Braxton Miller to return, Ryan Shazier to go pro

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

Braxton Miller will be making guys miss for one more season at Ohio State
Braxton Miller will be making guys miss for one more season at Ohio State. (USATSI)

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There's good news and bad news, Ohio State.

The good news is that Braxton Miller will be returning to Columbus for his senior season in 2014, as a source told CBSSports.com's Jeremy Fowler that Miller has already informed Ohio State coaches of his plans. Which means the Buckeyes will get the leader of their offense back, and we know at least one of the names that will be mentioned as a Heisman candidate next season.

The bad news is that the leader of the Buckeyes defense won't be back, as Ohio State announced on Saturday night that linebacker Ryan Shazier will enter the NFL Draft.

While not unexpected, the loss of Shazier will hurt an Ohio State defense that struggled through injuries and bad play to finish the season. Shazier led Ohio State with 144 tackles this season, which is 60 more than the next closest Buckeye, C.J. Barnett. Shazier also had 23.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks and four forced fumbles. He's expected to be a first-round pick.

Still, the loss of Shazier is softened by Miller's return -- as well as tight end Jeff Heuerman who is also expected back in Columbus -- because Miller is the face of this Ohio State team. Despite the fact he missed nearly three games Miller still finished the season with 3,162 total yards and 36 total touchdowns.

Staying another year is probably the right decision for Miller as well. While he's an undeniable playmaker with the football in his hands, and is capable of making defenders look foolish with regularity, he still has a lot of improvement to make as a passer. Another season of tutelage on the college level could help his NFL Draft stock.

 
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