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In 1995, a once college quarterback was drafted as a backup QB but Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher couldn’t resist putting him on the field. Although he was listed as the third string quarterback, Cordell Stewart put fear in the defensive coaches around the NFL. The league never saw such athleticism and versatility in a quarterback. He could run the ball, catch and of course throw. Cowher gave him the name “Slash”.
20 years later, Ohio State Buckeyes’ coach Urban Meyer was put in the same predicament in which he responded the same exact way. Braxton Miller (A dynamic quarterback in 2013) is a 5th year senior that once held the keys to the Ohio St. cadillac but now is a passenger. Miller was the sole leader of the team going into the 2014 season until he suffered a season ending injury. Since then, he’s been demoted after J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones led the Buckeyes to a National Championship last year or has he?
During the offseason he was listed as a wide receiver and to do some kickoff return duties. Most criticized the move and others felt that it was the end of Miller’s football career. Miller added fire to the flame when he stated that he was the most athletic football player in college football. Miller possessed plenty of confidence while critics thought he was speaking out of spite because of the so called demotion.
On opening night, Miller not only proved college football fans wrong but proved his coach was right in making the decision of moving him to a wide receiver/H-back. Miller had two catches for 78 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 62 yards including a 53 yard touchdown scamper at the quarterback position. He displayed his elusiveness and breakaway speed against the Virginia Tech Hokies. The scary part is Miller’s still learning how to run routes which was evident on a post corner route where he turned the wrong way which easily could have been an touchdown. After two games Miller has 94 yards receiving and a touchdown while rushing for 119 yards with one touchdown.
When Stewart became Slash, his ability to play all over the field made him dangerous, but he didn’t have the speed that Miller has and he is not as agile as Miller. It was once believed that Miller’s NFL stock went down after he lost the starting QB job but after his debut as a specialty player, his stock may continue to rise even beyond what it could have been if he would have kept his starting job at QB.