Quarterback Braxton Miller hasn't played an injury-free season during his time at Ohio State, but coach Urban Meyer thinks this season could change that.
During Big Ten media days on Monday, Meyer said Miller, who missed all of spring practices, was healthy after recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.
"He is ready to go," Meyer said. "He's full speed, best shape he's ever been in his life."
Miller suffered the injury in the 40-35 loss to Clemson in the Orange Bowl, one of the many injuries Miller has suffered during his three playing seasons at Ohio State. Many of those injuries have been a product of Miller's scrambling. Miller, who is one of the nation’s best dual-threat quarterbacks, has rushed 557 times for 3,054 yards during his career.
But Miller said despite offseason conditioning and bulking up from 212 pounds to 221 pounds, he doesn’t plan to take the same kind of hits he’s taken in past seasons.
Braxton Miller up to 221 pounds (from 212) but still feels faster. As for taking same pounding as last year? "That ain't gonna happen."— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) July 28, 2014
But keeping Miller healthy will really be dependent on an offensive line that’s made up of four new starters. Meyer said he likes the group’s work ethic, but he won’t know what he’s got until they get into a game situation.
“Concern No. 1, I mean, that's it,” Meyer said of his offensive line. “There's a bunch of concerns you always have. It's A through F, A through Z, A through X, whatever it is. But the number one on the list is development of that offensive line for the reasons you just said, among many other.
“You want to win that game, but protecting our quarterback is paramount. I don't want to say that's all our focus, but that's where a lot of our focus is right now.”
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