|Braxton Miller, left, and Urban Meyer|
COLUMBUS — Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer is usually known for being a little on the gruff side when speaking about players on his teams.
He will praise a player, talk him up a little, but then in the next breath he will almost always give you a "but" to keep said athlete grounded.
The Buckeye mentor does the same when speaking about his star quarterback Braxton Miller, complimenting one breath and then critiquing with the other ... "but" ... unlike with the others, his body language tells you what he's really thinking.
And that is, he loves his quarterback. He absolutely, positively, cherishes his young man under center.
"I’ve got to be careful because I just glow on him," Meyer admitted Sunday, during Ohio State media day in Columbus. "I love Braxton Miller."
Of course Meyer is in love with Miller's abilities as a quarterback and athlete. I mean, if Meyer were to go into a lab and create the perfect field general for his famed spread attack, it would be No. 5.
But what I believe he really loves about Miller is how easy he makes life for the coach.
Unlike some players on his current team, and ones in the past, Meyer doesn't have to stay up all night — or hire a private detective — to keep tabs on Miller.
"I don't have to worry about isolating him (from the public)," Meyer said. "He isolates himself."
While high profile players — i.e., Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M — are out in the spotlight, flirting with disaster (allegedly selling autographs, and getting into drunken fiascos), Miller is either at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center working out and perfecting his skills, or he's at home playing XBox.
"I’m not going to turn down fans who want to take a picture, or a little kid that comes down, ‘Hey, can you sign this?’ I’m going to sign it. That’s the type person I am," Miller said. "I’m not a self-centered person like that. It’s for the fans.
"But I'm just going to keep humble, levelheaded and out of the limelight."
OSU offensive coordinator Tom Herman said that Miller's shyness from the spotlight isn't a negative.
"He’s very guarded, as has been well-documented," Buckeyes offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said of Miller. "He’s a very introverted person, and that’s not bad."
Did I mention that Meyer loves Miller?
"Him and Tom Herman have something really special going right now," Meyer said. "You can see it on the field. You can see his maturity.
"You see the RG3s, the Andrew Lucks, the way they handle it. Every person watches the quarterback. I call it the most unique position in sports. You can be an introvert, but you have to be able to lead."
Here's where the "but" comes in ...
"I don’t want to give him an ‘A’ yet," Meyer said of Miller. "But he’s pushing ‘A’ work."
Translation: "Braxton Miller is really freaking good!"