Sky's the limit for Ohio State QB Miller
INDIANAPOLIS — Braxton Miller signed jerseys, helmets, photos and scraps of paper.

Fans greeted him with comments such as: "Looking forward to next year, man!" and "Glad you're healthy. We respect you a lot at Nebraska" and "How's Urban (Meyer)? Is he intense?"

For one photo, Miller held up a baby. For another he formed an "O" with his arms for a four-person O-H-I-O.

"Say: 'Undefeated!'" Click.

"Say: 'Go Bucks!'" Click.

Miller peered into the camera phones — eyes open, mouth closed.

"I smiled for the first 50," he protested, chuckling. "My cheeks be hurting, man."

His father, Kevin, observed the scene Saturday at Big Ten Fan Fest, where Miller was lauded as the league's Offensive Player of the Year.

"He doesn't like a lot of attention," the father said.

Fair enough. But he does have reason to smile.

Miller is one of three finalists for the Chicago Tribune's Silver Football, awarded to the Big Ten's best player and voted on by the league's 12 coaches. (The other finalists are Nebraska's Taylor Martinez and Wisconsin's Montee Ball, and the winner will be revealed Friday.)

Miller is just a sophomore. And his coach, Meyer, said in a telephone interview, "I've never coached a guy going into his junior year with so much room for growth. He won Big Ten (Offensive) Player of the Year and we still have no idea — I don't think anybody does — how good this guy can be."

Nate Ketchum thinks he's pretty good already. He attended the Oct. 20 Purdue-Ohio State game and was so distraught to see Miller suffer a neck injury that he cried and insisted on leaving the game. Nate is 6.

Wearing Miller's No. 5 Ohio State jersey, the boy was asked why he's such a fan: "Because he's fast!"

Miller is fast. He's elusive. He's shifty. All adjectives to describe a running back.

But he's a quarterback who earned the Big Ten's Griese-Brees award despite completing a modest 58.3 percent of his passes.

"He can throw the ball," Meyer said. "He has very good mechanics, a very strong arm, a great release. He has all the tools. And he's a smart guy. We just have to break (some bad habits). For 18 years, he has been a better athlete than everyone else and gotten away with it.

"I remind him almost every day that my goal is to make him not an athlete who plays quarterback but a quarterback who can run."

Meyer is famously demanding with his quarterbacks and blunt when speaking about them.