Position by Position Recruiting Summary – Quarterbacks

Over the next few posts, I’m going to break down the Buckeyes’ current lineup position-by-position and discuss how the recruiting process could potentially change the picture. Today I’ll start with the leader on offense: the quarterback.

The QB position should be in good hands for the next one or two seasons if JT Barrett decides to complete his four years at Ohio State. If he comes back after his junior season, then we’ll have a senior quarterback in 2017, but if he doesn’t, then the Buckeyes will have to break in a new starter. Right now the depth chart would be:

1.) JT Barrett – Junior (RS)

2.) Joey Burrow – Freshman (RS)

3.) Stephen Collier – Sophomore (RS)

4.) Dwayne Haskins – Freshman

Haskins has the opportunity to move up when he gets on campus this summer if he does well in workouts and fall camp, but right now I’m leaving him at 4th on the depth chart. If he fails to pass Burrow for the back-up job I can see Haskins taking a red-shirt this season giving himself another year without Barrett at the helm. Burrow and Collier have both been in the program for at least a season, but neither has thrown a meaningful pass for the Buckeyes. Last season, Ohio State had an abundance of riches at the QB position, but Cardale Jones’ departure to the NFL leaves the Buckeyes with a lack of experience at the position. That’s concerning if Barrett were to go down with an injury, but here is where successful recruiting comes in to play.

Let’s look at potential recruiting classes for the next couple of years.

Danny Clark from Archbishop Hoban HS in Massillion, Ohio, has led the 2017 recruiting class since his commitment back in December of 2013. He’s been on campus dozens of times and has been a vocal recruiter for the Buckeyes for the 2017 class. Recently there’s been talk of possibly adding a second signal caller to this class. Scholarship numbers are tight this year, so it might be hard to squeeze another QB into this class, but if Urban & Co. decide there’s a need, they’ll find a way. Hypothetically speaking, if one of the current QBs on the roster decides to transfer before next season, then the Buckeyes would be able to take another quarterback in 2017. Right now, Ohio State doesn’t have any offers out to other quarterbacks in this class, but that could certainly change over the next 11 months. It’ll be interesting to see if the Buckeyes decide to take two in this class, but I still think they’ll stick with Clark and ride it out until 2018.

The 2017 Depth Chart Projection:

1.) JT Barrett – Senior (RS)

2.) Dwayne Haskins – Freshman (RS) 

3.) Joey Burrow – Sophomore (RS)

4.) Danny Clark – Freshman

5.) Stephen Collier – Junior (RS)

Most teams take at least one QB a year regardless of their depth, so the Buckeyes will certainly be on the lookout for a QB in 2018. As of now, Ohio State has extended offers to Phil Jurkovec out of Gibsonia, Pennsylvania and Jalen Mayden out of Sachse, Texas. Jurkovec currently holds 11 offers from the likes of Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Penn State. He’s a dual-threat QB who passed for 2,560 yards and ran for 1,250 yards in his sophomore season at Pine-Richland. Mayden is a four-star recruit who holds offers from Houston, Mississippi State, and Oregon State among others. Mayden’s sophomore season ended with 2,496 passing yards and 513 rushing yards for a total of 36 touchdowns. Another one to watch is Tadas Tatarunas from Mentor, Ohio, who currently lists Ohio State as a school he has interest in, but he hasn’t received an offer yet.  

The 2018 Depth Chart Projection:

1.) Dwayne Haskins – Sophomore (RS)

2.) Danny Clark – Freshman (RS)

3.) Joey Burrow – Junior (RS)

4.) Stephen Collier – Senior (RS)

Urban Meyer always says the quarterback is “only as good as the players around him,” but the Buckeyes need a guy who can distribute the ball effectively and run the offense efficiently if they want to have any success on offense. Right now the future looks good with Barrett running the helm and preparing the younger kids to take over when he leaves. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens over the next couple of recruiting cycles though.

Scanning the ’16 QB Horizon

Many believe Urban Meyer needs to land a complete QB in the 2016 cycle. Well, Urban Meyer may be listening as Ohio State is in on many of the top signal callers in the 2016 class. Those names include 5-star Malik Henry, 4-star Dwayne Haskins, 4-star Jawon Pass, and 4-star Jarrett Guarantano. Buckeye fans would love to see Ohio State take two of these top quarterbacks, but it seems Urban Meyer and Co. are set on taking only one quarterback in the 2016 cycle with them maybe taking two in 2015 if Torrance Gibson decides to join the fold on October 20th. With Ohio State in on all these top prospects, who is the best bet to be the quarterback in the 2016 class and what are the strengths of each prospect?

downloadLet’s start with the highest rated prospect on the board and that is 5-star Malik Henry. Malik Henry is the number 1 rated pro-style quarterback in the country. Malik recently released a final four of schools and the Buckeyes were thankful to remain in the thick of the race for his services. Malik’s final four included Notre Dame, UCLA, Florida State, and Ohio State. It’s been reported that Malik Henry has family ties in Ohio, which does help Ohio State’s chances in this race. Currently the crystal ball has Henry going to Florida State at 70%, but that could change very quickly as it seems more of a guess right now. Henry went to the summer camps of 3 of his leaders with those being Ohio State (6/19), Notre Dame (6/20), and Florida State (7/16). It looks as though Henry has planned to visit Notre Dame for their primetime game against TTUN on September 6th.

Henry has pinpoint accuracy with a nice touch on the ball as well. He does a great job of reading the defensive secondary and finding the open receivers down the field. There’s a reason he is regarded so high on the field and you can see that by just watching his highlight tape. Malik would be a nice pick-up if he were to choose the Buckeyes, but he is going to be a tough pull at the end of the day with fighting against 3 other top programs for his services.

download (1)Next is 4-star Jawon Pass, who hails from Columbus, well Columbus, GA. Jawon is rated as the number two dual-threat quarterback in the nation for 2016. He said a few months ago that Ohio State and Notre Dame were his two leaders. Jawon also attended Ohio State’s QB camp (6/19) and the camp must have gone well for the talented star to name Ohio State as a co-leader at the time. Before naming Ohio State and Notre Dame his leaders, Jawon had Mississippi State as his leader, but it is another program leading the crystal ball at 64% in Auburn. Most experts feel at the end of the day, Pass will be a tough pull from the south and will ultimately choose an SEC school. However, there is a possibility that Pass heads north, but in this case, I would like Notre Dame’s chances of landing the touted prospect.

Analyzing Pass on the field, one will quickly realize why he is rated as one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation. Pass has a very strong arm to go along with his incredible mobility. His mobility allows him to break down the defense which results in easy throws to wide open receivers. The way Pass plays is perfect for the offense that Urban Meyer and Offensive Coordinator Tom Herman currently have installed up at Ohio State. There is no doubt that a commitment from Pass would be a great one, but I still feel it’s highly unlikely.

download (3)What about Dwayne Haskins you ask. Well, Haskins is considered to be a heavy Ohio State lean as he has stated numerous times that Ohio State was his childhood favorite and an offer that he coveted. Haskins grew up watching Buckeyes Quarterback Troy Smith and he instantly fell in love with the Buckeyes when he visited as a child. Dwayne resides from Potomac, MD and is ranked as the number five pro-style quarterback in the nation. Currently, it seems as Ohio State’s only competition for Haskins is local Maryland and out-of-state Florida State, but that may change as Texas A&M recently offered him. Haskins was last on campus on June 14th, but tweeted during ‘Friday Night Lights’ that he wishes he could have made it up. The crystal ball currently reads 100% for the Buckeyes with 19 analysts’ predictions in.

Looking at Haskin’s tape, he has great presence in the pocket, while also supplying great loft on the ball in his deliveries. He has the mobility to get out of the pocket when need be and he does a great job with his accuracy to get the ball to his receiver in a tight window. Haskins would be a great get for the Buckeyes in 2016 and plans to announce his decision after his junior season, but with that announcement date, Ohio State might already have its 2016 signal caller if they take a commitment from Jarrett Guarantano.

download (2)Jarrett Guarantano is from Oradell, NJ and rated as the number seven pro-style quarterback in 2016. Jarrett also recently released a final four with those schools being Oklahoma, Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State. Reports came out that Jarrett had Ohio State in the driver’s seat with the other 3 just a few steps behind. His offers from both Alabama and Oklahoma were pretty recent as he received them at the end of July. Guarantano visited Ohio State for a camp on June 21st and looked good at the camp from what I’ve been told. The crystal ball currently has the Buckeyes as the leader with 73% and Oklahoma with the other votes.

If you look at Jarrett’s tape, you’ll see Jarrett likes to stand in the pocket very tall and deliver balls with great loft to his receivers. Jarrett isn’t afraid to try and fit the ball in a tight window and he also shows sudden bursts of mobility even though he likes to pass first before he decides to take off. Guarantano reminds me more of the Alex Smith type of quarterback the Urban had at Utah and I feel Ohio State would adjust their offense a little to play to his strengths.

Long story short, if Jarrett Guarantano decides before the end of his junior season, Dwayne Haskins sticks with a decision timetable of after his junior year, and the Buckeyes are willing to take Jarrett’s commitment with other top prospects still on the board, then Jarrett Guarantano may be your quarterback for the 2016 cycle. With all the possibilities that Ohio State is in on at quarterback for 2016, one thing is certain and that is Urban Meyer will land a strongly touted quarterback for the Buckeyes future in the 2016 cycle.