Taking Stock: Where Have All The QBs Gone?
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — This past weekend I had some people ask me about the Buckeyes' recruiting situation at quarterback, specifically why Ohio State doesn't yet have a quarterback committed in the 2014 class.
Now, I don't want to panic anyone, but Urban Meyer has been Ohio State's head coach for over 18 months and he has secured the verbal commitment of just one quarterback, and that happened in April of 2012.
J. T. Barrett
Photo by Jim Davidson
That quarterback, J.T. Barrett out of Texas, was one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the 2013 class. It was a huge coup for Meyer so early in his OSU tenure, and certainly upped the expectations that it would be an annual occurrence.
He also had Cardale Jones committed in the 2012 class before he arrived, so it's not like quarterback recruiting has been a huge concern.
In fact, because Meyer already had Barrett and Jones in the fold, he and offensive coordinator Tom Herman could be extremely picky when offering a 2014 quarterback.
Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, and the reason for concern among some fans, is the fact that their top two choices – Deshaun Watson and Kyle Allen, have committed to Clemson and Texas A&M, respectively.
There is also an offer out to Brandon Harris out of Louisiana, but he is thought to be a popular pick to stay in the SEC, either at LSU, Auburn or Alabama. He visited Ohio State last weekend, so the Buckeyes are in the mix, but possibly third at best right now.
Apopka, Florida's Zack Darlington got an offer a month ago, and he is supposed to be at Ohio State next week. Right now it appears that Nebraska is the team to beat, though that's without a visit to Columbus.
This past weekend, Meyer and Herman took a long, hard look at Stephen Collier, out of Leesburg, Georgia. No offer was extended, however, and since he only has offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Louisiana Tech, Marshall and Georgia State right now, Ohio State can take its time.
There is also Arkansas commit Rafe Peavey, from Bolivar, Missouri. He committed before Bret Bielema was named head coach, so he's obviously looking around right now. He has a visit to Iowa scheduled this week. The Buckeyes have not offered, but they have visited.
That is basically where the quarterback situation stands at the moment for Meyer, Herman and the Buckeyes. To twist a phrase, no news isn't always good news.
When Meyer first got to Florida, he had a commitment from Scout's #5 quarterback Josh Portis two weeks later. It took him a little bit longer at Ohio State. However, before his first spring practices were over, he had gotten a commitment from Barrett.
But since Barrett, that's been it.
At Florida, 51 weeks after Portis committed, Meyer got Tim Tebow. Less than nine months later, Cam Newton committed. Three months after that, he landed John Brantley.
Yet here we are, with no new quarterback commitments for the Buckeyes in nearly 14 months. This is why people are walking around with some confused and concerned looks on their faces.
However, I'm here to tell you that worrying about Urban Meyer's quarterback recruiting is probably about as useful as drawing a fire extinguisher on a piece of paper and pointing it at a fire.
Now, he did have some issues in his final season at Florida, but even then he still had John Brantley, who was Rivals' #3 QB in the 2007 class. There was also Jordan Reed, Rivals' #10 dual-threat QB in the 2009 class, and Trey Burton, Rivals' #18 dual-threat QB in the 2010 class.
On paper at least, the quarterbacks were fine. On the field, not so much. But since we're only talking about "on paper" right now, on-field results aren't the focus.
Oh, and Meyer's parting gift to the Gators? He landed the commitment of the nation's top quarterback, Jeff Driskel.
There is a long history of outstanding quarterback recruiting wherever Meyer has been, and that is continuing at Ohio State.
The Buckeyes will land a talented quarterback in the 2014 class. And if there was a year to miss on their top two or three guys, it's the year when OSU has two freshman quarterbacks that they really, really like.
Ohio State will be fine, the fans simply need to remain as patient as the coaches have been.
If that's possible, of course.
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