Ohio State coach Urban Meyer thinks it's too early to be talking about his sophomore quarterback possibly winning college football's greatest individual honor.
Braxton Miller set a Buckeyes quarterback rushing record Saturday with 186 yards on the ground, part of his 313 yards of total offense effort, in a 63-38 win against Nebraska.
In the wake of that performance against the 'Huskers, Miller climbed to second Monday, behind West Virgina's Geno Smith, in the latest USA TODAY Sports Media Group survey of Heisman voters, leapfrogging Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel, Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o. West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith remains the clear frontrunner with all 35 first-place votes.
Though Miller has won over some voters, he hasn't quite won over his coach.
"I don't think Braxton's a Heisman candidate right now," Meyer said Monday at his weekly news conference. He added that he's coached four players who became Heisman candidates, most notably "that left-handed kid down there," meaning 2007 winner Tim Tebow at Florida.
Though Miller might not be the favorite, he's in the running for a ticket to New York as a Heisman finalist.
"I think he's certainly one to watch," Meyer said. "He's got the ability. But then again, I don't know who is (a Heisman candidate), really, halfway through the season. In about two or three games, I think you can start talking about it. I'm not talking to Braxton about it.
"At the right time, he will be a candidate if he continues to play very well."
The hype around Miller has grown considerably this season as the dual-threat quarterback continues to provide highlight reel-worthy runs and touchdown passes. It doesn't hurt that the Buckeyes are 6-0, either.
Through six games, Miller is averaging 127.2 rushing yards and 176.7 passing yards a game, nearly double his output as a freshman.
Meyer was told that an Ohio family was naming a baby after Miller - Braxtin with an 'i' to "make it more girly" - another example of his growing fame. Meyer found the story amusing but simply chalked it up to the spotlight on the quarterback position.
"A lot of young Tebows running around in this world, too, I imagine," he said. "(Miller) is playing very well. The good thing is he's very humble. He has virtue that not many guys have."He's a very humble guy. We just have to keep our eye on the target."
Ohio State is banned from the Big Ten title game and postseason and also cannot receive votes in the coaches poll this season because of NCAA sanctions. The Buckeyes are eighth in the Associated Press media poll.
Most Heisman voters in the USA TODAY Sports Media Group survey said they think the team's NCAA situation shouldn't affect Miller's Heisman chances.
"If he is the best player in college football, he should be recognized as such," said Scott Ferrell of the Shreveport (La.) Times. "Besides, he wasn't what got Ohio State on probation."
There's a precedent that could help Miller. Houston quarterback Andre Ware won the Heisman in 1989 when the Cougars were on NCAA probation.
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