Back in February, Ohio State quarterbacks coach Nick Siciliano was quoted as saying that Braxton Miller is “going to get a shot like everyone else will this spring” to stake their claim as the Buckeyes’ interim starting quarterback.
Based on the reports streaming in this afternoon, the early enrollee is making the most of his shot.
ESPN‘s Joe Schad tweeted that “Miller was the most impressive QB” during OSU’s spring game Saturday. Ken Gordon of the Columbus Dispatch, via the same social media website, wrote that it’s “hard not to be impressed with Miller.” More important than the media’s perceptions, however, are those of the true freshman’s head coach. At least on the surface, The Vest appeared to like what he saw.
“I thought Braxton played a little bit more relaxed and had more fun than he has,” Jim Tressel said afterward, while also noting that the playbook was simplified for the glorified scrimmage.
Miller worked with the first-team offense against the first-team defense on at least a pair of series, although it should be noted that the Buckeyes’ secondary was from full strength and gave a decided advantage to Miller and the three other QBs — Joe Bauserman, Kenny Guiton and Taylor Graham (no relation) — vying for the right to start the first five games of the 2011 season as Terrelle Pryor serves his suspension. While all four QBs threw a touchdown apiece, Miller was the only one to complete more than 50 percent of his passes (7 of 12) against a defensive backfield down nine scholarship players due to injury.
Tressel wasn’t tipping his QB hand, though, saying only that “[w]hen we figure it out we are going to play whoever we need to.”
That said, it appears very likely Bauserman, the most “experienced” of the quartet vying for the job, will open summer camp as the starter.
“I definitely felt I had a good spring. I felt good about what I did. I thought I made some strides, and I thought I got better as a football player,” Bauserman said following the game.
Where Miller stands in the QB pecking order right now remains to be seen, but his play in the spring game, as well as his steady improvement throughout the previous sessions, is a clear sign that the rookie will be a serious contender for significant playing time — if not outright winning the starting job — come September.