Buckeyes Land Nation's Top Dual-Threat Quarterback
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — J.T. Barrett (6-1 209), considered the top-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the country by 247Sports, committed to Ohio State Wednesday afternoon.
As first reported by BuckeyeGrove.com, the Rider High School product out of Wichita Falls, Texas pulled the trigger for the Buckeyes, becoming Urban Meyer's first quarterback commitment at Ohio State.
While Barrett is looking forward to playing football as a Buckeye, it wasn't just a football decision that ultimately found him deciding on Ohio State.
"Coach Meyer told me Tim Tebow still calls him twice a week, and I want that relationship," he told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
"Even if I'm not playing in the NFL and I'm out there in the working world, I still want to be able to call Coach Meyer, and that personal relationship was a bigger deal to me than even football."
Barrett's size and abilities will certainly remind Buckeye fans of Heisman Trophy Winner Troy Smith, and if he can produce similar results against Michigan, this will be a tremendous pick up for Meyer and Ohio State.
Barrett completed 69.8% of his passes as a junior for 1,604 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also threw seven interceptions. He carried the ball 189 times for 1,515 yards and seven touchdowns. He fits Meyer's offense perfectly and already runs similar sets in high school.
In fact, he fits more than Meyer's offense, he also fits his mentality.
"At the end of the day I thought if I went somewhere else I was going to be sitting there watching the national championship and I wasn’t there," Barrett told the Wichita Falls Times Record News. "Ohio State was going to be there and I wasn’t going there."
Now he won't have to worry about such nightmares.
"I feel Ohio State is the place for me," he told ESPN.com, "and I felt if I would have went somewhere else, I would be missing out. I wanted to be a part of the Buckeye family."
The Buckeyes won Barrett's services over offers from LSU, Baylor, Arizona, Illinois, Ole Miss, Nebraska and Texas Tech. There was no offer from the homestate Longhorns, however, as they chose to go after (and landed) fellow Texan Tyrone Swoopes, who some are calling the "Next Vince Young".
Rated a four-star prospect by all four major recruiting services, the opinion on Barrett is high, though there are some variables.
247Sports lists him as their top dual-threat quarterback. Rivals ranks him sixth in that category. Scout has him as their seventh-best quarterback overall in the nation. ESPN ruins the curve by ranking him the 15th-best dual-threat quarterback in the nation.
He was the Red River 22 MVP as a junior, which goes to the best player in the Wichita Falls area. In December he attended the Under Armour Junior Combine at Disney World and was voted the best arm at the camp by Rivals.com. Barrett also earned a coveted invitation to the exclusive Elite 11 finals quarterback camp in California in July.
Barrett's commitment will give the Buckeyes four scholarship quarterbacks in 2013, which is right where Meyer and his staff would like to be. However, if there is room in the class, don't be surprised if Ohio State goes after a second quarterback (likely an in-state prospect) as Meyer tries to litter his roster with as many of "his guys" as he can.
Even though Meyer has said that they don't want to redshirt players, ideally Barrett would redshirt as a freshman since he will have Braxton Miller, Kenny Guiton and Cardale Jones in front of him. That would leave him as perhaps the top candidate to replace Miller in 2015 when Barrett is still just a redshirt sophomore.
The Ohio State recruiting class now stands at ten commitments, with the probability of a few more over the next week or so.
The 2013 Commitments
1. Cameron Burrows (6-1 195), DB Trotwood, Ohio
2. Jalin Marshall (6-0 190), ATH Middletown, Ohio
3. Billy Price (6-4 280), DT Youngstown, Ohio
4. Eli Woodard (6-1 185) CB Voorhees, New Jersey
5. Evan Lisle (6-6 265) OT Centerville, Ohio
6. Ezekiel Elliott (6-0 200) RB St. Louis, Missouri
7. Jayme Thompson (6-2 184) DB Toledo, Ohio
8. Marcus Baugh (6-4 229) TE Riverside, California
9. Tracy Sprinkle (6-4 270) DL Elyria, Ohio
10. J.T. Barrett (6-1 209) QB Wichita Falls, Texas
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