Five Reasons Why Ohio State’s Braxton Miller Should be a Heisman Finalist
5 Reasons Why Braxton Miller Should be a Heisman Finalist
Braxton Miller was one of three college football players that were left out of the final three Heisman finalists. Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, Collin Klein of Kansas State and Manti Te'o of Notre Dame are the three Heisman finalists, all deserving, but many are still scratching their heads because of the Miller snub.
Miller has been the science project of Ohio State's first year head coach Urban Meyer as he has become of the most improved players in all the country and according to Meyer, the most dynamic athlete he's ever coached. Wait, ever? Yes, he said ever-- even above the great Tim Tebow.
There is no doubt that the sophomore quarterback should have been one of the finalists in New York for the Heisman presentation on Saturday and should have had a chance to join the fraternity.
Although he wasn't lucky enough to be named a finalist for the most coveted trophy in college sports, Miller will most likely be a finalist for next season and will likely see his draft stock continue to rise as he reaches full potential.
It's true that Miller's numbers weren't quite as impressive as Manziel's or even Klein's, but the Buckeye quarterback is young and what he lacked in numbers, he made up for in leadership and coachability-- two of the many reasons that he should have been named a finalist.
The Buckeyes did finish 12-0 and Miller did finish with over 3,000 all-purpose yards and 28 total touchdowns, but somehow fell short of the respect the other two finalists at quarterback received.
All you can tell the young player is keep at it and there is no way they can forget about you next season.
Braxton Miller is undoubtedly a leader and everyone in Columbus knows it. Braxton Miller has lead a team from a 6-7 record in 2011 to a 12-0 record in 2012. If it weren't for the bowl ban that the Buckeyes are currently facing this season, they would most likely be playing for a national title. The Buckeyes have had a few scares this season, but it is in those moments when the true leaders shine. He did it against Michigan State, he did it against Nebraska, Wisconsin and Michigan.
His teammates listen to him when he has to talk and that's a sign of a great leader. They look up to him and he's just a sophomore. He's got some good years ahead of him. It will be interesting to see how Miller responds to the hype he will have at the beginning of the 2013 season.
Big Play Ability
The Buckeyes had many huge plays this season of 50 or more yards and a big reason for that is Braxton Miller. He has broken off runs of 65, 55, 72, 67 and 42 yards this season, breaking his record long run from the previous season time after time. He has great speed and elusiveness that coach Meyer praises and ran all over the Big Ten this year, and yes, I know the Big Ten was at it's weakest point in years.
Oh, and did I mention he can throw the ball, too? He has had passes of 72, 72, 63, 60, 52 and 51 yards. Virtually every career number, including longest passing and running play has been set this season and he will only get better from here.
Urban Meyer continues to praise Miller. No matter how long he has seen the sophomore quarterback play in person, he never ceases to show his amazement for the Huber Heights, Ohio, native:
"Braxton Miller is the most dynamic player I've ever coached. I've had first-rounders all over the place. But Braxton is strong, he's 215 now, and his acceleration is just off the charts. He also has a degree of humility that you almost never see in quarterbacks at Top 10 programs."
Meyer seems to know talent when he sees it and he knows when he sees a player that is constantly willing to learn and Miller exemplifies all of that. Meyer has turned this average quarterback with athleticism into a dynamic and dominating quarterback with the athleticism being put to good use.
Much Improved Passer
Braxton's passing statistics have improved from a year ago all across the board. Although improvement doesn't exact garner Heisman attention, it's the drastic improvement into almost superstar status that is amazing. His completion percentage-- the most important passing number, in my opinion-- is up four percent, even with about 100 more pass attempts. He has thrown two more touchdowns this season as well as two more interceptions, but that can be forgiven because of the number of attempts. Still, six interceptions is a good season for any quarterback.
What about passing yards? He has thrown for nearly 1,000 more yards this season than he did in 2011. Confidence has played a big role in Miller's realization of potential and it will just continue to rise. I predict he will have close to 3,000 passing yards next season with 20 touchdowns and over 60 percent of his passes completed.
Braxton Miller is one of many running quarterbacks in the Big Ten, but is he the best? He has the most rushing yards of any quarterback in the conference and leads the Buckeyes in that category by about 300 yards over Carlos Hyde.
His running ability has been noticed by many and coach Meyer said that his acceleration is incredible. His 13 rushing touchdowns is also firs for quarterbacks in the conference coupled with his six 100-yard games. If he continues to work on his quickness and elusiveness, he will be the best running back in the country in no time at all. His Heisman campaign has already begun for next season as the Buckeyes will likely be a top-five team to start the season.
Be sure to check out the Rant Sports 100 in 100 Series, a preview of the top 100 College Football Teams for the 2013 Season!