clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Why is this news?: Braxton Miller says his son will be a Buckeye one day

All the big Ohio State news, in one helpful place.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

“Nah, I’m a Buckeye, man. I’ve got a tat on my shoulder. My son is going to come here one day.”

Braxton Miller to Steve Helwagen, 247 Sports

Braxton Miller and some of his teammates gathered at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, getting ready to head to Port Columbus to head to Los Angeles for the ESPYs, where the team is up for three awards. The Buckeyes are up for "team of the year," Urban Meyer for "coach of the year," and Cardale Jones for "breakthrough athlete."

Miller took questions while at the WHAC. One reporter remarked, "Welcome back," to Braxton, in which he responded, "Yeah, I never left." Which, he didn't. If you look at reports as far back as December of last year, Urban Meyer and everyone else at Ohio State expected Miller to be back.

When he was, in fact, asked if he considered leaving Ohio State, Miller answered, "Nah, I'm a Buckeye, man," he said. "I've got a tat on my shoulder. My son is going to come here one day." Miller also noted that there was nothing to rumors about specific schools, "No teams ... it was just rumors," Miller said. "Teams weren't really reaching out. I'm a Buckeye and that's it."

"With Braxton Miller announcing his to return to Ohio State, the Buckeyes now have three of college football's best-available quarterbacks [...]. Now, the question that has been looming since their national championship can finally be asked: Who is going to start under center?"

Nick Martin, Deadspin

The never-ending discussion that is the Ohio State quarterback controversy continues to grow, although not much has changed. The latest part of the saga came when Braxton Miller announced his intentions to stay in Columbus for his final year of college football at Ohio State. But as Nick Martin from Deadspin notes here, should there really be a controversy, and does it really matter who starts at quarterback?

I believe the answer to this question is no. You would be hard pressed to find a fan of the scarlet and gray who wouldn't take any of these guys as their starter. They have all proved themselves capable of handling the position convincingly, and all did it in different ways.

Braxton Miller has done more than enough to prove himself. Throughout his career, Miller has thrown for 52 touchdown passes, and accumulated 5,292 passing yards while completing 59.3 percent of his passes. In each of his three seasons under center, Miller has seen at least a four percent improvement in his completion percentage. A lot of that you could attribute to more weapons and better players around him, with Urban Meyer recruiting classes. He has also shown that he is a true ground threat on any given play, racking up 3,054 yards, and 32 touchdowns.

When Braxton Miller suffered his season-ending shoulder injury, J.T. Barrett was the next man up. In his 12 games for the Buckeyes, Barrett showed himself to be a threat similar to that of Miller. Completing 64.6 percent of his passes, Barrett threw for a total of 2,834 yards, and 34 touchdowns. Barrett's ground attack was also impressive, garnering 938 yards and 11 touchdowns. Barrett showed extreme promise after a struggle in Ohio State's only loss of the season to Virginia Tech.

The next man up mantra stayed true, when Cardale Jones came in to close out the season for the Buckeyes after Barrett went down with his season-ending ankle injury. Jones stepped into an unprecedented situation. On the outside looking in, the Buckeyes needed an overwhelming win against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game to leap into the College Football Playoff, and Cardale Jones helped them accomplish that. In the three games Jones played in, the three biggest games of the Ohio State season, he completed 63.9 percent of his passes, threw for 742 yards and five touchdowns. Although lacking the speed of Miller and Barrett, the size of Jones was often too much for defenders, making Jones an effective rusher.

With all of this said, no matter who is under center for the Buckeyes in the 2015 season, the team will be in good, capable hands.

"My father had tremendous respect for you and I share that respect as well. It would be an honor to be a part of your staff."

Jay Paterno, in letter to Urban Meyer via Christian Alexandersen, PennLive.com

Court documents released Monday revealed that Jay Paterno, son of former longtime Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno, wrote a letter to Urban Meyer last year, hoping to land a job with the Buckeyes. The younger Paterno has been out of coaching since 2011, where he had been since 1995, first serving as tight ends coach until 1998, and then taking over as the quarterbacks coach in 1999.

In the letter, dated in late December of 2014, Paterno congratulates Meyer on the Buckeyes' season, and wishes him luck in the playoff. In the very next paragraph, Paterno lobbies for a position on the coaching staff. "This note is also to express my interest in any coaching positions that have opened and may open on your staff in the future," Paterno wrote. "My father had tremendous respect for you and I share that respect as well. It would be an honor to be a part of your staff."

The court documents also revealed that Paterno had sent similar letters to West Virginia's Dana Holgorson, as well as Georgia's Mark Richt. Paterno feels he has been unable to find a coaching job because of investigations into Penn State.

"He's setting himself up for a very nice life once he's done with football," Meyer said. "He does everything right. His leadership skills are outstanding. I have no reservations recommending him to any employer, including the National Football League."

Urban Meyer on Bryce Haynes, via Bill Rabinowitz, Columbus Dispatch

Senior long-snapper Bryce Haynes is one of the busiest Buckeyes around. The casual fan may not know who he is, which is normal for a guy at his position. Rabinowitz notes, this is a good thing, because the only reason long-snappers typically get recognition is when they do something wrong. Though he may not be recognized for his efforts on the field, his work and efforts off of the field are hard to ignore.

Haynes was one of 12 finalists for the Wuerffel Trophy, given to college football players who provide community service. Between football and classes, Haynes has very little time during his day, which he dedicates to his studies. Haynes graduated in May with a biology degree and a GPA over 3.5. For a college athlete at an elite level like Ohio State, this is hardly an easy task. Considering the extreme effort that goes into being an elite athlete capable of competing at a national power like Ohio State, and to be such a profound student, Haynes is quite the individual.

A day after his graduation, Haynes drove down to Georgia to begin a three-week job at Emory University's prostate cancer research lab, where he excelled. The man who was overseeing Haynes, Dr. John Petros, was impressed with the work Haynes was doing, considering his inexperience. "His experiments, surprisingly for the short amount of time he had, all worked," Petros said. "I actually don't remember the last time I had an undergraduate in the lab where in the first few weeks everything they did worked. It was rather remarkable."

Haynes went on two medical missions to Ghana with Petros, and a third to dedicate a water tower. He has also made trips to Peru, and Nicaragua, where he helped build a schoolhouse. On top of his mission trips, Haynes has put in excellent service in Columbus. He visits nursing homes in the Columbus area as a part of a group called Buckeyes Against Alzheimer's.

"One of six programs to have at least five players drafted each of the last two years, Ohio State has long been one of the top football factories in college football."

Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

The 2015 Ohio State Buckeyes are stacked with NFL talent. The National Championship team from last season sent five players to the NFL, and it probably would have been more had they been eligible. Among those drafted last season were WR Devin Smith, TE Jeff Heuerman, CB Doran Grant, DT Michael Bennett, and WR Evan Spencer. The 2016 draft class is expected to at least double that number, and Brugler highlights the 10 to watch.

We'll start off on the defensive side of the ball with one of the most sought after players in the draft class, defensive end Joey Bosa. Bosa was an All-American last season, and the fact that this guy could get better is scary. The rising junior had 13.5 sacks last season, and has drawn comparisons to Jadeveon Clowney, in terms of physical skill at his age.

Bosa's teammate on the defensive line is Adolphus Washington, who finished his junior campaign with 48 total tackles, 10.5 of them for loss, and 4.5 sacks. Although he hasn't quite met his high expectations since coming out of high school, improvements last year, on top of the talent that surrounds him, should help him produce a final year in Columbus that will help him get drafted in the earlier rounds.

Behind Bosa and Washington, quarterbacking the defense are senior Joshua Perry, and redshirt sophomore linebacker Darron Lee. Perry was 2nd in the Big Ten with 124 tackles last season, 73 of which were solo tackles. Lee had 7.5 sacks last season filling in for Ryan Shazier, and had 81 total tackles. A big year is expected out of both Perry and Lee, as both have been named to watch lists for many of college football's postseason awards.

The last line of defense, Vonn Bell, is also expected to make for a great pro prospect. Bell was an honorable mention in his sophomore season for all-Big Ten Conference, as he recorded 91 total tackles and six interceptions after earning the starting safety position.

On the offensive end, we will start in the backfield with none other than Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott finished last season with the second most rushing yards in a single season in school history, with 1,878. Zeke also posted 18 touchdowns, but his greatest accomplishment of the 2014 campaign are his final three performances of the season against Wisconsin, Alabama, and Oregon, where he carried the Buckeyes to a National Championship.

With quarterbacks, we will go with seniority first, and talk about Braxton Miller, who has said himself that he believes he is the best athlete in college football. Miller has improved in every season as a Buckeye. He forces defenses to respect the threat he poses on the ground, which helps open up things for him through the air. Although some are more successful than others, this has proven to become a more popular commodity in the NFL.

Cardale Jones is a different animal than Braxton Miller. Jones, while not the speed demon that Miller is, scares opposing defenses with his size and power on the ground. While that may not work as well in the NFL, it remains a threat. Arm strength is something that is often obsessed about in the NFL game, and Jones has plenty of it. We've seen Jones throw 50-yard bombs to Devin Smith for touchdowns off of his back foot. With more experience, there's no reason Jones shouldn't be drafted, considering he could have possibly gone in the first few rounds last season.

Taylor Decker, the man responsible for helping protect whoever Urban Meyer decides to start at quarterback, is perhaps the top player at his position. Decker stands at 6-7, and 317 pounds. He absolutely has the frame of an NFL offensive lineman, and has not only protected Ohio State quarterbacks, but has helped pave the way for Ezekiel Elliott.

Finally, we have wide receiver Michael Thomas. Many would argue that Thomas was better than Devin Smith, who was drafted in the second round of last year's draft. He led the Buckeyes in receptions last season with 54, accumulated 799 yards, and nine touchdowns. He has shown he can be a big time playmaker as he did in the Sugar Bowl, and is poised for a big year with the talent that surrounds him.

STICK TO SPORTS