football Edit

Redshirt Review: Jack Miller

A series of profiles on members of the Buckeyes’ 2020 recruiting class who redshirted their true freshman seasons, including a look back at how their first year went, and an evaluation of where they stand in the program ahead of 2021.

Where exactly does Miller sit in the QB room ahead of the preseason?
Where exactly does Miller sit in the QB room ahead of the preseason? (USA Today Sports Images)

Attempting to glean the full extent of an ongoing quarterback battle from one spring exhibition alone is probably an unwise pursuit.

Unfortunately for Jack Miller though, he just so happened to leave spectators with the least impressive performance of the bunch during April’s spring game, and without the luxury of unfettered access to preceding and subsequent practice reps, it will be the impression that many are left with ahead of preseason camp.

Fellow redshirt freshman C.J. Stroud, the presumptive frontrunner for the starting job, tossed a pair of touchdowns and 185 yards with no turnovers while leading the Buckeye offense on three scoring drives in the spring game.

True freshman Kyle McCord, the No. 34 overall prospect in the 2021 class, was on Stroud’s heels with an impressive performance of his own, throwing 12-for-17 with 184 yards and two touchdowns.

Miller, the Arizona native who committed to the Buckeye program far before the other two back in July 2018, threw a pick on his opening possession and couldn’t get the Ohio State offense in the end zone during the scrimmage.

Of course, without any of the three having an official pass attempt at the collegiate level, any evaluation to this point was destined to be skewed heavily by the spring game.

Miller did log more snaps during the 2020 season than Stroud, although only by a slim 10-8 margin. Neither was asked to do much, either coming in at the end of a blowout or for a single play due to a brief Justin Fields injury, but both did manage to find the end zone with their legs.

In fact, Miller scored a rushing touchdown in the very first game of the season, punching in a score late against Nebraska in the season opener.

Head coach Ryan Day has been careful not to tip his hand in any direction regarding the three-man position battle, even going as far as to say that it may go past the first game of the 2021 season.

“I’d love to sit here and tell you that I think we’ll have a great feel for it in two weeks or three weeks or the fifth practice of preseason, but I don’t think so,” Day said in late March. “I do think the more we’re around them, the more we get a feel for it and the more it shakes out, but even going into that first game, you’ll still be learning and trying to evaluate it all.”

Day was no more revealing after the spring game, although with Stroud seeming to get most of the first-team reps in the handful of spring practices that were open to the media, it would seem most likely that Miller will start this year only as high as QB2.

Miller has said in the past that he is committed to the program for the long haul though, and even if he does begin on the bench, it’s possible that a shorter leash for an inexperienced quarterback may allow him and McCord to have their crack under center at some point this season.