Ohio State coach Urban Meyer thinks he has a star in the making in Braxton Miller. Apparently the Davey O'Brien Foundation agrees.
The Buckeyes' sophomore quarterback was one of 34 players to be named to the watch list for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award on Wednesday. The award is presented each year to college football's best quarterback.
Since its inception in 1981, only Troy Smith (2006) has won the award while playing for Ohio State.
A product of Wayne high school in Huber Heights, Ohio, Miller threw for 1,159 yards and 13 touchdowns, in addition to adding a team-high 715 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. His efforts were rewarded when he was named the Big Ten's Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year.
Despite his breakout season, the Buckeyes only compiled a 6-7 record, something that is only likely to improve with the arrival of Meyer as the Buckeyes' head coach. Having coached quarterbacks Josh Harris, Alex Smith, and Tim Tebow to NFL careers, Meyer has spoken glowingly about Miller throughout his short time in Columbus.
"He's a really, really good kid. A sponge. A kid who wants to do well," Meyer said of Miller. "He's a really, really athletic guy, but it's been nothing but positive of what he's been doing."
Other Big Ten quarterbacks appearing on the O'Brien watch list include Nebraska's Taylor Martinez, Michigan's Denard Robinson, Illinois' Nathan Scheelhaase, and Iowa's James Vandenberg.
Sixteen semifinalists for the Davey O'Brien Award will be announced on Oct. 22, with three finalists being named on Nov. 19. The award will then be presented on Dec. 6 as a part of the Home Depot College Football Awards show on ESPN.
In addition to the O'Brien Award, Miller has also been named to the watch list for the Maxwell award, which is given annually to college football's best player. Other Buckeyes named to watch lists this offseason include defensive end John Simon (Bednarik Award, Nagurski Trophy, Lombardi Award), defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (Bednarik Award, Nagurski Trophy, Outland Trophy, Lombardi Award), tight end Jake Stoneburner (Mackey Award, Lombardi Award), kicker Drew Basil (Groza Award), safety C.J. Barnett, linebacker Etienne Sabino (Butkus Award), and wide receiver Corey Brown (Biletnikoff Award).