COLUMBUS: Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller took a liking to receiver Michael Thomas when they played in an all-star game in Florida. It’s apparent the connection has grown even stronger now that they are full-time teammates.
“We work [together] all the time in the weight room,” Miller said. “I pick him up. We go in there, work out, watch some film and go catch some balls.”
In leading the Scarlet team to a 20-14 win over the Gray on Saturday in the Ohio State spring game, Miller completed 24 passes, 12 of them to Thomas (for 131 yards). To put that into perspective, three players tied for the team lead last season with 14 receptions each.
After the game, Miller went to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center before being summoned back to the stadium to meet with the media. And Thomas?
“He was on the Jugs right now before I left,” Miller said, referring to a machine that can throw passes mechanically. “So he’s just kind of growing up, trying to be a good receiver.”
Thomas, originally from Woodland Hills, Calif., and Miller were teammates in the Under Armour All-America game in January 2011.
While Miller enrolled early at Ohio State and became the starting quarterback four games into the 2011 season, Thomas, a nephew of former Southern California receiver Keyshawn Johnson, went to Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy.
Thomas committed to Ohio State in October and enrolled in January. He and Miller have been hooking up ever since, and Miller thinks Thomas brings a lot to the table.
“More excitement, he goes up for the ball, he gets [yards] after the catch,” Miller said.
Not to be forgotten
Running back Jordan Hall couldn’t play because of an ankle sprain, but that doesn’t mean he was forgotten. When coach Urban Meyer was asked about his pecking order at running back coming out of spring practice, he said it would be “Jordan Hall, Carlos Hyde, Rod Smith and Bri’onte Dunn.”
In fact, Meyer and offensive coordinator Tom Herman have big plans for Hall, a senior.
“Jordan Hall gives us some flexibility,” Meyer said. “I can see him moving out and playing some [H-back], as well. He’s the No. 1 candidate to fill that hybrid position that Percy Harvin made famous.”
Harvin was an all-purpose running back/receiver who provided many of the big plays for Florida’s national championship teams in 2006 and ’08.
A new commitment
The Buckeyes picked up the 11th commitment to their 2013 recruiting class soon after the spring game. Linebacker Alex Anzalone of Wyomissing, Pa., rated by Rivals.com as a four-star prospect, had been known for a while to be leaning toward Ohio State.
“I just felt like it was right,” he said.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Anzalone had at least 30 offers, from Alabama, Florida and many programs in the Big Ten.
Listing his reasons for picking Ohio State, Anzalone said, “Getting into the honors program, getting my M.B.A., getting coached by the best coaches in the country, with great players and great tradition.”
Meyer said defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins had arthroscopic knee surgery Thursday. Linebacker Curtis Grant (pinched nerve), safety Zach Domicone (knee), defensive back Jamie Wood (arm), linebacker Storm Klein (knee) and tight end Jeff Heuerman (unspecified) also sat out.