Andrew Holleran / Photo editor
Braxton Miller, the sophomore quarterback of the Ohio State football team, is a finalist for the Davey O’Brien Award, which is awarded to the nation’s best quarterback. Miller might also be named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, awarded to the most outstanding player in college football. His coach, however, believes he still has a long way to go.
“Our quarterback fundamentally wasn’t the best fundamental quarterback in America,” coach Urban Meyer said Monday during a season wrap-up press conference. “If he becomes fundamentally the best quarterback in America, I think he will be the best quarterback in America. He’s not there yet.”
Meyer said he would grade the OSU passing offense this season as a “C to C-minus.”
“That’s up a little bit from what it was a year before, but still nowhere near what we want, not even in the same hemisphere as far as what’s expected,” Meyer said. “That has to change, and change fast.”
Meyer said he puts much of the responsibility of improving Miller and the passing offense on offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman.
“Tom Herman and I are going to have a chat. Why didn’t that happen?” Meyer said. “Tom Herman did a fabulous job. But Tom Herman and Braxton Miller understand that they have to get better.”
Meyer reflected on other aspects of the 2012 season as well, while looking ahead to 2013, during Monday’s conference.
Looking back on a 12-0 season
Meyer said he will remember the 2012 Buckeyes for its “incredible character, determination and genuine love for one another.”
“The memory that I’ll always have of this season… is just the complete selflessness,” Meyer said. “Arguably the best I’ve ever seen.”
Meyer did not give a definitive response on whether the Buckeyes deserve to finish No. 1 in the Associated Press poll, but said he believes his team can play with “any team in the country.”
Will Meyer make coaching changes?
Meyer said Monday he has no plans to make any changes to his coaching staff, but realizes some of his coaches may be pursued for other coaching opportunities at other programs.
“I’m not going to make a change,” Meyer said. “One negative thing about success and hiring good coaches is that they’re hot items… I’d like to think at a place like Ohio State, you only will leave here to become a head football coach.”
No word yet on Hankins, Roby
In addition to losing 21 seniors from this year’s football team due to graduation, two underclassmen who could potentially leave OSU to move on to the NFL are junior defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and redshirt sophomore cornerback Bradley Roby.
Meyer he has not yet discussed the possibility of declaring for the NFL draft with either player. Roby said on Nov. 14 he had discussed his potential decision with OSU cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs.
Concerns for 2013 season
If history is any indication, the 2013 season has championship potential for the Buckeyes. Jim Tressel, the last coach to spend two or more years leading the OSU football program, won a national championship in his second year in Columbus. Urban Meyer also won one of two national championships at Florida in his second year with the Gators.
Meyer said that by achieving an undefeated season this year, the “standard has been set” for his second season.
“My concern here is complacency. We have to make sure that doesn’t place,” Meyer said. “If they’re not angry and complacent, this team’s average as dirt.”
Meyer said that with the exception of sophomore outside linebacker Ryan Shazier, who he called an “excellent football player,” the linebackers are the weakest position group on the team heading into 2013.
“Other than (Shazier), I couldn’t tell you who can play,” Meyer said.
Meyer said that his No. 1 concern for the offseason is recruiting, and second is the “fundamental development of our players.” Meyer said the team is affected, however, by losing the opportunity to develop players through practices leading up to a bowl game.