COLUMBUS, Ohio – Braxton Miller is participating in Ohio State’s spring practice as a quarterback, and the focus is on Miller getting back to full health and full strength from a shoulder injury last August that ended what would have been his senior season.
A potential position change has not been discussed.
"I think he’s athletic enough to (make a change)," Urban Meyer said Tuesday. "But I still think he’s a quarterback."
Meyer said he and Miller have never discussed a position change.
Does "never" eventually become "not yet?" Given Ohio State’s quarterback situation, that question is worth asking.
"All of our conversations are about the health of the athlete," Meyer said. "I just want to to see him get healthy. To sit there and start saying how about safety or cornerback or H-back or receiver or whatever, no. We haven’t had that conversation."
Miller was the Big Ten Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013, Meyer’s first two seasons as Ohio State’s head coach. He missed last year’s spring practice after having arthroscopic shoulder surgery, and another shoulder injury in August ended his 2014 season. Ohio State went on to go 11-1 in the regular season with J.T. Barrett at quarterback and 3-0 in the postseason with Cardale Jones stepping in after Barrett’s injury.
All three are back. Though Miller and Barrett are medically limited, all three are participating in spring practice, which started Tuesday. At least as of now, all three are in the running to be the starting quarterback in September.
"I’ve never been in this situation," Meyer said. "Maybe at other positions. Not at quarterback."
Miller, assuming he’s healthy, has options. He graduated last December and would be eligible to play right away if he transferred. He’d likely be able to enter the NFL’s supplemental draft if he wanted to go that route. A top athlete, Miller’s professional future could be in making a position change.
That’s not his present, though. Meyer said he’s spoken to Miller about not rushing back like he may have last summer and that the start of spring practice was "about Braxton just continuing on his journey to get better." Meyer said Miller has been to Birmingham for follow-up appointments with Dr. James Andrews, who performed the surgery, and that Ohio State’s training staff is monitoring him closely.
The start of spring football means the Buckeyes are closer to the 2015 season. The QB situation is still no closer to being resolved.
"I just love seeing Braxton out there," Meyer said. "I love Braxton and I always have. He’s a selfless guy who works really hard."
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