There is much uncertainty as to whether quarterback Braxton Miller will return for the 2014-15 season. As the days drag on, it seems that Miller is leaning closer and closer to entering the draft. Miller won't announce his decision until after the January 3rd Orange Bowl in Florida.
It's no secret that Braxton isn't the most polished passer in the pocket, so another year of work under Meyer would do nothing but further his development as a passer. Miller has been much improved since his promising but unspectacular freshman season, but with that said, Miller doesn't quite look ready to play with the big boys at the next level, either. Also a concern going into this season was Miller's ability to be a vocal leader. Although there's no doubts he was one of the faces of the offense this season, any and all preparation you can get to get ready to lead an NFL locker room can only help a sometimes understated guy like Miller. ESPN Draft analyst Todd McShay told The Post and Courier's Aaron Brenner the following about Braxton Miller's prospects at the next level:
Todd McShay on Brett Hundley, Braxton Miller: "Both of those guys need to go back to school. Great skills; the process would eat them up."— Aaron Brenner (@Aaron_Brenner) December 19, 2013
One thing that Urban Meyer does best is recruit the best young talent in the country. Ohio State will lose two of its biggest playmakers in Carlos Hyde and Corey "Philly" Brown, but Ohio State is loaded with much young talent. Guys like Ezekiel Elliott and Dontre Wilson showed flashes of big play ability this season, and will most likely be more regular contributors this coming year. Jalin Marshall, Corey Smith, and Michael Thomas, who all redshirted last season, will also be battling for playing time this season and could greatly help improve the caliber of weapons in the passing game.
Almost every college player’s dream is to play for a national championship, and this is likely no different for Miller. After just missing a chance to play for the title this year, Ohio State will almost assuredly find themselves on the list of teams on the playoff short list next season, and particularly should Miller elect to hold off on heading for the greener shores of professional football for but another year, that chatter will only get louder.
Before getting injured early this season, Miller was right in the thick of the Heisman race, and even with missing a few games, he wasn’t far off from earning a trip to New York as a finalist. Returning for his senior season and further developing over the offseason will put Miller as an early favorite for next year's college football's highest honor. Miller has talked about wanting to leave a legacy at OSU and having the kind of year that would put him in the same breath as Troy Smith and Archie Griffin would unquestionably do just do that.
With the forthcoming Orange Bowl both potentially a career capper or a reminder that there's still plenty of development necessary yet, it still won't be hard for Buckeye partisans to celebrate the successes and hope the Miller we see is more reminiscent of the one we saw against Iowa and Indiana than the one from Ohio State's final two games of the season.
Whether there's a dozen plus more encores thereafter or not remains to be seen.