Monday, November 28, 2011
Meyer gushes over Braxton Miller
By Brian Bennett
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- One thing we know about Urban Meyer is that he can win big with the right quarterback.
Meyer led Utah to an undefeated season and BCS bowl win behind Alex Smith. He won a national title at Florida with Chris Leak. And, of course, he's most closely associated with Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, who helped him claim another BCS national championship.
While Meyer likely will make many changes to the Ohio State offense, he's already got a potential star at quarterback waiting for him in freshman Braxton Miller. Having watched him mostly on tape this year, Meyer can't wait to get started working with Miller. The two met and talked Monday afternoon.
"I watched him play throughout the year," Meyer said. "I've watched him compete in the big game. And to tell you I'm excited to coach him, I'm not using the correct adjectives. And because there's mixed company around I'm not going to use the correct adjectives, how excited I am. So I think you get it, right? Really excited.
"We've been blessed to have some great quarterbacks. And I'm really thinking this guy can be -- I'm putting a lot of pressure on this cat already -- but he's special. What I've seen on film, he's special."
Miller is a shoo-in to win Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors. Taking over as the starter in Ohio State's fourth game, he passed for 997 yards and 11 touchdowns, with four interceptions and a 50 percent completion rate. What set him apart, however, was his running ability. He leads the Buckeyes with 695 rushing yards and seven rushing scores.
Miller accounted for 335 total yards and three touchdowns in the 40-34 loss at Michigan. He showed excellent poise as a true freshman quarterback, highlighted by his game-winning touchdown pass to beat Wisconsin.
He seems like a natural fit to run Meyer's spread offense, even if he's not built quite like Tebow.
"I like the way he throws," Meyer said. "I think he's a ridiculous athlete. But you can stop ridiculous athletes by loading up [the defense]. And I like his delivery.
"We'll have some great conversation throughout spring practice and after spring. But I'm just real excited. I think he could be special."