Meyer expects Miller to be impact player as receiver


Jim Naveau

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CHICAGO — Ohio State football fans aren’t the only ones who have been day dreaming about what Braxton Miller can do as a wide receiver.

Urban Meyer has been going there lately, too.

“It’s going to be pretty intriguing,” Meyer said, with a smile, at Day 1 of the Big Ten football media days on Thursday.

“For a guy who sits and doodles (offensive schemes) all day like a little kid, it’s pretty exciting,” he said about himself. “And I’m not letting you see them.”

Miller, a two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year as a quarterback, came to Meyer around six weeks ago and said he wanted to play wide receiver after having surgery for a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder twice.

Miller has been working out with quarterbacks Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett for the last month, an item that somehow never leaked out, like rumors some Buckeyes would be suspended for the opener did.

Miller described his decision to Meyer as a Plan B because he still wasn’t sure he could throw the ball like he did before his injuries.

There is no doubt in Meyer’s mind that Miller has the skills to run routes and make players miss in the open field after he catches the ball. What he wants to see is how Miller does with some first-class defenders hounding him.

“If you say, ‘Go out and run routes’, I’ve seen him do that and it’s a wow. But how does he deal with a very good player on top of him? That’s the ins and outs of playing the position,” he said.

“He has gone out and worked with (defensive back) Vonn Bell a little. We’re going to work on that on Day 1 (of summer practice). I’m anxious to see him on Day 1.

“The one thing I was always concerned about Braxton was his leadership in the weight room. He wasn’t an ultimate grinder. He’s now one of the top five or six workers on our team.”

Meyer expects Miller to make those doodles he has scribbled in his office reality this fall. Exciting reality.

“For the average guy, it would be very uncommon. But he’s not common. He’s one of the best athletes I’ve ever coached, he’s got an incredible first step. When you say it’s time to win or lose, he’s not going to lose. My expectation is that he’s an impact player,” Meyer said.

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