CHICAGO -- Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer knows Buckeyes star quarterback Braxton Miller has work to do if he's going to be counted among the top QB prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft. Meyer doesn't seem to think Miller is far off from joining that club, though.
"He's close. He's real close," Meyer said Monday at Big Ten Media Days. "I used to make a comment, 'You can't see the ceiling.' You can see the ceiling with him now."
As for how Miller moves closer to the top of draft boards, Meyer said the plan includes allowing Miller to show he's a complete quarterback, not just one with great running ability. Miller has proven he's a dynamic rusher, but he's yet to establish himself as a consistent passer.
"We have to be very balanced. We've been very one-dimensional with him," Meyer said. "He's certainly got the skill set and he's got the arm strength and now I believe he's got the knowledge. And I believe his personnel around him is better. Those are the areas and he's got to utilize that."
Miller threw for 2,094 yards and 24 touchdowns and rushed for 1,068 yards and 12 TDs last season, when he missed two games and almost all of another. He gave serious consideration to entering the 2014 NFL Draft, but opted to return for his senior season and underwent shoulder surgery in the offseason. After missing all of spring practice as he recovered from surgery, Miller returns as a leading contender for the Heisman Trophy and in the best shape of his life, according to Meyer.
The signal-caller said the emphasis during the spring and summer was improving his football knowledge, which included intense whiteboard sessions with Meyer and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Tom Herman where Miller was tested on the whole offense.
"Knowledge-wise, learning the game more," Miller said of his offseason focus. "Learning how to talk in front of a big group. I talked in front of the whole defensive staff and that was kind of weird. I know them and see them everyday, but everybody in the same room, I'm talking and teaching them. That was kind of weird. I'm like, 'Dang. I see how you all feel when you're teaching us.'"
With that knowledge could come increased freedom for Miller to operate in the Buckeyes' offense this season. Meyer said he hoped to give Miller the flexibility to change plays at the line of scrimmage more this year after not entrusting him with that option much in the past.