"[Ohio is] where I’m from. That’s who I am. And I felt like I helped build a program and I wasn’t leaving the program. It felt like I’m at home."
It’s been just a couple weeks since we witnessed Braxton Miller’s last touches in an Ohio State uniform, but he is still representing Buckeye Nation well as he prepares for the Reese’s Senior Bowl Jan. 30. In an interview with the bowl, Miller, who has been relatively quiet throughout his career at Ohio State, gave away very little as to his personal style, saying that he just wants to "shock the world" and show how much he has improved as a receiver and football player. With the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine, coming up in February, Miller has a rare chance to showcase his talents on a national level.
After what was to many a surprising return to Columbus for the 2015 season, Miller switched from the quarterback spot, where he was a two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, to play wide receiver, catching balls from J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones. Following the season opener against Virginia Tech, where Miller had two touchdowns and a spin move that is still breaking the Internet, few were in doubt as to the effectiveness of the position swap. However, Miller gained fewer yards and fewer touchdowns as the season wore on. Still, Miller never wavered, and affirmed that there was never any doubt he would come back to Ohio State for his senior season.
Miller is one of six Buckeyes who will be playing at the Senior Bowl. He will be joined by offensive tackle Taylor Decker, linebacker Joshua Perry, safety Tyvis Powell, tight end Nick Vannett and defensive end Adolphus Washington.
Freshman guard JaQuan Lyle earned Big Ten co-freshman of the week honors after outstanding performances versus Indiana and Rutgers last week. With the honor, Ohio State now has the most Big Ten basketball freshmen of the week winners in conference history. Lyle shared the honor this week with Wisconsin power forward Ethan Happ, who dropped 14 points against No. 4 Michigan State in Wisconsin’s win.
Lyle had a career high 29 points against Indiana last Sunday in the Buckeyes’ 85-60 loss, but managed a triple double in Ohio State’s 94-68 comeback win over Rutgers later in the week, with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. Lyle’s triple-double marks the fifth triple-double in program history. D’Angelo Russell had recorded a triple-double last season against Rutgers as well, Evan Turner had two in 2009 and Dennis Hopson, more than two decades prior, got one in 1986. Previously, Lyle had not had even a double-double in his career at Ohio State.
Ohio State basketball now has a total of 22 Big Ten freshman of the week honors won by five players since the award began in the 2010-11 season. Jared Sullinger leads the pack with an even dozen awards, followed by D’Angelo Russell who recorded seven in his sole season at Ohio State last year. Aaron Craft and Deshaun Thomas each earned the award once during their freshman seasons at Ohio State.
"He was a great mentor, a great friend and we talked about a lot of things in life. He’ll be missed."
The Ohio State wrestling team had a somber moment prior to its win over sixth-ranked Nebraska Sunday. The team honored former Buckeyes head coach Chris Ford with a moment of silence prior to the matchup. Ford, who passed away last week at the age of 83, had attended the matchup between Ohio State and Michigan just days before his death. He had remained close to the team and to head coach Tom Ryan, even acting as honorary coach for a scrimmage in 2007. Ford coached the Buckeyes from 1976-86, amassing a 115-92-3 overall record and coaching six all-Americans and one national champion along the way. Ford is the fourth-winningest head coach in Ohio State wrestling.
Ford, who was originally from Mansfield, came to Ohio State from Ashland College, where he was the head coach for 11 seasons, ultimately earning a third-place finish in the NCAA Championships in 1976 and winning national coach of the year honors before joining the Buckeyes. He was elected to the Ashland University Hall of Fame in 1989. Prior to Ashland, Ford coached at Huron High School, and was ultimately elected to the Ohio High School Hall of Fame in 1978.
Ford was inducted into the Ohio Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2010.
Following a second-place finish at the Windy City Invitational this weekend, the Ohio State Buckeyes men’s gymnastics team swept Big Ten honors, with redshirt sophomore Sean Melton named Big Ten gymnast of the week, and Tristan Burke earning Big Ten freshman of the week honors. Burke became the first Buckeye to win the honor since Melton himself won it in 2014.
The invitational marked the official opening of Ohio State’s gymnastics season with a six-team matchup, including four other Big Ten teams, all of whom ranked in the top-10 nationally. Melton swept three events at the invitational, coming in first place in rings, vault and parallel bar. Burke, meanwhile, was the all-around champion at the event. With a point total of 14.850, Burke has the eighth-highest all-around score in the country so far this season.
The Buckeyes are scheduled to face No. 3 Stanford and No. 7 California at a tri-meet next week. Ohio State entered the season as the preseason Big Ten favorite, despite heavy competition in the conference including last year’s champion, No. 6 Penn State.