Awards watch: QB Miller on Maxwell list

The season is finally getting closer. The release of preseason watch lists for the major college football awards confirms it, and starting with the first two on Monday and including all of them that follow, BuckeyeNation will break them down to see which Ohio State representatives have a shot at bringing home some hardware.

Maxwell Award

  • What: Given to the nation's most outstanding player

  • On the list: Sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller

  • Credentials: After taking over as the starter midway through his freshman season, Miller threw for 1,159 yards and 13 touchdowns with only four interceptions. The dual-threat weapon also led the team in rushing yards with 715, adding seven more touchdowns on the way to the Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors.

  • Head to head: Showcase opportunities could come for Miller against these opponents on the list: Keenan Allen and Isi Sofele (California), Denard Robinson and Fitzgerald Toussaint (Michigan), Le'Veon Bell (Michigan State), Rex Burkhead (Nebraska), Silas Redd (Penn State), Montee Ball (Wisconsin)

  • Odds: Miller could put himself in contention for several awards this fall, particularly because the spread offense Urban Meyer is installing seems perfectly suited for his abilities and capable of producing big numbers. He's probably still a year away from winning trophies, but this year could set him up for a big run at them.