J.T. Barrett isn't the biggest quarterback in college football. He's not the strongest or fastest, either.
But Ohio State's redshirt freshman from Wichita Falls, Texas doesn't listen to any of the criticism, even when it comes from his own coaching staff.
"Pretty good for a guy that runs a 5.5 40," head coach Urban Meyer joked following the Buckeyes' 31-24 win over Minnesota.
|1||412||ART SCHLICHTER||FLORIDA STATE||1981|
|3||408||TROY SMITH||NOTRE DAME||2005|
|5||388||JOE GERMAINE||PENN STATE||1997|
|6||386||J.T. BARRETT||MICHIGAN STATE||2014|
Replied Barrett: "When they talk about me running a 4.8, I’m like, 'Man, don’t play me like that.'"
Barrett's play Saturday against the Gophers was no joke, though. It was just his latest standout performance to in season that has already been full of them.
He was 15 for 25 passing for 200 yards and three touchdowns, while also running for a career-high 189 yards with an 86-yard touchdown run.
His first-quarter touchdown gallop set an Ohio State record for longest touchdown run by a Buckeyes quarterback. His 30-yard touchdown pass to Michael Thomas in the third quarter was his 37th total touchdown of the season, more than any other Ohio State player in history. His fourth and final touchdown — 22-yard strike to Evan Spencer — puts him only four behind Drew Brees for most-ever in a single season in the Big Ten.
Through the season's first 10 games, Barrett has racked up four of the top single-game yardage performances in Ohio State history.
But even after all of that, he remains incredibly humble and incredibly poised.
"Win games. Bottom line," Barrett said. "I mean, I didn’t know I was close today, glad it happened but my mindset is all the time is to win games and all the individual accolades come second to me so it wasn’t something I was focused on."
Nobody could have expected this from Barrett when he was named Ohio State's starter just two weeks before the season went down after Braxton Miller suffered a season-ending shoulder injury.
Some success? Sure. But not this type of record-breaking season.
“I think you can tell the kind of trust we have in him. In that kind of environment, you have to really hand pick who’s gonna touch the ball," Meyer said. "…Like I said, earlier in the season we had no idea who he was, but very clear picture of who he is now.”
It's been a record-setting year for Barrett and the Buckeyes still have at least three games remaining, and will likely get a fourth in the Big Ten championship game. It's a chance for the greatest statistical season in Ohio State history.
But even with all of those possibilities, Barrett remains the same throughout his preparation for games.
"He's really good-natured, he's a kid that doesn't take anything personal, he's got very thick skin when it comes to being coached really hard and when it's time to be serious and being coached really hard," offensive coordinator Tom Herman said. "And then the light-hearted ribbing, takes it in stride and then every now and then he dishes one back that's pretty good, too."