We’re all still trying to figure out Braxton Miller’s new role(s) within this OSU offense.
What Miller has figured out more certainly? Himself.
It’s what I learned by talking to him Thursday after OSU’s practice.
Miller spoke very comfortably about his situation, even admitting a few things about his feelings pre-and-post-Virginia Tech.
“I was nervous before that game,” he told me. “I have never been that nervous before, not even before my first QB start here.”
When I pressed him about why he broke down in front of his team after the Virginia Tech game, he added this: “I had been away from football for so long, I didn’t know if I would ever be able to play as myself ever again.”
What does that look like?
“Smiling and scoring touchdowns,” he smirked.
Miller has graduated and is taking online classes, so he doesn’t get to wander the campus much.
He is aware of all the SnapChat videos that surfaced this week of students doing the “BraxSpin”.
Our TV crew decided to have some fun with it with OSU tailgaters on Saturday, here’s one of the pieces:
No question OSU was affected by the short turnaround.
When I spoke to Mickey Marotti, OSU’s Sports Performance coach, he gave me the example of Sophomore Curtis Samuel.
Marotti said Samuel had lost eight pounds after Monday’s game, due to the travel, game stress, etc. The OSU staff had to vigorously load Samuel up with carbs throughout the week. By Thursday, Samuel was back to his normal playing weight.
When I asked Samuel about it Thursday, he laughed. “I am a sweater,” he joked, while adding he always has to be particularly aware of his weight all season. “Lots of pastas and breads” were/are on his menu.
Mine, too. But NOT because I am trying to gain weight…. 🙂
That’s how Urban Meyer describes LB Joshua Perry.
Not hard to see why.
Perry has a “way” about him that makes him a natural leader, and makes you want to listen to him.
He’s one of the captains on this team and he described the lockerroom atmosphere like this to us:
“The energy is loose and positive. (Coach) made a plan of what he wants….losing the lockerrom is not an option for us.”
Meyer-isms at Practice:
Some interesting quotes from my time at Thursday’s practice from Coach Meyer:
“You only get so many swings. This (vs. Hawai’i) is one of 12 swings you get. You’re an Ohio State Buckeye, you have to respond.”
“For an average guy, today might be a problem. But not for the Elite Warrior. They don’t have a human element. It HAS to be a good day.”
Home Sweet Home
Hawai’i RB Paul Harris (also a Columbus native) told me he had only been in Ohio Stadium once before this past Saturday. That one time was just for a high school all-star game.
He had never gone as a fan to an OSU game.
But Harris had plenty of fans in the stadium THIS Saturday. “About 60-70” friends and family, he told me. Included in that group was his mother, Nina Taylor. She is the reason Harris has tried to clean up his act. (Academic problems led him through the junior college route after his graduation from Marlon-Franklin HS in Columbus.)
“I just want to make her proud,” he said.
Harris turned 23 years old Friday. He started and played in Ohio Stadium for the first time. It was an opportunity he celebrated when “nobody thought I could play D1 football there for a while.”
D’Angelo Russell was back and honored this weekend…a big recruiting weekend for OSU hoops.
Russell said to me in the pregame it was “refreshing” to be back.
Thad Matta told me it was refreshing to watch him goof off with some of his old teammates again, and “be a 19 year old” again.
Rutgers-PSU Next Week.