Ohio State has confirmed that Braxton Miller, its very talented senior quarterback, suffered a season-ending injury yesterday. The injury to his right shoulder — the same shoulder he injured in the Orange Bowl and that was operated on earlier this year — came when Miller was throwing a pass during a non-contact part of practice.
Miller, who is on track to graduate in December, now expects to redshirt this season. He announced that he plans to stay at Ohio State, start graduate school, and play again for Ohio State next year, when he hopes to come back from the injury stronger and better than ever.
Two thoughts about Braxton Miller. First, isn’t it encouraging that a fine athlete like Miller, who has been a two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, has paid attention to his classwork and is prepared to graduate early? Good for him! Second, Miller’s injury is why I will never blame a gifted athlete who decides to leave school before their senior year to go pro. Exceptional modern athletes are a carefully calibrated combination of speed, size, quickness, and strength, and an injury can wreck that careful calibration forever. I hope that, with the assistance of all of the miracles of modern medicine, Braxton Miller can fully recover from the injury return to the exciting form he showed the last two seasons.
As to much more mundane matters: quarterback was the one position Ohio State coaches didn’t have to worry about; now they do. Redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett and redshirt sophomore Cardale Jones are next on the depth chart, and the coaches will have to decide which one starts when the Buckeyes play Navy on August 30 — less than two weeks away. The upcoming season just got a lot more unpredictable for Buckeye Nation,