Ryan Shazier to NFL draft, Braxton Miller to return to Ohio State Buckeyes

Updated: January 4, 2014, 7:00 PM ET By Austin Ward | ESPN.com COLUMBUS, Ohio — The career of Ohio State’s top defensive player is apparently finished, but it looks as if the team will have one more year with its record-setting quarterback. According to a report by SI.com, which cited a source, the Buckeyes will lose junior linebacker Ryan Shazier to the NFL one year early after the playmaker led the team in tackles for each of the last two seasons. But two-time defending Big Ten offensive player of the year Braxton Miller will be back with the program for his senior season, giving him a chance to become the only player ever to win that award three times and potentially boost his stock as a professional passer. An Ohio State spokesman told ESPN.com that he wasn’t aware of any decision yet for either player. Both juniors had put off making a decision until after the Discover Orange Bowl, which the Buckeyes lost 40-35 on Friday night with an interception by Miller ending any hopes of a late comeback. Miller struggled with his accuracy late in the season, but he had left the door open for skipping his final year of eligibility and pronounced himself ready for the next level during interviews leading up to the matchup against Clemson. “Oh yeah, of course, definitely,” Miller said last month. “Just like I came from high school, coaches are going to get you prepared, get you mentally ready for everything that you need to get ready for. That’s the next step in life.” Miller reportedly won’t be making that jump just yet, but Shazier appears set to move on and capitalize on his high draft stock after a pair of wildly productive seasons at outside linebacker for the Buckeyes. Shazier had a Big Ten-best 134 tackles heading into the Orange Bowl, and his 22.5 tackles for loss were 5.5 more than anybody else in the conference. He had indicated during bowl practices that he was leaning toward returning to school for another year, but there might not be much else for him to prove with the Buckeyes. “I’m just going to talk it over with my family and the coaches and just try to get the best analysis that I can,” Shazier said last month.

Continue reading this article at ESPN: Ryan Shazier to NFL draft, Braxton Miller to return to Ohio State Buckeyes