Ohio State's Braxton Miller is making a very hard decision, as he said on Thursday that he'll move from quarterback to H-back/receiver/punt returner for the 2015 season.
It's very difficult for a quarterback, especially a two-time Big Ten Player of the Year like Miller, to say "I want to play a different position." Quarterback is the marquee position in football, and I applaud Miller for being open to the change.
Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer and Miller's father have said the position switch is not a done deal yet, but if Miller does transition to a new spot, it will be a great move that enhances his NFL future and also helps Ohio State in 2015.
After missing the entire 2014 season with a shoulder injury, Miller faced an uphill battle this year in a three-way quarterback competition with J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones, as the shoulder is still keeping him from getting velocity on his throws. But even before Miller was ruled out for the 2014 season with the injury, I felt the best position for him long-term was running back. I did not view him as a future NFL quarterback, as his strength is as a runner, not as a passer.
Now, he says he'll play mostly H-back and punt returner in 2015, and I think he'd be a good fit for the role. Ohio State can line him up all over the field and it really gives the team a lot of versatility on offense. It's a much better situation that having a three-man logjam at the quarterback position.
Miller has a great feel as a runner. He knows when to turn it up, and he knows when to move outside and move inside. He's really built to be a running back. He measured 6-foot-1 3/8, 210 pounds this spring and his speed is estimated at 4.5. That's probably a conservative estimate. He has soft hands, too, and can catch the football. He'll have to work on his route-running to prepare for his new opportunities as a receiver.
Moving away from quarterback gives Miller a jumpstart on a position he can play in the NFL, and that's a great situation for him. He's a very talented player with a body for the H-back position. I think he can make a smooth transition, if he indeed is headed for the switch.