Andy Gottesman / Lantern photographer
Discussing when in the recruiting process he gets a sense a recruit will be joining Ohio State, co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell said he’s not usually comfortable until he sees that player’s signed letter of intent. That wasn’t the case with Braxton Miller.
When Miller, who is ranked as the No. 2 quarterback in his class according to multiple recruiting services, announced in June that he’d be joining OSU’s 2011 recruiting class, he left little doubt in his future coaches’ minds about his level of commitment, as he showcased an OSU Block “O” tattooed on his left shoulder.
Though he announced his intentions months ago and has been taking classes for weeks as an early enrollee at OSU, Miller was officially introduced as a Buckeye on Wednesday at a ceremony introducing OSU’s 23-member recruiting class.
Wearing his new No. 5 OSU jersey, along with a retro-style Buckeye hat, Miller said he’s still getting the hang of college life.
“The first week was hard to adjust to,” he said, “but I’m cool now.”
With OSU quarterback Terrelle Pryor suspended for the first five games of the upcoming season, OSU coaches say they are hopeful that Miller’s ability to adjust carries over to the football field. With the 15 extra practice sessions Miller has received from enrolling during Winter Quarter, he likely will compete with Joe Bauserman, Ken Guiton and Taylor Graham to fill the temporary void Pryor will leave.
Miller said he’s excited for the opportunity to compete right away but that it’s too early to get caught up in the competition.
“It’s just an opportunity,” he said. “Just got to get the job done, do the work and see who wins it out.”
OSU quarterbacks coach Nick Siciliano agreed that it’s too early to see when, or if, Miller will contribute in the upcoming season, but he acknowledged that Miller’s decision to enroll early only improved his chances.
“That’s all going be determined to how fast he adapts to what we do on an offensive standpoint — our play-calling, our formation setups and all those things,” Siciliano said. “Any time you’re here from any position, it gives you an advantage to play football a little bit more. I think that really is an advantage for a quarterback, to be able to get 15 extra days of snaps.”
Like Pryor, Miller has displayed an ability both to throw and run the ball. In his senior season at Wayne High School in Huber Heights, Ohio, Miller passed for 2,167 yards and 17 touchdowns and ran for 658 yards and 17 touchdowns. Miller led his team to the Division I state title game. As a three-year starter at Wayne, Miller compiled a 31-7 record.
Enrolling early gave Miller the opportunity not only to practice early with his new team but also to bond with Pryor, whom he’ll attempt to replace either this season or the next.
“He’s a cool dude to hang out with,” Miller said of Pryor. “I figured I’d learn from the best.”