|Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press|
|Braxton Miller was widely considered a top Heisman candidate prior to reinjuring his shoulder.|
The 2016 NFL Draft just picked its highest-profile commitment in Braxton Miller.
The Ohio State star quarterback, who reinjured his right (throwing) shoulder in practice on Monday, will sit out the year as a result, but vowed he'll return to OSU in 2015 as a fifth-year senior, which would place his draft year at 2016.
"I love Ohio State and Buckeye nation, and my goal is to come back from this injury stronger and better than ever. I am on course to graduate in December and I want to attend graduate school, and then return to lead the Buckeyes next season," Miller announced in a release from the school. "In the meantime, I want to give all the support I can to my coaches and teammates as they chase a championship this season."
Earlier Tuesday, NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt first broke the news that Miller would miss the season. If Miller were to change his mind about 2015, he would have to do so by Jan. 15, the deadline to declare for the NFL draft.
Miller's absence figures to derail Ohio State's 2014 season, and its hopes of qualifying for college football's inaugural four-team playoff. However, his intention to return next year is welcome news for the 2015 Buckeyes team that was expected to face turnover at the position. Miller, a fourth-year senior this fall, has led back-to-back undefeated regular seasons at OSU while amassing consecutive seasons of 2,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing.
Although Miller isn't considered a top NFL prospect as a passer, he has the athleticism to make a position change at the next level. But a healthy 2015 season as OSU's quarterback would give him the best chance of staying at the position into his pro career. NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks supports Miller's resolve to return to OSU for another season, and sees a position change in his NFL future.
According to the OSU release, Miller suffered the injury while throwing a short pass and was not hit during the play. Although the release did not indicate the specific nature of the injury, Sports Illustrated reported it's a torn labrum.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.