Ohio State Football: Why Braxton Miller Will Become the Best QB in OSU History

Tim Bielik@bielik_timSenior Analyst IDecember 21, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 24: Quarterback Braxton Miller #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes controls the ball against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium on November 24, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Braxton Miller's breakout sophomore season as the starting quarterback at Ohio State may put him o track to being the best quarterback in school history.

OSU has had its fair share of talented quarterbacks from Rex Kern to Art Schlichter, and Bobby Hoying to the Buckeyes' last Heisman Trophy winner, Troy Smith. Terrelle Pryor was pretty decent in his three seasons at Ohio State, but Miller is the quarterback some fans wish Pryor could have been.

In his first year running Urban Meyer's offense, Miller became the first quarterback in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards; he put up over 3,000 yards of total offense and scored 28 touchdowns—15 passing and 13 rushing.

The scary thing about Miller is that his ceiling is almost limitless.

Meyer said he's still not satisfied (h/t Austin Ward of ESPN) with his starting quarterback and feels he will be even better next season.

He struggled as the season wore on when defenses started to key in on him and take away his running. Defenses dared him to throw, and even though the Buckeyes never lost, their opponents were willing to live with the result.

That will start to change now that Meyer and offensive coordinator Tom Herman have had a chance to see what Miller does first-hand not only on the field, but in their system.

With a more veteran offense returning nine starters and a full spring to refine the system, there's no reason to think the Buckeyes offense won't be much better than last season.

Miller's development through the spring will be a crucial indicator of where he will be next season.

He finished in the top five of the Heisman Trophy vote this season, and will be a favorite next year along with USC WR Marqise Lee and Texas A&M QB and 2012 winner Johnny Manziel.

More important than winning the Heisman Trophy for Miller will be the opportunity to take the Buckeyes to the national championship game next season. He's in an offense that best fits his dual-threat skills, particularly his quick-twitch jukes in the running game.

He does need to improve his passing, which will be the focal point of his work in the spring. Miller was inconsistent with his mechanics, and thus his accuracy toward the end of the season.

Among the things he still struggles with is being able to escape the pocket and yet keep the play alive.

It's a long list of things to work on, and yet he managed to record over 3,000 yards of total offense one year after leading an offense that struggled in almost every way.

That type of growth is incredible and why Buckeye fans should be excited for his third season.

If he keeps it up, the sky is the limit—and he has a chance to become the greatest Buckeye quarterback in history.

He's proven to be a dynamic player from the quarterback position and makes his teammates better. Not only that, he's shown time and again that when he needs to make a big play, he makes that play.

That type of sixth sense can't be taught.

If he can bring the rest of his game together and grow as a more complete quarterback, there's little doubt that he can become the gold standard for Buckeye quarterbacks.


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