With the practices for the annual Ohio State spring game underway, after a dreadful end to last season at the hands of eventual National Champion Clemson, we are on the verge of entering another season that is filled with high expectations. Ohio State made it to the CFB Playoffs last season, and as we look ahead, they look to finish on the top of the College Football Mountain once again, but will they will have to rely heavily on the Quarterback position to reach the summit.
Ohio State lacked in the passing department last season, placing as the #81 team in the NCAA in passing offense, as they tallied 2,781 total yards through the air and 26 total touchdowns. They averaged 213 yards per game, 6.80 yards per attempt and 10.91 yards per completion. These are pretty average numbers, and a change needed to be made to fix an anemic and broken passing attack that has been lacking the past few seasons.
New Faces at a different place
Enter new Offensive Coordinator and shot caller Kevin Wilson. Wilson was the former Hoosier Head Coach, who was successful with the players that were willing to play football at Indiana. He comes with the clout of being an Offensive Guru, who can rehabilitate struggling offenses. He had coaching stops at North Carolina, Miami, Northwestern, Oklahoma and the previously mentioned Indiana. Oklahoma was his best example of installing a potent and dangerous offense, and with Sam Bradford and Adrian Peterson at his disposal, he played on the strengths of his program. Wilson has shown what he is capable of when he has the athletes in place, and this move was the perfect situation for both Ohio State and Coach Wilson. Ohio State looks to move forward and upgrade until their passing game catches up with the running game. Wilson will be up for the challenge as he looks to start a new chapter in his coaching career.
Ryan Day is the designated Quarterbacks Coach and he takes over a treasure trove of players, who are all capable of contributing if necessary. He is tasked with molding his room into full-fledged starters and with names such as J.T. Barrett, Joe Burrow, Dwayne Haskins and true freshman Tate Martell, Coach Meyer is not taking any chances with the passing game anymore. Day is a former College Quarterback and he comes fresh off back to back NFL seasons under Chip Kelly in Philidelphia and San Fransisco. Now, he looks to develop the personnel at Ohio State, and with the talent in place, he has to re-establish the passing game by teaching them up. He is capable of transforming these Quarterbacks into more consistent and capable passers. He turned Nick Foles in Philidelphia and Collin Kaepernick in San Fransisco into the players they were during those seasons during his tenure with those teams, and there is no reason to doubt his ability to teach young Quarterbacks to their potential.
J.T. Barrett is the incumbent starter and with the worst game of his life behind him, there was almost no choice but to return to rebound from that dreadful performance in last years CFB Playoffs. Barrett has the grit and the determination to push forward to improve individually and to improve the players around him. He will have new coaches on the sidelines and with that, it gives him more motivation that ever. Barrett will need to learn fast and with him moving forward, the Buckeyes have a winner at that position and the experience to will his team to victory. They are in good hands under the watchful eyes of Wilson and Day.
Joe Burrow will go into Spring practice as the backup to J.T. Barrett after Stephen Collier put up the cleats. Out of all the back-ups, he has the most experience because he played sparingly during blowouts last season. Burrow could see game minutes if Barrett goes down with an injury and he is capable of moving the offense because he showed that when he checked in. Another Dual Threat Quarterback waiting for an opportunity to show what he is capable of at Ohio State. He isn’t as fast as Barrett, but he is deadly accurate when throwing the ball. He has the ability to lead and the ability to lead, which is a trait that Barrett displays consistently.
Dwayne Haskins is another Dual Threat weapon waiting to be unleashed. There has been a ton of hype surrounding him this Spring, and any Buckeye fan would be excited to know that the Buckeyes have another talented player on the roster, that is waiting for an opportunity to shine. Haskins might see the field, but it might be unlikely unless both Barrett and Burrow get bit by the injury bug. Haskins has the skills necessary to thrive in the Ohio State system, all he will need is one moment to display his skills. Haskins has the make of an alpha dog and has taken the steps to work and grind until he gets his shot.
Tate Martell is a true freshman and he comes from Bishop Gorman High School in Nevada, one of the best programs in the nation. Martell comes with all the hype, just like the Burrow and Haskins, but he has the high school achievements that will make your jaw drop. He is another quarterback that fits the Ohio State mold. Another Dual Threat capable of running and throwing if things align to their liking or if the play breaks down. Martell won’t see the field this season, but as an early enrollee, he will learn from the upperclassmen above him of the depth chart. Barring any injuries, he may see some time, but it unlikely.