Jan 3, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller (5) runs past Clemson Tigers safety Robert Smith (27) for a touchdown in the first half during the 2014 Orange Bowl college football game at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
A lot of heavy phrases are thrown around when the topic of conversation turns to Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller during Big Ten Media Days. Depending on who you listen to, Miller is the Face of the Big Ten, an NFL star waiting to happen, or simply a sparkling physical talent. As Jeremy Fowler reports at CBSSports.com, though, Miller himself has two goals in mind: to be known as a winner and to nab the Heisman Trophy that he feels eluded him last season.
In many ways, Miller truly was the personification of the 2013 Ohio State Buckeyes. Despite missing almost three full games, he still put up big numbers and led the team to a Number 1 ranking on December 1 and a Big Ten showdown with Michigan State. Then it all fell apart, as the Buckeyes dropped the conference championship to the the Spartans and the Orange Bowl to Clemson. In the offseason, Miller had shoulder surgery and was forced to pull out of the NFL Draft as a consequence.
But for Miller and the Buckeyes, and for OSU fans, there is silver lining to the December clouds that ruined 2013: because of his injuries, Miller is back and hungrier than ever. As Fowler explains, Miller felt that he was on track to win the Heisman last year before he got banged up, and he has his sights set on that prize again this fall. The QB reports that he is strong and fully recovered, ahead of schedule, from off-season surgery.
If the Buckeyes can somehow parlay Miller’s return into a title, and if he can ride that title to the big trophy and a top slot in the draft, the irony will be thick. The setbacks that broke them in 2013 would have healed them in 2014. And it will happen if Miller has his way, because, as he says, “I want … to be known as a champion.”