User ID
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Betting Tools

QB Braxton Miller making headway with Buckeyes

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller laughs long and hard when asked if he's bought up every available copy of the recent Sports Illustrated that had him on the cover.

No, he said eventually, he didn't corner the market.

But he's comfortable being a cover boy and readily accepts that if he continues to develop and the Buckeyes continue to win, then things such as a Heisman Trophy and other forms of individual recognition are inevitable.

``You work hard for it and little things like that, it pays off,'' he said Thursday night after a spring workout. ``You just keep working, you never know.''

Miller leads a Buckeyes offense that welcomes back nine starters, including almost everyone who touched the ball on a regular basis last season when Ohio State put up a surprising 12-0 record.

Now Miller, already a starter for two full years, is prepping for his junior season at the controls of coach Urban Meyer's offense.

He knows big things are expected of the Buckeyes - and of him.

``I've been hearing (about the high expectations) every time I go somewhere, ever since the last game of the season,'' he said. ``Finishing 12-0 was big. I'll live with the expectation and keep working hard.''

Late last season, Meyer and quarterbacks coach/offensive coordinator Tom Herman agreed that Miller needed to get better at fundamentals such as footwork, throwing motion and decision making. Miller, an acclaimed high school recruit out of nearby Springfield, Ohio, has all the physical tools. He can run like the wind, can elude tacklers and has a strong arm.

Now it's necessary to get better. Immediately.

``I would say if he was at a 1 this time last year and a 4 at the end of the season, he's at a 6 right now,'' Herman said. ``He could be an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10. It's just a matter of the process and the teaching progression has to be at a pace where he can feel good about where he's at. And then take the next step, and get really good at whatever he's working on at that point, and then take the next step and the next step.''

Miller finished fifth in the Heisman balloting a year ago after being selected as the Big Ten's player of the year. He set a school record with 3,310 yards of total offense last fall, rushing for 1,271 yards and 13 touchdowns and passing for 2,039 more with 15 TDs and only six interceptions.

The bar is raised constantly, it seems. Once Miller achieves something, the coaches expect more. Once he meets that standard, he's asked to do something else.

Meyer is satisfied with his pace of development, but makes it clear the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder still hasn't scratched the surface. Miller learned a lot of bad habits when he was pressed into duty two years ago during Ohio State's dreadful 6-7 season, starting as a freshman and learning while getting tossed to the wolves each Saturday.

``He's doing good. Not great, but he's doing very good,'' Meyer said earlier this week. ``Not that he didn't do good last year, but you wish you didn't have to play him that first year. He wasn't ready to play. And he still was Big Ten freshman of the year. It just tells you how talented he is. But his quarterback development is behind a little bit.''

Miller worked with a passing-game guru in Los Angeles over the holidays and plans on getting more instruction this summer. His teammates say he's improving by leaps and bounds.

His freshman year, he was overwhelmed by everything. But that doesn't mean he didn't learn some valuable lessons.

``In some ways it was good,'' he said. ``Being a young guy, coming in, stepping in, taking the first snap as a freshman. (Having to handle) the pressure. Taking the snaps in front of all those fans. It's big.''

During his second season, he was trying to learn a new offense and get to know a new coaching staff. Now he's finding his footing - literally.

``I just think he's got a great grasp of the offense right now,'' said his backup and good friend, Kenny Guiton. ``Last year around this time we were just trying to learn it. Having a year in, I think he's learned it and now he's just going out and having fun with it instead of thinking.''

Herman again refers to where he could be on a scale of 1 to 10.

``Do we all want him to be an 11 today? Yes, we do. And he would tell you that, too,'' he said. ``Because we see it, we know that it's there. But you have to be careful with how much you dump on a kid all at once or else you do more harm than good in terms of stunting that growth.''

And Miller's growth is something that is being watched very, very carefully at Ohio State.


Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter:

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

DiNitto: Opening Line Report - Week 9
Dobish: Betting Recap - Week 8
News: Heisman Odds Update
Wisconsin LB Cichy out for season
Tennessee won't have Kamara for SC
'The sun came up' for Buckeyes after loss
Clemson RB Gallman says hit was 'dirty'
ISU seeking strong finish after ugly start
Big 12 hot seats topped by Strong
Why Buy Picks From
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NCAA FB Hot Streaks
30-9 Totals, 37-15 L5 Sat., +1,265
17-9 L26 G-Plays, 60% +911 TY
10-5 CFB Record This Month
3-0 Friday, 14-7 Run, +2,089 Totals
5 Wins in a Row, 7-3 L10 Totals
9-3 Record Saturday
5-2 Saturday, 7-2 Week 8
13-6 Saturday, 12-6 L18 Totals
5-2 CFB Picks Saturday
7-4 Saturday, 18-8 L26 Totals
4-1 Last 5 CFB G-Plays
9-2 L11 CFB Guarantees
5-1 L6 Guaranteed Plays
2-0 Record Last Thursday
4-2 Saturday, 5-1 L6 Guarantees
NCAA FB College Football Expert Picks
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kyle Hunter + 1265
Scott Rickenbach + 911
Pat Hawkins + 550
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Christian Alexander + 295
Kevin Rogers + 275
Scott Pritchard + 190
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Scott Rickenbach 60 %
Kyle Hunter 59 %
Michael Black 56 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Scott Rickenbach + 620
The Gold Sheet + 570
Marc Lawrence + 340
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
NeiltheGreek + 2089
Kyle Hunter + 1470
Joe Williams + 817
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 661
Scott Rickenbach + 380
Andy Iskoe + 156
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership