Leading up to the College Football Championship between Ohio State and our beloved Ducks, there was as much speculation about the future of quarterback Braxton Miller as there was speculation as to who would win the game itself. Miller was considered a Heisman candidate before the season started but with one week left before the first game, he injured his shoulder and was ruled out for the season.
Backup quarterback J.T. Barrett stepped up and not only played well, but also took the Heisman candidate tag away from Miller and placed it on himself. Late in the season he caught the injury bug when he fractured his ankle and was ruled out for . We all know about Cardale Jones and how he beat Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon. Where does this leave Braxton Miller?
With three quarterbacks that could start for any team in the country, it was expected that Miller would be the first one to transfer to another major university. It was reported many months ago that the star quarterback was heavily considering the Oregon Ducks as they had a system in place that uniquely fit his style of play. With Marcus Mariota coming off the most successful season in Oregon history, many felt Miller’s arrival in Eugene was imminent.
At a pep rally this morning held on the campus of the Ohio State University to celebrate their national title, Braxton Miller was quoted saying, “It’s a privilege and honor to be part of this team. Guess what, we’ve got another year to do it. So go Bucks.”
With these words, it is the first time that Miller has given the public his insight into the situation for next season. It would make sense for Miller to transfer, being that Barrett contended for a Heisman behind him and Jones won them their three biggest games. He hasn’t officially stated what he is going to go, but it would be hard for me to imagine someone saying these words in front of thousands of people and then dipping to go somewhere else.
Duck fans have been treated with special play from the great Mariota over the past three seasons. It’s hard for fans to imagine the team next year without a star quarterback. With Miller likely choosing to stay in Columbus, Duck fans must look internally. It was tough losing Darron Thomas, but Mariota stepped up out of nowhere, performed incredibly in the 2012 Spring Game and look where he is now. With all the returning talent on the offensive side of the ball for the Ducks, I expect coach Helfrich to cultivate one of his many quarterbacks into the guy he helped Mariota to be.
Hold on to hope Duck fans – times in Eugene will be just fine.
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