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Why is this news?: Cardale Jones calls Braxton Miller the ‘ultimate team player’

Plus, how Miller's move makes the Buckeyes the most dynamic offense in college football, and where B1G prospects will go in next year's NFL Draft.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

"The NFL will have to wait until at least next April to get its hands on him, but Bosa could step in and play as a pro right now."

-Chris Burke, SI

Ohio State is the team to beat in college football next year, with its biggest in-conference competition coming from Michigan State. The two are set to face off Nov. 21 at Ohio State, with first round-quality NFL talent on both sides of the ball. Of the top-ten prospects from the Big Ten for the 2016 NFL Draft, four of them are Buckeyes, including defensive end Joey Bosa (No. 1), running back Ezekiel Elliott (No. 2), offensive tackle Taylor Decker (No. 4) and defensive tackle Adolphus Washington (No. 9).

Bosa, who ended his sophomore season with 13.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss, is set up nicely to be the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s draft. He is also the Big Ten’s preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

Elliott finished his junior season with three unreal performances against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship, Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and Oregon in the College Football Playoff Championship. He has been compared to Marshawn Lynch, but needs to work on his role in passing situations.

Decker was the only returning starter on the offensive line in 2014, and was one of the key elements in helping Elliott in his end-of-season run.

Washington is set to take the place of Michael Bennett, who was taken in the sixth round of this year’s draft. While Washington moved over to nose tackle last season, he is expected to take over the three-technique role that Bennett had previously filled.

Michigan State has three, with outstanding defensive end Shalique Calhoun (No. 3), quarterback Connor Cook (No. 5) and offensive tackle Jack Conklin (No. 7). From Penn State, quarterback Christian Hackenberg (No. 6) and defensive tackle Anthony Zettel (No. 8) made the list, with Rutgers wide receiver Leonte Carroo (No. 10) holding down the final spot.

J.T. Barrett, Cardale Jones and Braxton Miller have been nothing but friendly to each other for the duration of the offseason, despite their common goal to win the same starting quarterback position at Ohio State. With Miller out of the race, having made the decision to switch to H-back, Jones continued to support him and his role on the team.

"Braxton’s the ultimate team player," said Jones in an interview with WTOL. "Braxton will do whatever it takes to win, and for having to switch positions, and I’m pretty sure he has to have a similar role in the quarterback room and the quarterback position, but…like I said before, he’s just a team player."

In an interview with the Columbus Dispatch, Miller’s father emphasized that his son’s position change is dependent on the health of his shoulder, which could take an additional two months to heal completely. "But being a competitor and a team player, if he doesn’t feel that he’s ready for quarterback because of the shoulder, he’s open to doing whatever it takes to get on the field and help the team," Kevin Miller said. Even after the start of the season, Miller could come back to the quarterback position, and will be spending some time in training camp working with the quarterbacks in addition to his new position.

"Everybody knew Woody. He’s the guy around here…He was back in town quite often. In some respects, it was just like he never left."

-Walter Murphy, Temperance Tavern Museum employee, via Tim Shoemaker, Eleven Warriors

The Temperance Tavern Museum in Newcomerstown, Ohio, a town 85 miles northeast of Columbus, holds perhaps the most personal and memorable tribute to legendary football coach Woody Hayes—the hometown hero in  town of less than 4,000 residents. The second-floor room dedicated to Hayes holds photos, scrapbooks and autographs from the Ohio State legend, most of which were donated from various individuals in order to keep the collection unique. Alongside these relics is a bronzed hat and football cleats with a plaque honoring Hayes.

Hayes was born in Clifton, Ohio, but attended high school in Newcomerstown. Hayes played center on Newcomerstown’s football team before going on to play at Denison University and beginning his coaching career. Throughout his career, he regularly returned to his hometown for events ranging from high school graduations to chamber of commerce meetings. Despite his hot temperament on the field, residents described him as a "nice guy."

Now, the Newcomerstown High School football stadium is located at River Street and Woody Hayes Drive—another way that the town has honored Hayes.

Cy Young, the Hall of Fame pitcher, was also from Newcomerstown, and is honored in another room at the museum. Like Hayes, Young made a habit of frequently returning to his hometown and playing a role in the community.

"None of those players, however, bring the versatility that Miller can bring with his athleticism and experience at quarterback. His ability to line up anywhere on the field as an H-back, including at quarterback, makes him a matchup nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators."

-Tyler Brett, Rant Sports

The Ohio State quarterback race is down to two, but that doesn’t mean Braxton Miller is written out of Ohio State’s playbook. In fact, by moving to halfback, Miller has made the Ohio State offense one of the most dynamic offenses in college football. Many have speculated on what it would be like to have a combination of quarterbacks on the field at the same time, and it is looking like two may be a very real possibility. Miller was an outstanding quarterback in the 2012 and 2013 seasons, but he was also an amazing athlete beyond the quarterback position, having rushed for over 2,300 yards in addition to his 4,133 passing. He even lined up at receiver on Kenny Guiton’s senior day against Indiana in 2013 and caught a pitch for a touchdown.

Whoever starts at quarterback this season, whether J.T. Barrett or Cardale Jones, will have a dynamic group of receivers alongside Ezekiel Elliott, Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson, and a now-experienced offensive line. While each of these players bring some combination of speed, agility, power and great hands to the game, Miller brings both the leadership experience and field vision he got from being the starting quarterback for two seasons at Ohio State. While Miller will be faced with the challenge of learning a new position, his athleticism could quickly translate into him being a new weapon for the Buckeyes. Combined with the strengths of either Barrett or Jones, the Ohio State offense could be unstoppable in 2015.

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