Ohio State had one of the best seasons in program history last year, and it came with the help of some young players. Now as the younger Buckeyes enter another year for the Buckeyes, they may be expected to take on expanded roles. Lettermen Row is breaking down a play from each key inexperienced Buckeye and how it can help provide a glimpse into each of their futures. Next up: Harry Miller has all the tools needed along the offensive line.
COLUMBUS — Harry Miller could have contributed last season for Ohio State.
The five-star recruit from Georgia began his Buckeyes career FaceTiming coaches from a missions trip in Nicaragua, learning the playbook early in the offseason before he even got to campus. By the time he began practicing and gaining reps, he was seamlessly climbing up the depth chart and competing for playing time.
Just one year later and one season into his Ohio State career, Miller is the leading candidate to take over the starting left guard spot that was occupied by Jonah Jackson a season ago. Miller is locked into a position battle with others, but from the looks of the first three spring practices the Buckeyes snuck in before being shut down, that job is Miller’s to lose.
The former No. 1 high school center in the country might just have to slide over to guard to make that starting job happen.
“We’re trying to find the best five guys to play,” Buckeyes coach Ryan Day said. “And Thayer [Munford], Josh [Myers] and Wyatt [Davis] are obviously returning. So now we’ve got to find the next four and five. However that shakes out, we’ll try to figure that out. But certainly don’t want to put guys into roles and then not have the best five guys on the field. So whatever that is, we’re going to try Harry at guard and see if he can be four. And then we’ll figure out who plays at right tackle, that’s the idea.”
If Miller can make the transition from center to guard look as easy as he made the transition from high school to college last season, the Buckeyes will have an offensive line that can pave roads for the stable of running backs and Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Justin Fields.
Miller was good enough to play last season. Now with a starting spot up for grabs this offseason, he might be in for a breakout second year.
The play: The second-team offensive line was paving the way for running backs just as easily as the first-team did in the first half of the Buckeyes blowout win over Maryland on Nov. 9.
Harry Miller was leading the way, playing center with some of the other reserves. Only Miller looked different. There was the long run by Marcus Crowley earlier in the drive when he led through the hole and up to the second level for a block. And then there was this:
In the middle of the offensive line, Miller fired off, stood the nose tackle up and made his way to the linebacker in the process. After sealing the hole, Miller took the tackle and linebacker both out of the play, and Demario McCall easily trotted into the end zone for a touchdown.
That’s not a block that every freshman can make, not even at Ohio State. But Harry Miller can, and he’ll have a chance to make more blocks like that in bigger situations for the Buckeyes in the fall as he makes the move to guard.