Braxton Miller pens tribute to Ohio State fans in Players' Tribune
The attention in Columbus has been focused on the nine underclassmen that declared for the NFL draft.
All of them got the Ohio State experience, but none of them had the journey that Braxton Miller did.
The converted quarterback/H-back played in his final game with the Buckeyes during their Fiesta Bowl win. The program’s all-time touchdowns and total yards leader concluded a five-year career that will rank among the great Buckeyes ever.
Miller released a tribute to Ohio State fans in the Players’ Tribune, in which he detailed his personal connection with the Buckeye faithful.
Here are some of the excerpts:
On his role as a freshman:
“That first season, I was named Big Ten Freshman Player of the Year. But what many people don’t know is that I was also named (by me) the conference’s (unofficial) Recruiter of the Year. That’s right: when prized recruits came to Columbus to visit — players who had their choice of attending any college they wanted to, really — I took it upon myself to sell them on joining our program. And when I sold them on the Buckeyes, I did it with both of my hats on: “current player,” of course — but also “lifelong fan.” I sold them on our decorated past (sorry again, Miami), our resilient present, and our promising future — the future of Buckeyes Football that we could be a part of building, together.
“And it worked.”
On the fan support he received after his injuries:
“And I’m thankful for the Buckeye fans as well. I don’t know that there’s another organization or community that rallies around its own quite like ours does. Buckeye Nation: I was in awe of the unwavering loyalty you showed me, and the stream of well wishes you sent me, as I went through the rehab process. If I could have personally thanked each of you individually, I would have. But just know that none of your words of encouragement went unnoticed.”
On speculation that he’d transfer:
“Of course, while I was hurt and J.T. and Cardale found success, everyone began speculating that I was going to transfer. But if you want to know the truth: that thought never really crossed my mind. In my mind, it all came down to one question.
“Why would I ever leave Ohio State?
On Columbus preparing him for the next step:
“My time in Columbus has meant the world to me, and has shaped me into the man I am today. I’ve felt such tremendous highs, and I’ve experienced such trying lows. But now that I’ve gone through it all, I feel ready for whatever awaits me on the other side. I don’t fear adversity. I don’t fear the spotlight. I don’t fear success. And I don’t fear failure.
“I’m stepping toward this new chapter of my life with a confidence that I wouldn’t have had if it wasn’t for the experience that Ohio State has given me. And for that I will be forever grateful.”