It’s impossible to discuss the QB position at Ohio State without looking at it through the context of Terrelle Pryor. While the jury may still be out of Pryor’s ability to live up to the hype surrounding his recruitment, there’s no escaping or mistaking the weight of that publicity. So while Wayne High School (Huber Heights, OH) quarterback Braxton Miller may not have been the most hyped player Jim Tressel ever landed, he just might be the best QB Coach Tressel has ever pulled in.
At a press conference at his high school this afternoon, Braxton Miller, the #2 QB in the nation according to both ESPNU and Rivals (Miller was the #1 QB according to Scout.com), announced his intentions to join the 2011 class at The Ohio State University. Miller had offers from over 40 schools, and prior to making his announcements, his finalists were Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Notre Dame, and Ohio State, with Florida and OSU the supposed final 2 schools.
Even though Terrelle Pryor is still just a junior at OSU and still has plenty of time to cement his legacy at the University, the college lifespan goes by quick and people were beginning to wonder who Pryor’s heir would be. Some were hoping that it would be Nick Montana in the 2010 class, but Montana ultimately went with Notre Dame Washington (thanks to JB for the correction), leaving Tressel in the position of putting the full court press on landing Miller for next year’s class.
You can’t understate how important it was for Ohio State to bring Miller into the Buckeye family as they really didn’t have another long term option to follow Pryor. Now, Miller will compete with Kenny Guiton for the spot as next OSU QB.
Braxton Miller may not be the same athlete that Pryor is, but then again, almost nobody is. Pryor is one of those rare freak athletes that only come around a few times. Miller is certainly a very good athlete in his own right, and has shown the ability to do a lot of damage with his feet and with his surprising strength. What separates Miller from Pryor, and even Troy Smith, is his advance passing ability. Miller is already a much more accomplished passer than Terrelle Pryor is and he’s well ahead of where Troy Smith was at this point in his career. There are some questions about Baxton’s decision making as he sometimes tries to force the ball into traffic, but there are no questions about his strength or accuracy in his arm.
Of course, recruiting is only half of the story, as now it’s up to the OSU coaching staff to further his progress and development and it’s up to Braxton himself to put in the necessary work to take his game to the next level. But regardless of how this turns out, there’s no question that today is a yet another great day for Buckeye fans everywhere.