Roundtable Discussion: Where Will Braxton Miller End Up in 2015?


B-MillerWhen the Ohio State faithful were informed that their all-star quarterback, Braxton Miller, would miss the entire 2014 season after re-injuring his right throwing shoulder just two weeks before the opener, little did they know it would lead to a College Football Playoff appearance and possibly a national championship victory.

No one knew who backup quarterbacks J.T. Barrett or Cardale Jones were in August, yet four months later it’s difficult to find any college football fan that hasn’t heard of the two.

Miller, who redshirted this season in hopes of a return to Columbus as the unprecedented incumbent, now faces an inevitable three-man open competition this spring in what will be his final year of eligibly in the college ranks. That’s not something he’s used to, nor is it ideal (for anyone) to compete with someone that just broke a few records and then another that led “his” team to a title game.

So what will Miller do? He has three options: Stick with the program and coaching staff that helped him become the incredible athlete he is today, transfer to a different program with the intention to walk in as the starter, or enter the 2015 NFL Draft as late-round project.

Let’s see what the panel has to say:

Tyler Waddell, AAC Football Fever | @Tyler_Waddell

There is absolutely no scenario that includes Braxton Miller in an Ohio State uniform in 2015. And why would there be?

I haven’t sheltered my thoughts as an unashamed Ohio State fan. Miller has done some incredible things for both Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes over his three-year career, including a handful of memorable plays that I don’t think could ever be replicated.

But he’s not a better quarterback than J.T. Barrett, and he certainly doesn’t have the mouth-watering (is that weird?) downfield arm strength that Cardale Jones has shown in his two starts.

Two months ago, I wrote a piece that posed the question: What should Ohio State do with Braxton Miller? Nothing has changed; we’re still debating, and the hourglass is running out.

Miller can opt to stay with Ohio State, and man, would I respect the hell out of him if he did. But I like him, and I want to see him to what’s best for his professional career—that being to leave the Scarlet and Gray. He’s not going to improve his throwing mechanics and up his deep ball completion percentage in the Buckeyes’ power spread (which would predicate on the running game with him in the backfield, not the pass), especially coming off the bench as a package QB.

This is why I think he ends up with David Cutcliffe and Duke.

Miller needs to take the Russell Wilson route and refine his game to fit the NFL, and there might not be a better destination to do so than in Durham. Cutcliffe runs a proven pro-style offense and is currently in need of a quarterback with senior Anthony Boone graduating.

Miller, who will undoubtedly want to compete for a championship in 2015, would have an excellent opportunity to lead Duke to its first conference title since 1989, all while improving his 2016 draft stock.

I want to see Miller succeed not just because I’m an Ohio State fan, but because he’s done so much for college football the last few years and deserves one more year of producing “WOW” moments and ESPN Top-10 worthy highlights.

He won’t be able to do that from the Buckeyes’ sideline.

Kyle Kensing, University Avenue | @Kensing45

Every once in awhile, there’s a quarterback transfer situation that reminds me a bit of NBA free agency: Jeremiah Masoli in 2010, Russell Wilson in 2011, Danny O’Brien in 2012, Jacob Coker last year. Braxton Miller appears to be this year’s candidate.

Now, the names above underwhelmed after their transfers, save one: Wilson. And Miller could be an instant impact kind of player in the same vein as Wilson, so long as he finds the right fit.
The names I’ve seen thrown out are all intriguing, albeit for much different reasons. LSU has a former NFL coach in Cam Cameron coordinating the offense, but the Tigers perpetually seem to be running in mud, predating Cameron’s arrival.
Oregon is going to have a QB competition with Marcus Mariota’s exit, and Miller could put up monster numbers in that system. But Miller would also have to fend off the system QB critique inherent with playing in such a scheme.

That leaves Florida State and Duke. Plug Miller into FSU’s lineup, and the Seminoles don’t miss a beat offensively. However, does Miller want any part of that circus?

The quarterback guru David Cutcliffe has a vacancy, the acumen to ready a player for the pros and a team that should be competitive once more in 2015. I say Duke is the ideal landing spot for Braxton Miller this offseason.

Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports | @AthlonSteven

The new homes for transfer-eligible quarterbacks will be one of college football’s most intriguing offseason storylines to monitor. Braxton Miller is the headliner, but rumblings about Everett Golson’s future are out there, and Jeff Driskel transferred from Florida to Louisiana Tech for his final season of eligibility.

If he’s healthy in 2015, Miller has potential to be one of the nation’s top 5-10 quarterbacks. The senior is a dynamic dual-threat option, scoring 36 touchdowns and eclipsing over 3,000 yards of total offense for Ohio State in 2013. Of course, it’s not a guarantee he will return at full strength from a shoulder injury right away. Remember Missouri’s James Franklin in 2012? And Texas A&M’s Jerrod Johnson in 2010?

LSU and Florida State have been rumored as potential landing spots for Miller, but neither program makes sense to me. Both teams run pro-style offenses and would have to change their schemes to have Miller succeed in 2015. With that in mind, I think the best fit for Miller is either at Oregon or returning to Ohio State. Going to Eugene makes a lot of sense. The Ducks are expected to lose Marcus Mariota to the NFL, and Miller has experience in an up-tempo offense. Returning to Columbus seems unlikely, but what if the shoulder injury keeps Miller out until fall workouts? Can he mesh with another team in just a couple of weeks? Assuming Mariota departs for the NFL, my guess is Miller heads to Eugene and plays for the Ducks in 2015.

Jeremiah Sharpe, Men of the Scarlet and Gray | @SYRmotsag

With rumors floating on a daily basis that he could end up at a number of different schools it is easy to get caught up in the drama. Truth is, Braxton Miller and Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer have said from Day One that he would return to Columbus and that has never changed. On top of that, Braxton’s father came out a few weeks ago saying that his son would return.In my opinion, if Braxton were contemplating transferring to another school, they would just not discuss the situation at all. So I truly believe Braxton Miller will not transfer to another program.

I would put it at a 10 percent chance this happens.
The only way I see Braxton leaving Ohio State this year is to go to the NFL draft. Several NFL teams have quietly let it be known he is on their board and that he was very close to going to the NFL after last year. Braxton believes he is NFL ready and could test that theory this year instead of returning. Some believe he could be a 3rd- to 5th-rounder while others project late round at best. Is that enough to get Braxton to go to the draft this year?
I would put this at a 35 percent chance this happens.
My final prediction: Miller will return to Ohio State for the 2015 season and will compete for the starting QB spot with J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones. You can say the odds are better than 50 percent for this one.

Nate McKenzie, The Cult Den | @WriteMyWrong

Braxton Miller is a Buckeye now, will be a Buckeye next year, and will be a Buckeye forever.

He wants to lead his team to a title. He will have no better chance to do so someplace else. Ohio State will be defending champions, returning almost an entire team of starters, and will still have a guy named Urban Meyer as head coach. J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones are very, very good.

Braxton Miller is transcendent. He is incendiary.

The only thing that could convince Braxton to transfer is if he thought he might not start next season. Urbs has already said Braxton is his starter. And for good reason.

Cardale may have a bigger arm. J.T. may be more accurate. Cardale can run through and jump over people; JT sees angles while running. But Braxton makes angles appear that didn’t exist and erases the ones that defenders thought were there. He doesn’t have to run through people because he is an apparition.

He can’t be caught.

So, Urban Meyer will start Braxton. He won’t get more exposure anywhere else for the following draft. With an offense that is increasingly able to take downfield shots with talented WRs he will have an opportunity to showcase his improved accuracy. Urban is a wizard. He will find a way to utilize all three QB’s (maybe a Calipari platoon system?).

In 2015, Miller will be at the WHAC, the Shoe, and then the Horseshoe West, in Glendale AZ.

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