Sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller, the only quarterback in the nation who is 12-0 as a starter this year, was named today the Big Ten Conference's Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year. This major award comes one day after Miller was named the Big Ten's recipient of the Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year award.
"I'm grateful for this moment and this honor," Miller said. "And I am very thankful for the coaches we have and for their working so hard with us."
A Heisman Trophy candidate and one of three finalists for the Davey O'Brien national quarterback award, Miller led the Buckeyes to the sixth undefeated and untied season in school history with a school-record 3,310 yards of total offense and 27 touchdowns responsible for. He also set a school record for quarterbacks with 1,271 yards rushing.
Meanwhile, Miller's teammate, John Simon, the player coach Urban Meyer called the "heart and soul of our team," was honored by the Big Ten Conference today with the Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year Award. This award comes in the wake of Simon being named the Smith-Brown defensive lineman of the year in the Big Ten on Monday.
"It means a lot to win this award," Simon said. "It is truly a great honor, but first and foremost it is a team award. I wouldn't be given this award if it weren't for the great play of my teammates … great coverage in the back end and guys taking up blocks on the front end. I praise those guys for helping me get this and that is what it is all about."
Only the eighth two-time captain in school history, Simon started 37 consecutive games before a knee injury sidelined him for the final game of the season, a 26-21 win over Michigan that completed a 12-0 regular season for the No. 4-ranked Buckeyes.
Simon led the Big Ten in quarterback sacks this year (9.0 for minus-73 yards) and ranked second with 14.5 tackles-for-loss, totaling minus-87 yards – both Top 25 marks nationally. Those numbers boosted Simon to No. 7 all-time in both categories in school history, with 20.5 sacks and 43.0 TFLs.