Urban Meyer Speaks on Potential of Using a 'Specialty Quarterback' During the 2015 Season

By Tim Shoemaker on April 1, 2015 at 10:10 am

Last week, following Ohio State's third practice of the spring, head coach Urban Meyer admitted his much-discussed quarterback battle was "starting to eat away at me a little bit."

It's certainly understandable. Neither Meyer nor any coach in college football history has had to deal with a dilemma at the quarterback spot like this one. Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones are all highly accomplished signal callers and Meyer, expectedly, was having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that two of the three would have to watch from the sideline.

"It's not like wide receiver where you can just throw three of them out there," he said.

On Tuesday, after the Buckeyes' sixth practice this spring, Meyer was again asked about his quarterback situation – it's a topic that's not going away anytime soon – and somewhat downplayed the notion Ohio State would play two quarterbacks at the same time.

Meyer did, however, offer up some interesting insight into another possibility: using a 'speciality quarterback.'

"I don't know about (playing two quarterbacks at the same time), but you might have a specialty quarterback, that's kind of what we did back in 2006," Meyer said.

Meyer, of course, was referring to his first national championship season at Florida when he had both Chris Leak and Tim Tebow. Leak, the senior on that team, was the passing quarterback and Tebow, the prized freshman, was the running one.

"That was kind of two different skill sets, a very unique situation," Meyer said. "The families were incredible, there was a very ego-less approach to the game. One quarterback drives them down and the other one comes in and is the goal line quarterback. It worked."

The question now is could it work again with the Buckeyes in 2015?

There are certainly some similarities between the two teams, but the main difference, of course, is Ohio State has three guys instead of just two.

Jones seems to be the most similar to Tebow in the sense he's the biggest of the three quarterbacks and could be used in goal-line situations, much like Tebow was as a freshman when he had eight rushing touchdowns.

Jones, however, is a much better passer than Tebow was so it's possible he doesn't fill that spot. Maybe that role goes to Miller, who is the shiftiest of the three and the best running threat. It's possible Miller, who is currently rehabbing after a torn labrum, will not fully recover in time to throw at the level he's used to.

Barrett seems most similar to Leak: a distributor of the football to the bevy of Ohio State playmakers on the outside, but fully capable of making plays in the run game.

"I've thought about that a little bit but I think it's one day at a time," Meyer said. "I know I keep saying that, but let's get Braxton healthy, J.T. as many reps as he can, and Cardale still – he's only played three games."

The possibilities are endless and that's what is going to make Meyer's decision so difficult. He may, in fact, decide to go with just one guy.

But as history has shown us, he usually makes the right choice.

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