Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, July 23, 2015

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

So, the much-scrutinized and analyzed Ohio State quarterback position just drew into greater focus now that Braxton Miller is moving to receiver, news SI's Pete Thamel broke late Thursday night.

[ MORE: Get all of our Braxton Miller news ]

This isn?t a shock, is it? Time and again we were told by Ohio State staffers that this three-headed quarterback situation could work out. Hogwash.

Did you really believe it? I didn?t. Something had to give. And a move of some sort-be it a transfer or position switch-by Miller seemed most probable. Now, it has happened.

The Buckeye quarterback derby is down to Cardale Jones vs. J.T. Barrett. And, you have to think Jones is the front-runner. The guy is coming off an incredible three-game run in the postseason en route to forging a national championship. Plus, he's been the only one of the three healthy enough to take snaps since the Buckeyes won the national title.

There are no questions about Jones, a hot and confident player who this time last year was a third-team quarterback.

Miller?s fate has turned as dramatically as Jones?. Miller was a Heisman front-runner last summer, a two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year (2012 & 2013) who was primed for a huge senior season until an August shoulder injury struck him down.

Now, Miller is a ? receiver?

?For the most part, it?s going to be H-Back and punt return,? Miller told Thamel in a phone interview. ?It?s a long process to get back totally to throwing and throwing every day. This is the smarter thing for right now.?

It is a position the Buckeyes need help at with the likes of Evan Spencer and Devin Smith gone. Still, OSU has some skill back at wideout/H-back in Michael Thomas, Jalin Marshall, Noah Brown, Johnnie Dixon and Dontre Wilson, among others. Can Miller really hope to play a huge role amid that talent?

Regardless, the move no doubt is Miller?s best hope to get onto the field with any consistency-and perhaps play in the NFL.

Miller wasn?t going to be an NFL quarterback. What made him a special quarterback was his ability to run and improvise. That willingness to run and improvise also led Miller to absorbing a lot of punishment-which led to injury.

Perhaps this move will help Miller avoid the big hits that have proven fateful. No doubt, his ample athletic skills will be a deadly weapon, especially in the return game. Just get Miller the ball in space ? and let him do this stuff. Pitch it to him on end-arounds, hand it to him, throw him screens.

But does he have the hands to catch the ball down field consistently? And does Miller know how to run routes? Get off coverage? Stay tuned.

Whatever the case, this was a move Miller had to make-for his sake and for the sake of the team.


About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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