With Braxton Miller’s status for the 2014 season in jeopardy because of an injury suffered in practice this afternoon, J.T. Barrett could become Ohio State’s starting quarterback.
Barrett is a redshirt freshman from Wichita Falls, Texas. He suffered a torn ACL knee ligament in October 2012 that ended his senior season at Rider High School. Barrett redshirted in 2013 as he continued rehabbing the injury.
Redshirt sophomore Cardale Jones took the lead in spring practice in the battle to become the second-string quarterback, but Barrett recently overtook Jones for the lead.
Here’s the analysis Buckeyes offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Tom Herman gave of Barrett on media day on Aug. 10: “Gets the ball out quickly. Very efficient. Smooth release. Very accurate. Extremely cerebral. Very magnetic leader. I think the kids kind of gravitate towards him.
“We’ve got to work on strengthening his arm. He’s a distant third to Braxton and Cardale in terms of just rearing back and trying to throw it through a wall. But he makes up for it in his anticipation and his accuracy and all that. You don’t have to have a howitzer to be successful in college football. I’m very pleased with his continuing growth.”
Two years ago, his high-school coach described him in similar terms.
“J.T.’s stats are not what you would call superstar stats, but it’s the hidden yards that you really can’t see from statistics,” Rider coach Jim Garfield told The Dispatch. “He just kept the chains moving. He kept our defense on the field. He made great decisions. He ran the ball well, threw the ball well. I can’t say enough about way he handled the game. His leadership, that’s always been the main selling point to the guys who were recruiting him.
“He’s great kid, one of the best personalities I’ve ever been around in coaching. He’s one of the best leaders I’ve been around in coaching. When J.T. talks, everybody listens.”
He said Barrett is the kind of kid who befriends cafeteria workers and special-needs students as well as teammates.
“He’s a very personable kid,” Garfield said.