The idea of switching to wide receiver first came to Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller in April, when he discussed it with strength coach Mickey Marotti. In May, he brought up the possibility to coach Urban Meyer and the two began watching film of star wide receivers together. Later that month, Miller began sneaking on the practice field at night to catch balls from quarterback J.T. Barrett. Miller kept the potential switch from quarterback to receiver secret, a fallback plan in case he couldn’t return fully healthy to playing quarterback after two shoulder surgeries, the latter which caused him to miss all of last season.
Miller’s fallback plan has become a reality, as he told SI.com on Thursday night that he plans to start the 2015 season playing H-Back—a hybrid receiver position—for the Buckeyes. Miller hasn’t completely closed the door on playing quarterback, as he estimates that he’ll spend 80% of the time during training camp at receiver and 20% with the quarterbacks. But Miller said with more than two months until he’ll be completely healthy at quarterback, he’s approaching this season as primarily a wide receiver.
“For the most part, it’s going to be H-Back and punt return,” Miller said in a phone interview on Thursday night. “It’s a long process to get back totally to throwing and throwing every day. This is the smarter thing for right now, God blessed me with a lot of talent and different opportunities. I’m going to have fun with that and still score a lot of touchdowns and help the team out and be dominant at that.”
And just like that the quarterback picture for Ohio State suddenly becomes a lot more clear. It’ll be JT Barrett v Cardale Jones for starting offense, place at the table.
If we’re being honest, the idea of Braxton Miller in the H-Back role kind of makes it move a little. Getting him in space with Jet Sweeps, quick passes… OH LAWD. Plus he said in the SI article he’ll also be returning punts. This Ohio State team is going to be absolutely LOADED with talent on the offensive side. Just think of a backfield of Cardale/JT, Ezekiel Elliott, and Braxton Miller. Who’s stopping that? #PrayForTheBigTen #PrayForTheSEC #PrayForBama
Players and coaches seem to like the idea