Ohio State’s Miller changing positions from QB to WR
The much-talked-about Ohio State quarterback competition was reduced to a two-man race after Braxton Miller said Thursday that he is changing positions this year.
Miller told SI.com that concerns about his throwing shoulder prompted his decision to switch to H-back/wide receiver.
The two-time Big Ten player of the year missed last season after he reinjured the shoulder during fall camp and underwent a second surgery.
“For the most part, it’s going to be H-back and punt return,” Miller told SI. “It’s a long process to get back totally to throwing and throwing every day. This is the smarter thing for right now.
“God blessed me with a lot of talent and different opportunities. I’m going to have fun with that and still score a lot of touchdowns and help the team out and be dominant at that.”
The Buckeyes were prepared to enter fall camp with Miller, J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones battling for the starting job in one of the most compelling storylines in college football this year.
Miller, a redshirt senior, said several times in the past few months that he would not leave Ohio State for another school despite being eligible as a graduate transfer and the Buckeyes’ abundance of talent at quarterback.
In April, Miller discussed the move to receiver/H-back with strength coach Mickey Marotti and then with coach Urban Meyer. He said since then he has been working out at night as a receiver with Barrett.
Miller plans to spend 80 percent of preseason practices working with receivers and the other 20 percent with the quarterbacks, saying he’s not abandoning his former position completely. And he also is going to work on returning punts.
“It’s going to be electric,” Miller said. “We had a great season last year, but we didn’t see anyone do off-the-wall type stuff. I’m sure guys miss seeing an explosive, 60-yard shake-and-bake run every once in a while.”
That leaves Barrett and Jones to battle for the starting spot.
Barrett took over as the starter last season and led the Buckeyes to an 11-1 regular-season record before suffering a broken ankle against Michigan in late November.
Jones replaced Barrett in the postseason and quarterbacked Ohio State to a win in the Big Ten championship game and during its run to the first College Football Playoff championship.