July 26 News: Former WR Great Sees Big Things for Braxton Miller

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Ohio State’s Braxton Miller was one of the nation’s best quarterbacks the last time he lined up behind center for the Buckeyes. He may be changing to wide receiver, but he’s still likely to be a standout at his position.

So says Keyshawn Johnson, a pretty good wide receiver in his day.

Per the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the former USC star said Braxton Miller is “probably the best athlete in all of college.”

Johnson had some intriguing thoughts, including the suggestion that Braxton Miller’s move to receiver is anything but static. The allusion to trick plays opens a whole new world of trick plays attempted on schoolyards for years, but rarely seen in college football.

Keyshawn’s alma mater, USC, ran an impressive double-pass in its spring game last April, with prep quarterback-turned-college wideout Ajene Harris tossing a beautiful pass to JuJu Smith. Of course, it’s easy to attempt such things in a spring game, when there’s nothing at stake.

But Braxton Miller is a proven commodity as a collegiate passer. Ohio State may very well be on the precipice of ushering in a new era of offense.

Imagine if Keyshawn had played on teams with two quarterbacks on the field at a given time. He’d have had no trouble getting the damn ball then.

keyshawn

East Carolina Faces Uncertainty in Era of Stability

Luke Decock, Charlotte Observer

Overall, it’s been smooth sailing for the ECU Pirates in Ruffin McNeill’s first five years at the helm. But with offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley taking his variation of the air-raid offense to Oklahoma, and the dynamic one-two punch of quarterback Shane Carden and receiver Justin Hardy gone, the 2015 season poses McNeill some unfamiliar questions.

East Carolina last season in the American Athletic Conference with the offensive infrastructure McNeill set from his time at Texas Tech. The AAC’s landscape is changing, so the Pirates are in company with many of their conference brethren.

In ECU’s East Division, USF is seeking its breakout under Willie Taggart; Temple returns numerous starters from a surprising 6-6 team, but needs to prove it can take the next step with Matt Rhule; UCF is experiencing mass turnover in key positions; only Cincinnati (top of the division) and Connecticut (bottom) look to be locked in.

Reestablishing itself amid this uncertainty could prove critical both for ECU’s 2015 season, and its outlook in the next few years in this rapidly changing conference.

Three Questions, Three Answers for Nebraska Football

Timothy Hyland, Today’s U

Nebraska football is trying to reconcile its expectations, built over years of success at the highest level, with the program’s reality over the last 20 years. The Cornhuskers were good for the past two decades, but never quite great — not like the old days, anyway.

With a first-year head coach, Mike Riley, Nebraska faces a pivotal season that will set the Huskers on their course for the immediate future. Timothy Hyland looks at the outlook for Nebraska in the coming years.

Few programs face as intriguing an autumn. Riley often overachieved at Oregon State, a program that held no expectations when he arrived, and thus had somewhat limited resources. It would seem with almost unlimited resources, including brand name, Riley might flourish.

However, the introduction of a completely new offensive philosophy and facing decades of expectations could make for a bumpy year.