The Braxton Miller transfer speculation can finally cease. The Ohio State quarterback isn't going anywhere.
Talk has been rampant this offseason that Miller, who hasn't played a game for the Buckeyes since the 2014 Orange Bowl loss to Clemson, might opt to take a starting gig elsewhere rather than compete in a position battle with teammates J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones, who both excelled while filling in for an injured Miller en route to Ohio State winning last season's national championship.
There were rumors linking Miller to both Florida State and Oregon, but all along, everyone including head coach Urban Meyer, athletics director Gene Smith and even Miller's dad asserted that the senior would be back with the Buckeyes.
And Thursday, Miller — talking to the Columbus Dispatch in his first comments to any media outlet since prior to the start of last season — made it known that he will be playing his final season of college football in Columbus.
“I look on the Internet, and I see things forever on my timeline — Instagram, Twitter — that had me transferring to all types of different schools and stuff like that,” Miller told the Dispatch. “It was kind of a big controversy at the time but, you know, I had to keep my head on straight. ... Schools reached out, they reached out hard, and I kept my head where it needed to be, and I stayed smart with my situation."
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The speculation regarding a transfer that never happened stemmed from not just the upcoming quarterback competition but also from the fact that Miller, who graduated in December, could have transferred to another school and been immediately eligible, allowing him to play right away without sitting out a season.
Miller was the two-time reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year before he injured his throwing shoulder in that aforementioned Orange Bowl. He was on track to return for the start of last season but injured the same shoulder again during practice just days before the first game.
That led to Barrett taking over, and he had a sensational season, leading the Buckeyes to an 11-1 regular-season record, breaking several program and conference records (some held by Miller) and finishing fifth in voting for the Heisman Trophy. When Barrett went down with an ankle injury in the regular-season finale against Michigan, Jones took the reins, leading the Buckeyes to wins in the three biggest games of the season: the Big Ten title game against Wisconsin, the Sugar Bowl against Alabama and the College Football Playoff national title game against Oregon.
All three guys are back for 2015, hence the much-anticipated QB battle this summer.
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While many look at what happened last year and think Barrett or Jones can best Miller for the starting gig, don't be too quick to forget just how good Miller was as a sophomore and a junior. He's twice finished in the top 10 in Heisman voting.
Miller hasn't forgotten.
“I know who I am as a person. I know who I am as an athlete,” Miller told the Dispatch. “As it stands right now, I know I am the best athlete in college football. If any competition wants to come my way, I’ve just got to be smart about things and just stay looking forward.”