Braxton Miller Could Be The Next Big Thing In Columbus

By Ryan Isley (Originally posted on 9/19/2010)

When a player is ranked by ESPN as the second-highest rated overall quarterback in his recruiting class and then by Rivals.com as the top-ranked quarterback in the class, there has to be something special about him.

Ohio State’s top verbal recruit for the class of 2011, quarterback Braxton Miller of Huber Heights Wayne High School, is no exception.

Imagine Michael Vick at Virginia Tech, if only Vick had a better knowledge of the offense, a more accurate arm and no pit bulls.

Imagine Reggie Bush at USC, if only Bush could have combined his speed and elusiveness with the arm of 2006 Rose Bowl opponent Vince Young, and if he had not received improper benefits.

Imagine Ohio State’s 2006 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Troy Smith, if only Smith were a couple inches taller and had the skills as a college freshman that he developed as a junior and a senior.

Those are the kinds of comparisons that the 6-foot-2, 200-lb senior from Huber Heights Wayne High School is facing.

“The comparisons are an honor, but I just gotta keep improving and get better,” Miller said.

Lately though, it has been more of his arm than his athletic ability that has Miller looking more like Young and wowing those in attendance.

“Running is an example of being an athlete, but I only run if I have to,” Miller said. “I always like to stay in the pocket and pass.”

Miller showed his running ability in Wayne’s season-opening loss to Cincinnati Moeller, running a 27-yard touchdown and then an electrifying 75-yard run for a touchdown that made the comparisons to Vick and Bush seem legit.

After missing the Warriors’ loss to Canton McKinley two weeks ago with an ankle injury, Miller returned last week to lead Wayne to a 31-7 win over Seneca as he was 10-for-23 for 92 yards and did not have any rushing plays called for him as they tried to rest his ankle.

Friday night, Miller proved to all doubters that he can indeed be more than just an athlete playing quarterback, as he was 9-for-21 for 133 yards with one touchdown and one interception in a 21-7 win over Trotwood-Madison at Heidkamp Stadium on the campus of Wayne High School.

While the numbers may not look like those of a quarterback who was in control, most of his damage came in the first half as he was 8-for-14 for 130 yards and the touchdown. Miller’s second half numbers are skewed by at least four dropped passes, including one to a wide-open receiver in the third quarter that would have been a long touchdown pass.

Despite being more of a pocket passer Friday night, it was Miller’s legs that provided the backdrop for the play of the night in the second quarter.

With the ball at their own 36-yard-line, Miller took the snap and was chased immediately. He scrambled around and stopped just short of the line of scrimmage on the dead run and fired a 40-yard strike to Armani Miller, leading to a 45-yard gain and eventually a Warriors touchdown.

“They were coming hard from the backside and blitzing, so I just rolled out to my left and looked downfield,” Miller said. “I did (think about running) but my ankle said no so I let my arm do the work.”

One of the other impressive things about Miller at such an early stage in his career is his maturity to bounce back when a receiver drops an easy catch, as happened a few times Friday night.

Even though Miller is just a verbal commit right now, there is no worry that he will back out of that commitment and sign elsewhere on signing day, as he went out and got an Ohio State tattoo on his left bicep.

“I have always been committed to my team,” Miller said. “Right now I am committed to Ohio State.”

Once he is on campus and wearing the scarlet and gray. Fans will be just as committed to Miller as he is to the Buckeyes.

Follow me on Twitter: @isley23

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2 Comments

  1. […] I have seen Miller play in person during his senior season at Huber Heights Wayne High School and I have never seen a more electrifying high school quarterback in person. Not only was he still quick despite nursing a sore ankle, he made all of the throws that needed to be made and led his team to the win. […]

  2. […] That is why the Buckeyes need Miller. Even if Miller is forced to play with a sore ankle, it will not be the first time he has done so. After injuring his ankle last season, he played a few games where he was impressive despite his mobility being scaled down. Believe me – I was at one of those games. […]


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