in Columbus next year. CBS Sports' Jeremy Fowler later echoed the sentiments that Miller would return.

According to a report from Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel, Ohio State junior linebacker Ryan Shazier will be leaving the Buckeyes to make himself eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft. This can't come as a surprise to anyone as all the chatter surrounding the football program during the last week or so in Miami making it ways back home has been that Shazier was gone. Shazier recently received feedback from the NFL Draft Advisory Committee that he received a second round grade. The majority of mock drafts out there have Shazier pegged as either a late first or early second rounder.

Perhaps in more exciting news to Ohio State fans, Thamel also reports that Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller will return for his senior season. Jeff Heuerman, the Buckeyes tight end that gritted through a stomach flu that necessitated six bags of fluid before yesterday's 2014 Orange Bowl loss, is also reported to be returning to the Buckeyes next year though the prospects of him leaving wasn't something oft discussed in OSU partisan circles of late.

CBS Sports' Jeremy Fowler, who also has ties to Meyer going back to his time covering the Florida Gators for the Orlando Sentinel, later effectively confirmed Thamel's report stating that a source had told him Miller "told members of the OSU staff he's returning for senior season."

Miller's return signifies a huge positive for a quarterback that pretty much without question needed more seasoning before making himself draft eligible and a transitional football program that's seeking to find, perhaps even reinvent itself after consecutive losses, the departure of virtually the entire offensive line, and the loss of senior stars Carlos Hyde and Corey Brown. Miller will be the heart and soul of a team next year that might not even be the favorites in their own division entering the 2014 football season.

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