2013 Spring Recap - The Quarterbacks
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — With spring football over, we are now just three months away from the start of fall camp. That might seem like an eternity to you, but it's right around the corner for the players who put in the work every day.
Still, a lot can happen between now and then. Players get better, they get more comfortable, they start to become leaders. Others see the writing on the wall and decide to look for a change. The team that we saw in April won't be the team that we see in August, and that holds true for the quarterbacks as well.
No, we won't see any different quarterbacks, but the quarterbacks that we have seen will have differences. This is a very driven group of players, and it needs to be that way because the competition to see the field is a daily battle.
Braxton Miller isn't in danger of losing his job, but he's not taking it for granted either. Kenny Guiton knows that he isn't supposed to be starting against Buffalo, but he's still going to prepare like he is. It's leaders like this that will bring redshirt freshman Cardale Jones and true freshman J.T. Barrett along with them, whether they're ready or not.
Returning Starter: Braxton Miller (Jr.)
Photo by Jim Davidson
Miller is not where the coaches want him right now, but he's still much better than he was in November. That doesn't mean they're unhappy with his progress, it just means that they know how good he can be, and they'd really like to see him get there.
"I don't know where it is," offensive coordinator Tom Herman said of Braxton Miller's ceiling. "The ceiling is...we won't even come close to the ceiling.
"Let's put it this way, he'll come close to the ceiling if he continues to progress mentally the way that he's progressed."
Miller showed a much better touch on the short passes during the spring, even throwing the ball in the flats in a position for the receivers to get upfield. There were very few uncatchable passes to the sidelines, which will greatly increase his completion percentage this season.
"Last year I kind of second guessed myself because I didn't really know the plays as well," he said earlier this spring. "But this year I'm getting much better at the plays and throwing guys open, and stuff like that."
Perhaps Miller's most notable improvement, however, came in his understanding of the offense and what is being asked of him. He will continue to get better over these next three months, and when it's time to play Buffalo, Tom Herman is going to have some very high expectations.
"I know when we kick the ball off against Buffalo, he's going to be ten times better than when we kicked it off against Miami of Ohio last year. There's no doubt in my mind that that will happen, so it's just a matter of how much better we can get him to that point."
Others Returning: Kenny Guiton (Sr.), Cardale Jones (rFr.)
Photo by Jim Davidson
Kenny Guiton had so won over his coaches as to his worth and capabilities, that they freely gave many of his spring snaps to Cardale Jones because they knew Guiton didn't need them.
"From an individual perspective, I thought I did pretty good this spring," Guiton said. "I've got the offense down, and I'm moving forward trying to get everybody else to know what we're doing. I was really happy with everything that I did."
Last year, getting a third quarterback ready wasn't an option as Herman and Urban Meyer had to get Miller and Guiton up to speed as quickly as possible. Jones was an afterthought last season, and I don't even think they cared if he left the program. They only had time to get two quarterbacks ready last season, and they didn't really worry about the third.
Photo by Jim Davdison
The amazing thing about that is that Jones stuck it out when many expected him to leave, including Meyer. Jones was rewarded with scrimmage snaps that he never saw last year. He's still as raw as a green tomato, but the Buckeyes have the luxury of a comfortable window sill on which he can ripen.
"I think Cardale is doing really well," Guiton said of his young protege. "He's picking up the offense and everything. We're all a year in on this offense, so we're all learning. We don't have it completely down but I think we're doing a great job of it."
Newcomers: J.T. Barrett (Fr.)
Barrett had limited participation this spring, but he did basically everything but scrimmage. He showed a strong arm, but had some accuracy issues. Like all true freshmen, he had his good moments and bad moments, but everything we hear about Barrett is good news, especially when it comes to the off the field stuff.
"He catches on fast," Guiton said of Barrett early in the spring. "In the meeting room he's answering questions. He doesn't get a chance to do too much with us because he's hurt right now, but I know he's going to have his playbook down by the time that he can do something. I'm interested to see what he can do in a scrimmage situation."
(L to R) J. T. Barrett, Cardale Jones, Kenny Guiton
Photo by Jim Davidson
Braxton Miller (6-2 215, Jr.)
Kenny Guiton (6-3 208, Sr.)
Cardale Jones (6-5 241, rFr.)
J.T. Barrett (6-1 230, Fr.)
Remaking Braxton: Ohio State’s Quarterback Ready to Take Next Step
Herman Sleeping Better With Ohio State’s Passing Game Starting to Click
Meyer Hoping Braxton Miller Will Develop ‘Jordan Effect’
Miller Shows Off Arm During Ohio State’s Spring Game
Practice Insider: Miller, Guiton Provide Fireworks on ‘Winner-Loser’ Day
Buckeyes Pushing Braxton Miller to Reach His Limitless Potential
Off and Running: Braxton Miller Begins His Chase for Greatness
Spring Forecast: Quarterback
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