Ohio State Quarterbacks Filling Void Left By J.T. Barrett, Still Locked in “Day-to-Day” Competition

By James Grega on April 2, 2018 at 2:16 pm
Ohio State quarterbacks

Whoever the heir apparent to J.T. Barrett will be at Ohio State is going to have to stand out in a crowded group of signal-callers. 

So far, that has yet to happen. 

Following the Buckeyes' Friday scrimmage, Urban Meyer met with the media on Monday morning, and said he is waiting for one of Ohio State's three quarterbacks – Dwayne Haskins, Joe Burrow, Tate Martell – to take the starting job, yet none of them have emerged as a clear leader. 

"You wish one would take it, and that has not happened," Meyer said. "I think the quarterback situation, you'd wish one would take it, but then again, you like having the day-to-day competition, which is what I'm seeing. They started very poorly today, and the quarterback, receivers got much better as the day went on, which is encouraging."

Perhaps the reason the quarterbacks are struggling is because Meyer is holding some of Ohio State's more veteran receivers out of team drills in order to keep them healthy. That inconsistency with the receivers could be affecting the timing, but Meyer said that is something the Buckeye signal-callers will have to work through as spring practice winds down. 

“You wish one would take it, and that has not happened.”– Urban Meyer on QB competition.

"I'm not making excuse for the quarterback, but I'm protecting some of the older receivers, and it looks like, it's awful when you start pulling those guys out, so that's an alarm for down the road. We've got to get much better," Meyer said. "But they were better today. The receivers played better."

Meyer isn't completely discouraged with the quarterbacks, however. Despite not having a set starter, or even a leader in the clubhouse, Meyer said he feels more comfortable at quarterback now than he did a month ago when Ohio State opened spring ball, as the Buckeyes move on from the Barrett era.

"We're not there. You can see the void, but at times you can see it get much better," Meyer said. "We're much better today in practice nine, I believe it is, than practice two or three."

While Meyer didn't name any champions on the offensive end from Friday's scrimmage, he did mention that redshirt freshman Tate Martell had a particularly good performance on Monday as players returned from the holiday weekend. 

However, as has been the trend all spring, the other quarterbacks continue to push back as no one has emerged as 'the guy.'

"Tate had a much better day today. He's got a skill set that's a little bit J.T.-ish as far as the Q run. He's just built for that, and then he actually threw the ball. He threw the ball well too," Meyer said. "Joe probably had the better scrimmage on (Friday), but then Dwayne came back."

As many know, Meyer values leadership qualities in a quarterback perhaps more than any other position on the field. Because of that, the ability to lead an offense could be the determining factor when it comes time for Meyer to name a starter. 

Since the only game Ohio State will play between now and September is the annual Spring Game, proven ability to perform at a high level in practice is critical for Meyer, and something he continuously has an eye out for as the competition rolls on. 

"I've had those great quarterbacks that they're great practice players and they raise the level of play around them. I call them palms-up guys. They're not the guys that look at the coach like this, they just keep the group going," Meyer said. "It's the most unique position in all of sport. Very strong opinion about that, where everybody's looking at you. If you're doing that, then you have an offense that's doing that."

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