Last year, the Buckeyes were overflowing with Quarterbacks.
Braxton Miller was a long time starter at Quarterback for the Buckeyes, but he was forced to sit out the 2014 season because of a shoulder injury. The Buckeyes replaced him with redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett and Ohio State was beaten early in a shocker by Virginia Tech. Barrett and Ohio State bounced back. Barrett started every regular season game and led them to the Big 10 East championship, but he was severely injured against Michigan and lost for the season. Cardale Jones
replaced Barrett and the Buckeye’s 3rd string Quarterback led them to a huge win over Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship game and a berth in the first ever playoffs.
The nation was stunned when Ohio State was in the playoffs over Baylor, or TCU. But, the Buckeyes, led by Cardale Jones, surprised Alabama and then whipped Oregon for the first ever national championship decided by a playoff.
All three of the Quarterbacks were back for the 2015 season.
Miller asked to move to Wide Receiver. Cardale Jones was named the starter and JT Barrett was his back up.
Jones played poorly most of the season and Barrett eventually took the job. The Buckeyes didn’t ever really get it going in the 2015 season until the Michigan game and then they roughed up Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.
A good portion of starters for the Buckeyes announced for the NFL leaving some really big shoes to fill. The worse hit spots were in the Defensive Backfield and at Wide Receiver. They also lost 2 out of 3 of their excellent Linebackers and their best Defensive Lineman.
Ohio State under Urban Meyer has gotten to the point where they basically reload instead of rebuild.
Cardale Jones also declared for the NFL and he was drafted by the Buffalo Bills. Braxton Miller stayed at Wide Receiver all season and he was drafted by the Houston Texans. The early reports on Miller at Houston are glowing and he is an outstanding athlete.
J.T. Barrett is now a junior and he is the only Quarterback coming back with any experience.
Last season, I was thinking the Buckeyes had an outstanding situation at Quarterback, but now I am not so sure.
This season, the talented Barrett is the only possibility as the starting Quarterback. There will be so many fewer distractions and Barrett can play.
Urban Meyer was stubborn and stayed with Cardale Jones as long as he could. But, the offense was just better when Barrett was in the game. They did have a tough loss to Michigan State, but that seemed to snap the Buckeyes out of the funk they were in.
Barrett should be better than ever heading into 2016. But, he will have all new receivers and a brand new Running Back.
The biggest question for this season in Buckeye land is Barrett’s back up.
Joe Burrow is considered by some as the favorite to be the back up Quarterback. Burrow was a 4 star recruit from Athens, Ohio and he led his team to the playoffs for 3 straight seasons.
As a high school Quarterback, Burrow threw for over 11,000 yards and ran for over 2000 yards. He had 157 Touchdown passes and 27 Touchdown runs.
During his senior season, Burrow was Ohio’s Mr Football when he threw for almost 4,500 yards and 63 Touchdowns.
Burrow was considered 2nd team in the Spring, but that was before true freshman Dwayne Haskins Jr. arrived on the scene.
Urban Meyer has gone on record as calling Haskins the best Quarterback he has ever recruited.
The 4 star Haskins is supposedly 6-3, 205, but he won’t remind anyone of JT Barrett. He is more of a drop back passer type and probably runs about a 4.8 40.
He threw for over 1,900 yards as a junior, but played in only a few games as a senior because he was injured.
Apparently, the Buckeye coaching staff expects him to contend for playing time as a true freshman. But, it would be better if he redshirts. Plus, Burrow has a redshirt year and spring practices over Haskins.
Don’t sell Joe Burrow short.
Stephen Collier is another option at Quarterback. Collier was redshirted as a true freshman and then did not play at all last season due to the quality depth that the Buckeyes possessed. He will be going into his third season as a Buckeye in 2016 and the 6-4, 225 Collier either needs to play this season, or maybe move to another position.
Having only seen him in Spring Games, it’s hard to get a feeling on what kind of talent he has and he is already behind Joe Burrow on the depth chart.
Another possible possibility is moving former 5 star high school Quarterback Torrence Gibson to Quarterback, but his future is at Wide Receiver, probably.
The only thing we know for sure right now is that Barrett will start on opening day against Bowling Green.
The back up job may not be settled for a while.