Ohio State AD: Braxton Miller told me he's staying with Buckeyes


Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith is adamant: Quarterback Braxton Miller will be with the Buckeyes in the fall.

"He's not going anywhere," Smith told elevenwarriors.com, a website that covers Ohio State athletics.

Further, said Smith, "If he was (going to leave), it would have happened."

Smith told the website he had talked with Miller "well before spring ball. He's working out in the weight room and we got into a conversation and I just asked him. I said, 'You good? All these rumors out there, you good? You need some help if you want to transfer?' He said, 'Mr. Smith, I'm not going anywhere. I love it here.'"

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer repeatedly has said he expects Miller to be with the Buckeyes this season.

Miller -- a two-time Big Ten player of the year -- hasn't spoken to the media since Aug. 18, 2014, but given how well his replacements played in helping Ohio State win the national title last season, rumors continue to swirl that he will leave and play elsewhere this fall as a graduate transfer student.

J.T. Barrett became the starter when Miller was injured last summer, and he threw for 2,834 passing yards (with 34 TDs) and rushed for 938 yards (and 11 TDs) before being injured in the regular-season finale against Michigan. Barrett accounted for 45 TDs, which set a Big Ten single-season record. When Barrett was hurt, Cardale Jones came on and proceeded to throw for 742 yards and five TDs in three games -- a Big Ten championship game victory over Wisconsin, a national semifinal win over Alabama and a national championship win over Oregon.

Barrett will be a sophomore this fall, Jones a junior. All three are extremely talented college quarterbacks, though Jones appears to be the only one who has the potential to be a high-level NFL prospect.

And while it's easy to say all three get along and that everyone basically is singing "Kumbaya" right now, it seems highly unlikely that all three will be happy once the season begins. After all, one is going to be a third-string quarterback. Getting mop-up snaps in easy wins will not appeal to players as talented as Barrett, Jones and Miller. (Given the state of quarterbacking in college football these days, it's incredible that Ohio State has three quarterbacks of this caliber.)

Ohio State's spring practice ended a month ago, on April 18. And Smith said his conversation with Miller took place before spring drills even started, on March 10. A lot can change in two months.

Miller has one season of college eligibility remaining. As such, he seems the most likely to transfer. After all, does he risk being a reserve -- even if it's on a great team -- in his final season of eligibility?

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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