The 2014 QB Situation

By Jeremy Birmingham on June 14, 2013 at 11:59p
Collier might be the next man upStephen Collier is moving up the Buckeye list.

Well, things are changing.

Next week the Buckeyes were scheduled to host Apopka (Fla.) QB Zack Darlington and Bolivar (Mo.) QB and Arkansas commit Rafe Peavey as they continue their pursuit of a 2014 signal caller.

Today, Darlington committed (as I thought he would) to Nebraska when he got back in the country from a mission he was on, and Peavey unexpectedly reconfirmed his commitment to Arkansas and cancelled his upcoming visit to Ohio State's camp. So the Buckeyes "struck out" on seeing both guys to determine if they'd earn an offer.

Where does this leave Ohio State?

Let's take a look.

The first option is still Brandon Harris. Alabama received a commitment tonight from top-ranked QB David Cornwell, essentially removing themselves from Harris' list. The Buckeyes, LSU and Auburn still remain near the top of the dual-threat's list and while I still think it's unlikely that Harris leaves the south, he told me tonight that the Buckeyes are a real option for him. He insists that he will not be pressured to stay "South" and that anyone who says he is doesn't "know what they are talking about."

Could Heard be a late answer?Jerrod Heard Is Committed To Texas

If Harris ends up staying in the SEC, the Buckeyes then are likely to turn to Leesburg (Ga.) Elite 11 QB Stephen Collier. Collier is big, strong-armed QB that is not quite as mobile as the Buckeyes would like, but he's incredibly smart and coachable and is a player that is a viable option down the road. He's an Elite 11 QB and a late-riser, but Ohio State's been very high on him from the first time they watched him two months ago. The staff at OSU is very fond of Collier and his family as people, and that's something that does weigh into their considerations.

After Collier, it's anyone's guess. There will certainly be new names that enter the conversation, but if Harris/Collier end up elsewhere, the Buckeyes might be willing to play the waiting game and see if Jerrod Heard or DeShaun Watson suddenly become a viable option in December because of coaching staff changes.

There's a number of good quarterbacks from the Ohio area, like DeShone Kizer, Chris Durkin, Drew Barker and more that would have all been considered Buckeye "locks" if they had received offers earlier in the cycle, but all three of those players are committed (Notre Dame, Michigan State, and Kentucky) and will not be swayed by Ohio State.

So, in essence, stay tuned.


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unholy bucknut's picture

The Buckeyes in no way have to get a QB prospect this year. Braxton has two years of eligibilty left and my gut tells me he is going to stay...fingers crossed. J.T Barrett is going to be one to watch too. I just dont think its a big deal if we dont sign any QB at all.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

I disagree. A QB is very important in this class.

Jhesse17's picture

Why do you say that? The Barrett redshirt basically gives us a QB in this class. I don't really understand why we would want two QBs in the same graduating class. But you know a lot more about the situation then I do, so I would love to hear why you think QB is a priority.

unholy bucknut's picture

I think it would be great don't get me wrong i just don't see it as a must.

Calgarybuck's picture

I'm With Jeremy, should Braxton leave after his junior or senior year were going to have to start a qb with no experience, we have 2 unproven qb's I'd much rather have 3 and hope 1 of them rises up.  What also needs to be factored in is that most major programs bring in at least 1 qb per class, Even Penn State with all their sanctions just signed another top QB even though they just signed arguably the #1 qb in the 13 class.
Another example would be Urban bringing in Newman a year after signing Tebow.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Ohio State missing out on a QB this year would leave them with 3.5 QBs(assuming Braxton stays) for next season. Did people already forget that Jalin played QB in high school? So if Braxton leaves his senior year, that will leave Ohio State will have a redshirt junior(CJ), a redshirt sophomore(JT), a freshmen('15 class), and Jalin Marshall(if they're desperate).

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

Calgarybuck's picture

No, Jalin is never going to lineup at QB for OSU minus some speed packages, I have faith that Texas or Clemson for different reasons are going to lose their main coaches and Meyer will be there to welcome them with open arms.  Throw in the fact that our Offense will be outstanding and explosive this season be ready for recruits to have 2nd thoughts.
This is Ohio State, with one of the best recruiting head coaches this era so no we are not going to get desperate!

Abe Froman's picture

I wouldn't be surprised to see Marshall lined up at QB this year.  Definitely not as a replacement, but as a wrinkle to the norm.  Also, I think nearly 80% of OSU's packages will be "speed" ones.

Basking in the wake of mediocrity.....

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

I said 3.5 QBs, not 4. He could play a similar role as Kain Colter.

Never say never.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

Crimson's picture


razrback16's picture

+1. I'm in the group that feels we are fine. Sure, it would be nice to always take a QB in every class, but I don't want to see us reach on somebody. It is very unlikely, IMO, that Braxton leaves after 2013, and we still have two very good QBs on the roster after him. Given our incredibly tight number situation, I am fine not taking a QB in this class if it's not one that we really really want.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

If the staff makes an offer to a new QB it is not because they are reaching, period. It is because they think said player is good enough to play at Ohio State. I've said this over and over. There is no panic, no desperation, no reaches from Ohio State's staff. 

razrback16's picture

I understand what you're saying, but what I (and I think others) am saying is that any of the kids we are offering at this point in the game after our 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc. offers commit elsewhere, are obviously not as high on our board as others like Watson & Harris are / were. So while they may still be good players, they're obviously not as good in our coaches' minds or they would've been offered much sooner. Bottom line I'm sure the kids we are talking about are good kids and good players, but I don't feel like our depth situation is at a point where we need to burn a scholarship on a QB if it's not one of our top targets at the position, especially given how tight we are on scholarships this year. Totally cool if you think otherwise, no hard feelings, just posting my opinion.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Differences in opinion are welcome, just not sure how/why anyone is comfortable with the current depth at QB. If Braxton goes then OSU scrambles for a QB in January, would that be a better situation than getting an Elite 11 QB who they've seen live multiple times and decided to offer?

razrback16's picture

If Braxton goes, then you do the best you can to get a serviceable QB in here for depth reasons like Tressel did when he brought Guiton in here to begin with, but I think it's incredibly unlikely that we end up in that position. I think the chances are so low of him deciding to leave after 2013 that I'd be willing to bet $$ on it. Overall I just feel like because the chances are so low of him going pro that there is no need to push for a scholarship QB when we will have 3 on the roster for 2014.
And speaking of QBs I'm starting to get pretty anxious to see Cardale in an actual game and see how he does. I was fairly impressed with his running ability in the spring game. Like Pryor, that kid covers some ground pretty quickly with those long strides.

ATXbucknut's picture

Man, they're dropping like flies. Anyone still have Austin Moherman's contact info? I think he had some eligibility left.

Buckster's picture

Someone call Joe Bauserman quick ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!

ArizonaBuckeye's picture


"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you." -Woody Hayes-

Hovenaut's picture

This situation is beginning to suck.....

jaxbuckeye's picture

I know it comes down to where the recruits feel comfortable, potential playing time, etc.  But, I'm shocked in the lack of interest based on Tom Herman's offense and Urban's history with QBs.  I would think at some point one of these highly rated guys would make a business decision. 

Calgarybuck's picture

I think delaying our offers and putting all of our eggs in the Watson basket backfired a little bit here.  At the end of the day though this is a marathon not a sprint, QB's can still change their commitments or transfer, half of the top 20 qb's in the 09 and 10 classes transferred! 
With Meyer there's always going to be a way and you know he's still talking to Watson.

gumtape's picture

While we are on the subject, how badly would dabo swinney and Clemson have to do this year To get fired? They have a legit heisMan candidate in boyd. I a thinking bcs or bust for thhe sparty of the acc.

High and tight boo boo

Buckeye Chuck's picture

Seriously? Last season was Clemson's best in a couple of decades. I can't imagine Sweeney is in any trouble whatsoever.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Have faith!  Urban and the staff will recruit a great QB for Buckeye Nation.  It may not be one in the spotlight right now, but no matter who it is you know that they will have been analyzed fully and will be a top notch athlete that can lead the Bucks!

45buckshot's picture

Anybody who's seen my posts knows I was stumping for Kizer to get an offer months ago... I'll be watching him and Darlington to see how they play out. 
Anyway, it's probably similar to the Boyd situation a few years ago. Why would Boyd come to tOSU and wait behind Pryor when he could start at Clemson? (We know the answer to that question now). But it's the same thing here: everyone thinks Braxton is staying 2 more years so no top shelf QB is going to sign, unless they really want to be a buckeye. We could have had Kizer but we waited, now we just have to hope someone else pops up.
Does anyone have film on Collier?

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”
—G.K. Chesterton

DenBuck's picture

I don't want to PANIC yet but almost. Do you offer Collier right after Harris decides OR do you wait it out into the Fall? I say offer Collier if Harris says NO and then keep trying to flip the #1, #2 and #3 choices away from who they committed to. 

Buckeye For Life

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Why do I think it's vital for the Buckeyes to get a QB in this class? Numbers, plain and simple.

If Braxton leaves, which is not likely (IMO) but it's possible, then Ohio State enters the 2014 season with Cardale Jones and JT Barrett as the only quarterbacks on the roster. That is a precarious position to be in, considering Jones is not primetime ready (and won't get much of a chance to work on that this year behind Braxton and Guiton) and Barrett is coming off a redshirt year and major knee surgery.

If Braxton doesn't leave a QB is still necessary because I think a QB is necessary in every single class. 

Collier is not a "settling" issue for Ohio State and people need to get that thought out of their heads. The Buckeyes like what they've seen of him from the first time they went to watch him and he's a person and a player that they feel will be a great addition to the football program or they won't offer him, period. I don't know how many times I can say this about Ohio State's staff, but they won't reach, period. 

Oldschoolbuck's picture

Jeremy, great insight and analysis as always.
I LOVE that about Urban and this staff - they WON'T reach or "settle"... I don't see them in panic mode either. At the end of the day, I'm certain they have a plan for every contingency.
Re: Kizer. I'm in NW Ohio and have been following his career at Toledo CC - no doubt he's a great kid, well spoken and extremely smart. I did notice that he's a bit on the slender side. He IS tall, so maybe after a year of elite college strength training he could bulk up; don't know if that played a role in Urban & Company's decision not to offer him, but I am convinced we have a guy at the helm who's 3 or 4 steps ahead of almost every possible situation.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

I'm a Toledo guy, Coach Dempsey at CCHS was my high school baseball coach, I assure you no one was "rooting" for Kizer to get an offer more than I was.

Ohio State was warming up to the idea, and had been very impressed by the "new and improved" Kizer over the last month and was hoping to get him down to OSU one more time before made a decision. Kizer's camp was not into that idea and that's all she wrote.

Turtlebuster's picture

They like what they see, but not enough to offer at this time, correct? He may not be "settling" persay, but his isn't plan A,B,C or maybe even D. Its too early to worry about recruiting just yet, but it'd be nice to land one of our top tier guys...that goes for all positions but especially QB imo.

Buckeye Chuck's picture

I don't follow recruiting all that closely, so I wasn't even aware there had been chatter about maybe flipping Jerrod Heard. If this is even remotely possible, it's worth looking into. He's an awesome athlete. 
I agree that it's a good idea to try to get a QB in every class. If you cut it too close to the vest, eventually you're going to run into a season where someone gets hurt or a "top recruit" doesn't pan out, and that's something that can hamper a program for several years (e.g. the Buckeyes having to play Steve Bellisari for 3 full seasons due to lack of viable alternatives).
It's hard for me to buy the "we're getting turned down because kids don't want to wait to play" excuse. I could maybe see that if Miller had 3 years of eligibility remaining instead of 2, but if we could get Barrett to commit before Braxton had played a down as a sophomore, you'd think landing a top QB would be even easier now that he's that much closer to the end of his college career.
I hope the stinginess with offers doesn't come back to bite us, but we're definitely running out of options, and I don't regard "relax, we'll be fine" as an actual plan.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

I don't in anyway anticipate that Heard would flip even if Mack Brown and the entire staff at Texas got fired, but he's a guy the Buckeyes would love to have had another shot at.

Turtlebuster's picture

So are Harris and Collier the last 2 kids currently on our radar?

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

They're the two remaining kids that are actively receiving Ohio State's attention.

buckeyeguy0615's picture

I just watched Collier's highlight film for the first time, and I must say that the kid actually does have a nice arm.  Trent Dilfer says the kid has a high ceiling.

OSU2002Grad's picture

Not offering Barker was a major mistake IMO. If they had gotten him on board in January or February, he would have been an additional recruiter for us. Passing on him was (with the benefit of hindsight of course) our biggest error of this recruiting cycle.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

More of an error that offering a quarterback who they didn't feel was right for their system?

OSU2002Grad's picture

Throws an accurate deep ball that keeps the defense honest on the running game if we have (and we do) fast receivers; he mobile, but more "smart mobile" than "fast mobile." And he already runs the zone read in high school. What about him isn't a fit?
Add in the fact that the young man is a born leader who would have been probably our best recruiter out there and he needed to be a Buckeye months ago. Staff screwed it up hoping for Watson.

Squirrel Master's picture

I'm sure its not all that. There was probably a few reasons why Barker didn't get an offer. We all assume that Barker was all buckeye if he got an offer and I don't think that is accurate. He is local Kentucky and was getting a ton of pressure to stay around (see James Quick). He probably wanted to hear some things from OSU that OSU wasn't probably willing to commit too. Urban probably met with him and there was a difference in personality. There could have been many reasons.
Point being, Barker may be all that talented and a leader but if the fit isn't there then its not there. and fit can mean more than mobility and talent. He could be RG3 for all we know, if he doesn't click with Urban then it won't work. I'm sure Urban isn't just looking for the most talent recruit out there. I'm also sure he isn't just looking for the dual threat that fits his system the best. I'm sure it is he wants to have that connection that a QB and HC must have. It probably wasn't there with them. Can't fault that.
The Watson thing was a mistake, I agree, but more because if there was players out there worth offering to them they should have done that. I think we all knew they felt that way by throwing out 3 offers right away. So they could have done that better but they didn't offer Barker so I don't think it was a loss at all. Good luck to Barker in UK. I think he will be good there. It might be the best for both!

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

TheGhostofWoody's picture

This "fit" thing is becoming so ridiculous.  Doesn't click with Urban?  What does that even mean?  So far, we've evidently cooled on the #1 player in the nation and a top 100 QB for not being a good fit.  Maybe it's time the staff reevaluate whether the problem is with these kids or with them.
My feeling is that the staff thought they could get a better QB, and they were wrong.  It's no big deal that they missed on guys, but let's stop blaming this on the "fit."

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

They love Barker as a person, a competitor and more - they just didn't think he was right for the offense. Nothing unusual about that.

TheGhostofWoody's picture

If they thought he wasn't a good enough player, that's one thing.  But I doubt it had anything to do with "connection."

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Absolutely nothing to do with a "connection" with Barker. Just weren't sold on his ability to run the offense apparently.

pjtobin's picture

This is a great thread. Very educational for guys like me, who don't know much about the recruiting side of OSU. Am I correct in saying that the top 5 qbs for us, in this class, are gone? That the ones that fit our system, or clicked with the coaches, didn't get a offer? Who is left that would be beneficial for our type of offense? There has to be many talented young men throughout the 49 great states, and one crap hole state up north, right? Is there a diamond in the rough some where?

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

BuckinBama's picture

Seems like they think Collier may be that diamond in the rough.

Crimson's picture

From the offers they gave out and who they're looking at now, I would guess:
1. Watson, Heard
2. Allen, Harris
3. Darlington, Collier
4. Barker, Henderson, Kizer, #YourOtherFavoriteQB
You could argue Kizer up a step with newer interest, but people in 4 didn't get an offer.  There were also people saying he loved ND and not so much tOSU.