With the flurry of news reports coming into Columbus these days, it would be easy to miss something like quarterback Braxton Miller winning the Big Ten’s Freshman of the Year award, an award that was last given to an Ohio State player in 2008 when Terrelle Pryor was a freshman.
For the rest of the Big Ten, this is something that’s really scary for opposing teams going forward, because even in a year where freshman were not contributing across the board in the Big Ten, the Buckeyes found a really good one and he just so happens to fit perfectly into new head coach Urban Meyer’s offensive philosophy.
Miller will grow as a passer. He made some throws this year that are an indication of that, but it’s clear that his strength is running the football, and that will be magnified with the addition of Meyer to this storied football history. I think over the next two or three years (depending on Miller’s NFL status), this could turn out to be a marriage that drives the rest of the conference crazy, and teams are going to need to take notice.
Not only is Miller going to be made better simply by the installation of Meyer’s offense, but now they are going to be able to recruit the blue-collar guys for the trenches and then dip into the southeast for skill position players, which gave Florida that deadly combination of size and speed during Meyer’s tenure there.
Ohio State has always recruited the midwest really well, and now you are talking about adding speed all across the board at cornerback, running back, receiver, linebacker, and safety. Not to mention, quarterback.
This is going to be a style that is uncommon in terms of the rest of the Big Ten. Ohio State is going to be a high-powered, potent offensive attack and they will have a big, tough, fast defense. The rest of the Big Ten has been mostly blue-collar guys who are overachievers, but that is going to have to change if teams want to keep pace with the Buckeyes.
I am not saying Urban Meyer is going to essentially bring an SEC team to the Big Ten, but I am kind of saying that. He’s going to get great athletes to come to Columbus, and he’s going to be able to recruit the best of the best in the midwest year in and year out.
This is a great move for the Buckeyes for the long term, but in the short term, Braxton Miller has got to be ecstatic about playing in the offense where Meyer recruited and signed three first round picks, two of them who went first overall in the draft (Alex Smith, Cam Newton, Tim Tebow).