What Does JT Barrett Bring To The Table

What’s the old saying; “We don’t rebuild, we reload”. Well the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes ability to reload will be severely tested as three year starting QB and Heisman hopeful Braxton Miller has been ruled out for the 2014 season due to a dislocated right shoulder. I can talk about the mysterious and contradictory manner in which the Buckeyes handled Miller’s recovery from a February operation to repair his shoulder but instead let’s focus on the next piece of artillery in the arsenal of Urban Meyer and Offensive Coordinator Tom Herman.

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Redshirt Freshman J.T. Barrett finds himself in a very peculiar situation as he has been thrust into forefront for a team that many expected to contend for one of four spots on the first ever CFB Playoff. Among his mixture of emotions, I’m sure Barrett is feeling a great sense of sympathy for Miller not only as a mentor but also due to the fact that Barrett himself suffered an injury that ended his Senior season Rider HS in Wichita Falls, Texas. Even after missing the majority of his senior season, Barrett was still highly regarded by both recruiting services (consensus top 5 DT QB) and college coaching staffs (offers from LSU, Nebraska, and Texas Tech among others). Barrett was among the first QB’s recruited by Meyer and Herman upon their arrival to Ohio State if further validation was needed,

Barrett has the skill set to succeed in an Urban Meyer offense possessing a nice combination of size (6’2”/210) and speed (4.7/40) with a plethora of weapons to get the ball to. While Barrett doesn’t have the pure speed or dynamic open field abilities of Miller, he is a more than capable scrambler and he will make the defense respect his ability to tuck the ball and take off. Barrett doesn’t have what many would consider a cannon for an arm, but he possesses a very quick release, smooth mechanics, and he’s a very accurate passer. In addition to his immense talents on the field, Barrett has been lauded for his maturity, leadership, and ability to be patient and takes what the defense gives him.

While J.T. hasn’t seen live game action in a meaningful game since 2011 he did play in the 2014 spring game leading the Gray squad to a 17-7 victory over the Scarlet in the annual April showcase. After his extended layoff Meyer likely wanted to see what his young QB could do, calling for the second year player to throw the ball 33 times. Barrett went 17-33 for 151 yards, while he showed the expected rust, he did make several nice throws including a pinpoint dart across the middle. The offense will likely have to be tailored somewhat with the switch at the most important position on the field, but Ohio State fans should still expect a very big season in season three of the Urban Renewal project as J.T. Barrett steps into the spotlight.

Comments

  1. Nice post, LeMarques!

    One of the concerns I have about these types of up-front analyses are the wide variation and interpretation of skills and talent. For instance, you wrote that Barrett is “a very accurate passer.” Other reports indicate his accuracy is his biggest weakness (and the 50% during the spring game would seem to support that). The opinions vary widely…

    I think the fans’ reactions are fascinating. At first, there was a lot of “the sky is falling!” Then there was a backlash against that… folks saying “now Barrett is a good QB, let’s hold on.”

    I think we’re still in the backlash phase, but the reality is probably in the middle. Everyone’s opinion is based on experience during the Tressel years, and Meyer’s success since then. But reality? Braxton and Hyde WERE the offense last year. Braxton had 1000 yards and 12 TDs rushing, on top of his passing numbers. So that was all “bonus,” on top of what the RBs did.

    Even if Barrett is a competent QB, it’s not reasonable to expect him to rush for 100+ and 1+ TD per game. So even if he’s “competent,” figure on OSU’s offense dropping at least 7-10 pts per game on average. Last year that would have translated to about 3-4 more losses.

    In other words, had OSU not had Braxton last year, they likely would have gone 8-5. This year’s team has an easier schedule, but a new O-line and a freshman QB that didn’t even play his senior season of high school.

    I think “success” for Barrett would be to guide this team to a winning record and a Bowl victory, stay healthy, learn, and set up a “for realz” run in 2015. Anything above that would be awesome, but I think our expectations should be fair.

    • woody.hayes.drive says

      This logic says our defense won’t improve in 2014 versus the competition. It will. It also doesn’t factor in guiton’s role as a backup and our production in those games. So, I think it’s wide open and expectations are not a “winning record”, but rather, get us to the 4 team tourney!

      Plenty of teams have done this with a freshmen QB, ahem, even last year.

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