Ohio State’s 2018 roster is loaded with talent, per usual, but how does it compare to the Buckeyes’ previous teams since Urban Meyer has arrived in Columbus?
Over the next few weeks here at Eleven Warriors, we’ll take a position-by-position look at how the Buckeyes’ roster for the upcoming season stacks up with the Buckeyes’ rosters from Meyer’s first six seasons as head coach.
That look starts with the quarterback position, where the Buckeyes have multiple potential stars but enter the 2018 season with a lack of experience and depth. It’s been well-documented that the Buckeyes would like to have at least one more scholarship quarterback on their current rosters, but is their current stable of signal-callers really much thinner than it has been in other recent seasons?
Let’s take a look at the Buckeyes’ quarterback rosters dating back to 2012 – with a look at how highly recruited they were and how much experience each player had at the time – to measure up how their depth and talent at the position this season could stack up against previous seasons.
Each player is listed with their year of eligibility, number of recruiting stars (based on 247Sports’ composite rankings) and how many games they had appeared in and started going into each respective season.
Braxton Miller, Sophomore (★★★★★) – 12 game appearances, 10 starts
Kenny Guiton, Redshirt Junior (★★★) – 6 games
Cardale Jones, Freshman (★★★)
Justin Siems, Senior (Walk-on)
Levi Ratliff, Freshman (Walk-on)
Braxton Miller, Junior (★★★★★) – 24 games, 22 starts
Kenny Guiton, Redshirt Senior (★★★) – 14 games
Cardale Jones, Redshirt Freshman (★★★)
J.T. Barrett, Freshman (★★★★)
Luke Morgan, Freshman (Walk-on)
Reid Worstell, Freshman (Walk-on)
Braxton Miller, Senior (★★★★★) – 36 games, 34 starts
Cardale Jones, Redshirt Sophomore (★★★) – 3 games
J.T. Barrett, Redshirt Freshman (★★★★)
Stephen Collier, Freshman (★★★)
Luke Morgan, Sophomore (Walk-on)
Cardale Jones, Redshirt Junior (★★★) – 13 games, 3 starts
J.T. Barrett, Redshirt Sophomore (★★★★) – 12 games, 12 starts
Stephen Collier, Redshirt Freshman (★★★)
Joe Burrow, Freshman (★★★★)
Justin Cook, Sophomore (Walk-on)
J.T. Barrett, Redshirt Junior (★★★★) – 23 games, 17 starts
Stephen Collier, Redshirt Sophomore (★★★) – 1 game
Joe Burrow, Redshirt Freshman (★★★★)
Dwayne Haskins, Freshman (★★★★)
Justin Cook, Junior (Walk-on)
J.T. Barrett, Redshirt Senior (★★★★) – 36 games, 30 starts
Joe Burrow, Redshirt Sophomore (★★★★) – 6 games
Dwayne Haskins, Redshirt Freshman (★★★★)
Tate Martell, Freshman (★★★★)
Kory Curtis, Freshman (Walk-on)
Dwayne Haskins, Redshirt Sophomore (★★★★) – 8 games
Tate Martell, Redshirt Freshman (★★★★)
Matthew Baldwin, Freshman (★★★★)
Kory Curtis, Sophomore (Walk-on)
Danny Vanatsky, Freshman (Walk-on)
Overview: Going into the 2018 season, Ohio State’s quarterback roster includes notably less experience and depth than the Buckeyes have had over the past five seasons.
It’s the first time in Meyer’s tenure at Ohio State that he has gone into fall camp without a quarterback with starting experience, though he ended up with a brand new starter in J.T. Barrett in 2014 after Braxton Miller suffered a season-ending shoulder injury during an August practice.
It’s also the first time since 2012 – Meyer’s first season, with a roster he inherited rather than built – that the Buckeyes will go into a season with only three scholarship quarterbacks, a direct result of Joe Burrow’s decision to leave the program last month as a graduate transfer.
From a talent standpoint, the Buckeyes’ quarterback roster looks to be plenty strong. For the third straight year, the Buckeyes have at least three quarterbacks on their roster who were four-star recruits, and both Dwayne Haskins and Tate Martell – though unproven – have the potential to emerge as stars this season.
The Buckeyes would be in a precarious position, though, if either Haskins – the only quarterback on the roster with any collegiate playing experience to date – or Martell suffers an injury.
While the Buckeyes have five quarterbacks on their roster – the same number they have had every year since Meyer’s arrival, except for when they had six in 2013 – Haskins and Martell are the only quarterbacks on the roster who took significant reps this spring. Matthew Baldwin offers potential for the future, but the Buckeyes would almost certainly prefer to redshirt him as a true freshman – as they have every other scholarship quarterback that has arrived at Ohio State in the Meyer era – as he works his way back from January knee surgery.
Although it’s possible the Buckeyes’ entire quarterback roster for 2018 could be back for 2019, the current limited depth also makes it increasingly important for the Buckeyes to land a quarterback recruit they feel good about in the class of 2019 – for which they don’t currently have any signal-callers committed.