Pryor Already Taking Braxton Under His Wing
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Braxton Miller was ready for the next step in his life, or so he thought.
After graduating early from Wayne High School in Huber Heights, where he was the big man on campus, Miller expected to step gracefully into his freshman year at Ohio State.
Instead, his foot landed awkwardly in a pile of snow.
“This is crazy man. I was just in high school the other day but now I’m in college,” said Miller, who enrolled early at Ohio State for winter quarter.
“It hasn’t hit me yet, really until football season starts. Right now I’m just getting the hang of things.”
That has proved to be a little more difficult than Miller anticipated.
After playing in the Under Armour All-American game in St. Petersburg, Fla. back on Jan. 5, Miller hopped a plane for Columbus. He was already late for the start of classes, and was in for a rude awakening when he got back.
“They had me in too many classes at first. I’m like, ‘man come on dog,’” Miller said with a giant smile.
“They had me in five classes, I’m supposed to be in four or three.”
Miller immediately called his dad for advice on how to handle the situation, but part of college is learning not to rely solely on mom and dad for everything. That’s where Miller’s new teammates have come in, particularly senior Terrelle Pryor.
“He’s cool. He's a normal human being like everybody else,” Miller said on National Signing Day.
“I call him ‘big bro,’ he calls me ‘little bro.’ If I need anything I just ask him to come over and talk about it.”
Three years ago, Pryor was in the same situation that Miller finds himself in now. Maybe not exactly, because Pryor didn’t enroll until after spring practice, but he was a high school phenom walking into a veteran locker room that included a senior quarterback.
Miller was fresh off his trip to the Division I state championship game when he saw that Ohio State’s current quarterback and four of his teammates would be suspended for the start of next season.
“I looked at the TV like ‘dang that’s bad news right there,’ said Miller, who tallied four scores in a losing effort against St. Edward.
“They talked to me about it and it’s no big deal, but five games is a lot.”
Even if the suspensions are reduced, Pryor and the others will certainly miss the season-opener against Akron after being allowed to play in the Sugar Bowl. It is a unique situation for Miller, who now finds himself in competition for the starting job this off-season, but the incident hasn’t changed his relationship with Pryor or the other guys.
“They were just talking about what went down and they apologized,” Miller said of Pryor, Mike Adams, DeVier Posey, Boom Herron and Solomon Thomas.
“Right now they’ve just got to work harder and put in more work. They’re some good guys. Outside of football, they’re special.”
Along with those older guys, Miller has also formed a bond with his 2011 classmates. Tight end Jeff Heuerman, linebacker Ryan Shazier, safety Jeremy Cash and defensive lineman Joe Hale also enrolled early for winter quarter.
Miller says he and Shazier have become fast friends living in the same dorm, which also houses a key member of last year’s recruiting class.
“Of course Corey (Philly) Brown, he’s right downstairs from me in my dorm,” Miller said of the sophomore receiver out of Philadelphia.
“We play ‘Call of Duty’ all the time.”
With Posey also suspended for the first five games, Brown would likely be Miller’s No. 1 target if he were to win the quarterback job. Before he can worry about that, however, Miller just needs finish getting adjusted to his new environment.
“I’m getting used to the workouts,” he said.
“The first day of conditioning, that was hard. I went through it and my lower back was killing me, but as we’re going on it’s getting better. I’m getting in shape.”
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