NFL scouts have raved about former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett's leadership skills during East-West Shrine Bowl practices this week. He's clearly made an impression off the field, as well, as he was presented with the Pat Tillman Award on Friday night.
“J.T. Barrett is one of the great young leaders I have ever been around,” Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said through a press release. “On behalf of the entire Ohio State football program, I want to congratulate J.T. on this tremendous honor of being named the East-West Shrine Game’s Pat Tillman Award winner.”
Each year, the East-West Shrine Game presents the award to a player who best exemplifies intelligence, sportsmanship and service to the community. Barrett — who capped his career with the Buckeyes a win over USC in the Cotton Bowl last month — spent time this week at the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Tampa, where he played basketball, took photos with and signed autographs for patients.
“It is an honor to receive this award that holds Pat Tillman's name,” Barrett said. “The people that he impacted during his career and the sacrifice he made says a lot about the kind of man he was.”
During his time in Columbus, Barrett set a total of 39 school or conference records. He also became the only starting quarterback to go 4-0 in the history of the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry.
The East-West Shrine Game will take place Saturday at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, home of Major League Baseball's Tampa Bay Rays. Kickoff on NFL Network is scheduled for 3 p.m.