What Kind of Player is J.T. Barrett? His High School Coach Explains

By Tim Shoemaker on August 20, 2014 at 8:15a
Ohio State's new starting quarterback, J.T. Barrett.

J.T. Barrett had to stand on the sidelines and watch during his senior season as his Rider High School team played in its first ever state semifinal game.

Barrett tore his ACL earlier that year and was unable to play as his school advanced further than it ever had. But even though he was not on the field, he was still a vital part in Rider's run to the state semis.

"When he went down, somebody had to be the No. 1 and the kid that came in did a super job, but J.T. really helped our team out in sort of a different aspect from leading from the sideline," Barrett's high school coach Jim Garfield told Eleven Warriors on Tuesday. "He was kind of like a coach and did things you kind of take for granted as a coach.

"You look at him and say, ‘Golly, if he was in there we’d win the state championship.’ We lost in the semis in double overtime, so we were right there, and if it wasn’t for his mental strength and toughness, I don’t know that we would have gotten that far. He was a huge leader for us.”

Barrett's leadership has been what Ohio State coaches have raved about, as well, and he will have an opportunity to showcase his talents this season as the likely starting quarterback with the news Braxton Miller re-injured his throwing shoulder and will miss the 2014 season.

The 6-foot-1, 225- pound Barrett redshirted with the Buckeyes last year as a true freshman and hasn't played in a competitive game since high school, so there's cause for concern for Ohio State fans.

And while not many around Columbus are familiar with Barrett's skillset, Garfield is. Now the head coach at Elgin High School in Texas, Garfield discussed what Ohio State fans can expect this season from the redshirt freshman.

What kind of player will Ohio State fans get to see with J.T. Barrett?

Jim Garfield: If J.T. is the starting quarterback, you’re gonna get an exciting, athletic quarterback. Being a dual-threat, he can do things with his feet as well as he can do with his arm. He’s a tremendous leader, as well, and I think that’s something the Buckeye Nation people are gonna be excited about. He’s got great field presence and he commands respect at that position.

Ohio State coaches have mentioned that J.T. is a good leader. What kind of things does he do on the field to validate that?

Garfield: It’s everything from taking charge of the huddle or taking charge of the sideline. One thing, when we were together at Rider all those years, when J.T. spoke everybody listened. It wasn’t just offense or defense, it was everybody, and that’s what kind of set him apart from other team captains that we’ve had.

Being a dual-threat quarterback, was he a better runner or passer for you in high school?

Garfield: For us, it was probably about 50-50. He could throw the rock, for sure, but if it wasn’t there he could pull it down and run.

Was your system somewhat similar to Ohio State’s then?

Garfield: Yes, it was very similar. I think being in our system definitely helped his transition to the college game. Most definitely.

When J.T. was in high school, what attracted major college football programs to recruit him?

Garfield: His athletic ability and his size. He throws a good ball and I know people have talked about his arm strength maybe being in question, but I didn’t see it. What it really came down to, though, was his on the field presence and his leadership.

Are you surprised at all then that J.T. has moved up the depth chart and has the opportunity to start for Ohio State as a redshirt freshman?

Garfield: Not at all. I knew it was going to happen one day I just didn’t know it was going to be like this if that’s what’s really going down with Braxton.

How often do you and J.T. speak?

Garfield: I talk to him quite a bit. I try to talk to him about once a week. I haven’t heard from him yet about this, but I’m sure I will. When we get going during football season it’s more difficult to stay in touch because he’s always busy and I’m always busy, but when we get together he can come hang out at the office and we can chalk it up together and talk a little bit.

Ohio State fans are on edge about the quarterback position, so what do you expect to see from J.T. this year if he gets the chance to start?

Garfield: I’m expecting to see a lot of excitement. I’m expecting to see the offense moving and I’m expecting to see him working the game plan like coach Herman wants him to do and I think he’ll move the chains and put points on the board. Ya’ll got you a good one, that’s for dang sure.



USArmyBuckeye's picture

Wishing the absolute best to Braxton, but i'm also excited as hell to see what J.T. can get done with all the playmakers surrounding him!!

+3 HS
dubjayfootball90's picture

Tim, before even reading this article, I have to say. Great Idea going to his Coach to get the word out about this kid. Perfect article to give people the idea of what to expect from someone who spent four years with the kid, during good times and bad (injury to his knee). Now, time to procrastinate my work and read this sure fire masterpiece of literary genius!

Edit after reading: AWW HELL YEA!!!!

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

+14 HS
avail31678's picture

Ya’ll got you a good one, that’s for dang sure.

Amen.  Darn tootin'.

+15 HS
jedkat's picture

Boy Howdy.

"Can we please stop the message board fighting? I really can't stand the message board fighting..."

"No. You're an idiot, and your posts are terrible."

+7 HS
bigtenspeed's picture

We got the rootinist tootinist gunslinger this side of the Rockies.

+4 HS
avail31678's picture

Well done Jed and Speed.

Vinsaniti's picture

In times like these we need leadership and everything points to JT being a great leader on and off the field. I'm excited to see what he can do, hopefully Braxton takes him under his good wing and mentors him through the season.

+1 HS
Vinsaniti's picture

In times like these we need leadership and everything points to JT being a great leader on and off the field. I'm excited to see what he can do, hopefully Braxton takes him under his good wing and mentors him through the season.

+1 HS
OSUpawn's picture

Nice read. 

Do your thing J.T.

I believe the SEC players put their pants on one leg at a time like we do.

+1 HS
cw823's picture

Barrett sounds to be of the same character that Guiton was.  We'll be fine, and we'll still beat TTUN.

I still can't help but feel the plan all along was to create a monster in 2015.  Let's pray there's a quarterback controversy going into 2015.

+2 HS
Poison nuts's picture

 Let's pray there's a quarterback controversy going into 2015.

This is the way the situation should be viewed. It's a great problem to have!

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

+2 HS
buckeyecountry's picture

I am excited to see how he does vs Navy and most of all week 2 at home at night on national TV.

hspbuy1's picture

Can't hardly wait to see JTB lead this team. 10 more days!


apack614's picture

I'm very excited to see what this kid can do, I wish him the best of luck.

I can't wait to poop in the PL bathroom.

BuckeyeinToledo's picture

I feel if JT does well, Herman is guaranteed to leave for a HC job somewhere. Just because of his recruitment and the system. As much as I would hate for him to leave. 

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

-Woody Hayes

northcampus's picture

Other programs pursuing Ohio State coaches is a good thing.  Sure, the immediate impact may hurt for a month or so, but the best young coaches will see the opportunities at OSU and want to step in and be a part of Meyer's coaching tree.  I'd much rather be in this situation than we were during the Bollman/Siciliano days.

+2 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

the one guy we can't lose is Urban. It will suck to lose Herman but there has to be other Hermans out there. I think Ash will give us comfort in that situation.

but Urban can not leave, that will really make a dent!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

+1 HS
OrangeDot3083's picture

I’m sure it has been said and I just missed it.

The fact that J.T. Barrett will have the guiding hand of B. Miller all year long will allow him to progress much faster.  I could not think of a better scenario where you would want to develop a young talent.

If J.T. Barrett turns in a Heisman type year can B. Miller be put in for Coach of The Year Award?  It might be our best shot at Ohio State ever winning it…

MN Buckeye's picture

It's your time now, JT. Seize the opportunity.

+2 HS
73buckeye's picture

Imagine how the press would be reacting if JT Barrett was the redshirt freshman taking over the Alabama offense. He'd automatically be labeled as the next RS freshman in line to win the Heisman from the SEC. 


+2 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

yeah, from now on we should have two heisman's a year. One for the SEC and one for the rest of the world, since we all can't compete at their level.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

+1 HS
Buckeye Chuck's picture

The area around Barrett House on campus is currently under construction. There's a metaphor there.

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

+1 HS
Tater_Schroeder's picture

Laughed out loud and had to tell everyone around me. Good stuff! 


Squirrel Master's picture

I might be pumping myself up and I might be a bit delusional but I really see JT as a Russell Wilson clone while he was up at Wisky.

If the defense is making the strides we all think they are, I am going to be very happy with this season (as well as you all should too)

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

chili96's picture

Does anyone know how our QBs compare to the other B1G QBs? Is J.T. in the top 3 or 4?

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I watched an espn documentary the other day on the all-time great RB, Earl Campbell. In that show, they talk a lot about how Earl and his long-time coach Bum Phillips had a strong bond with eachother, in part because both guys were country-music-listening, pickup-truck-driving Texas good old boys.

It'd be cool if JT had a bit of that Texas cowboy side to him, but I don't get that impression, ha ha.

causeicouldntgo43's picture

Character counts. A lot. Barrett came to play school and QB, and as a bonus, we won't need to worry about future grey boxes talking about stolen crab legs.

vball10set's picture

I'm excited for the JT Era to begin, and I ain't talking about the Senator...I think we're going to be pleasantly surprised as the season progresses...GO BUCKS!!!

penguinpower's picture

The reason this article was written is because Urban's offense runs the QB too much.  I would prefer to see running the QB only in important games and only if required.  We have the athletes to line up and out muscle our opponents so running the QB should occur in special situations vs being the staple play.  Braxton is injured as a result two seasons of running the ball and taking unnecessary hits.  This is Charlie Bauman's revenge.  If we ever play POS Clemson again I hope we put several players in the hospital (with most of their fans).  I don't like all of this QB running one bit.

-1 HS
osupolo's picture

The reason Urban runs QB's is to have another weapon for the defense to worry about.  I recall Krenzel being the leading rusher in the NCG because no one accounted for him on defense. Urb wants to spread out the D and put stress on them. Both Urban and Herman have said that they have relied on the running game (which includes Miller) too much in the last couple years because the lack of an effective passing game (why it was not effective is a whole other debate). Ideally the QB would run enough to keep the D honest. When you having a running talent like Braxton, it's hard not to use your 'ace in the hole'.

+1 HS