Braxton Miller to Oregon?

Natalie Liebhaber FishWrap, FishWrap Archive Leave a Comment

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has insisted all year that Braxton Miller will be the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback in 2015, but that hasn’t stopped the rumors from bubbling. Miller, a senior, has spent the entire 2014 season recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered just 12 days before OSU’s opening game. Due to the incredible success of Miller’s replacement — redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett — many have speculated Miller could transfer and spend his final season of NCAA eligibility away from Columbus. Maybe somewhere far away, such as… Eugene?

This week, Mike Huguenin of NFL.com shared his list of 10 potential landing spots for Miller, if he were to leave Ohio State. His list consists mainly of programs that will likely lose their own senior or redshirt junior QBs after this season, such as Oregon, UCLA and Auburn. Since Miller would be playing as a graduate student, he wouldn’t need to sit out a year before earning playing time.

Huguenin writes of Oregon:

Marcus Mariota could return for his senior season. But if he doesn’t, having Miller as a ready-made replacement likely would make coach Mark Helfrich and offensive coordinator Scott Frost giddy. Mariota is more advanced as a passer than Miller, but Miller is a more physical runner, and adding him to the stable of backs already on Oregon’s campus — wow.”

Mariota has tortured opposing defenses for three years by making them account for a mobile quarterback. Miller, who is skilled at improvisation and executing designed runs, would presumably prevent Oregon from missing a beat in that regard. In 2013, Miller accumulated 1,068 rushing yards (No. 8 in the entire conference) and was named B1G offensive player of the year. Keep in mind the leading rusher in the B1G, Carlos Hyde, was on Miller’s team!

Barrett has been responsible for 38 touchdowns so far this year — which means he is tied with Mariota for the most in the FBS. Although there has been speculation about the possibility of a two-quarterback system at Ohio State next year, it’s difficult to envision Barrett and Miller sharing a starting role.

Imagine the productivity that could come from Miller and an Oregon team with Thomas Tyner and Royce Freeman in that offensive backfield! Of course this is all speculation — but it’s certainly fun speculation. Cue the flood of rumors.

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