It’s official now that only J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones remain in the torrid battle for starting quarterback at Ohio State University for the 2015 season, according to ESPN. The original member of the troika of super quarterbacks Braxton Miller announced recently he will switch to either wide receiver or H-back where his blazing speed is expected to make him a dangerous scoring threat from anywhere on the field.
Miller was a Heisman candidate at quarterback last year until he suffered a shoulder injury from which he is still recovering. Evidently, he feels better about his shoulder catching passes than he does throwing them.
Barrett, still only a sophomore, led the Bucks to the threshhold of the Big 10 Championship last year as a redshirt freshman. What an incredible accomplishment that was. The former Wichita Falls Rider High School quarterback impressed coaches and foes alike with his accurate passing abilities and running skills. Only a broken ankle suffered in the Michigan game brought his memorable season to a halt. The Texas native rushed for 938 yards and 11 touchdowns in the Buckeyes’ 12 regular season games last year.
But Jones also has impressive running skills. He rushed for 296 yards and one touchdown during the three postseason games he started. Jones is more of a bruising runner while Barret is more elusive and faster.
While Jones has a cannon for an arm which he displayed in prime time against Alabama and Oregon with several bombs, Barrett probably is the more accurate passer and has a better command of Urban Meyer’s offense. He’s already proven he can make snap second decisions and distribute the ball to the correct target under pressure.
Meyer’s decision as to naming a starting signal-caller has become much simpler because of Miller’s decision. The Buckeye head man reportedly spent countless hours this summer watching films of wide receivers with Miller. So although the public announcement was only recently, evidently the decision of a position change had been made much earlier.
“It’s a long process to get back totally to throwing and throwing every day,” Miller told Sports Illustrated.
He further told SI, “This is the smarter thing for right now. God blessed me with a lot of talent and different opportunities.”
However, his head coach had a different perspective. Meyer confided to the Columbus Dispatch that Miller may not be right. He said he hadn’t made a decision as to Braxton’s change of positions at this point. He said he wasn’t prepared yet to say how he will use Braxton in 2015.
Yes, the top soap opera in college football continues to heat up. With three Heisman Trophy candidates on the same team, the biggest question seems to be who the starter will be in Columbus rather than who will win the championship this year.