Miller Named Offensive Player Of The Year

His toughest competition may have come from his own teammate in running back Carlos Hyde, but for the second consecutive season, Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller walks away with the Big Ten's Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year Award.

A year ago, Braxton Miller won the Big Ten's Offensive Player of the Year award, while admittedly having hardly tapped into his potential.

This year is a little different.

On Tuesday, Miller was again named the Big Ten's Graham–George Offensive Player of the Year after a 2013 regular season that saw the Ohio State junior quarterback throw for 1,759 yards and 21 touchdowns, while completing 65.7 percent of his passes. Despite missing the better part of three games early in the season with a sprained MCL, the Huber Heights, Ohio native added 891 yards on the ground with a career best 6.8 yards per carry, to go along with eight rushing touchdowns as he quarterbacked the Buckeyes to a second consecutive 12-0 record.

Whereas last year, he was simply learning Urban Meyer's spread system, this season Miller has taken full rein of the OSU offense, leaving some to wonder if the 6-2, 215-pounder could be a surprise invite to New York for Dec. 13's Heisman Trophy presentation.

That certainly wouldn't shock his head coach, who helped guide Tim Tebow to college football's most prestigious award in 2007, and sees many similarities between his former signal caller and his current one.

"I think he's Heisman worthy," said Meyer. "I can't compare him to the other guys because his stats probably aren't as good. I haven't even looked at that. But I think I've been around a Heisman Trophy quarterback and certainly Braxton is in that conversation."

Also named the Big Ten's Griese–Brees Quarterback of the Year, Miller will get one last chance to add to his Heisman resume this Saturday, when the second-ranked Buckeyes take on No. 10 Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis, Ind. Having allowed just 237.8 yards per game, the Spartans possess the nation's top-ranked defense, which will present Miller with a challenge unlike any other he's seen this season -- but also one that Meyer is confident that he'll be able to handle.

"The brighter the lights, the better he plays," Meyer said of Miller. "This is a great opportunity for him."

Also taking home awards on Tuesday were Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland, who was named the Nagurski–Woodson Defensive Player of the Year, Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who was named the Thompson–Randle El Freshman of the Year, and Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio, who earned both the Dave McClain and Schembechler-Hayes Coach of the Year awards.

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