The throwback pass to J.T. Barrett on Saturday was put in the Buckeyes’ playbook earlier in the week and they had practiced it several times in preparation for the game.
Catching a football is something that players have been doing their entire lives, but for Barrett, he had a little added pressure applied to him by former teammate Cardale Jones.
“Oh my goodness, it was so funny,” Barrett said. “Me and Cardale yesterday we were riding in the car and we practiced it yesterday and he was like, ‘Boy, if you drop that ball I’m gonna clown you.’ So I started thinking about it and the last time I caught a pass was my sophomore year at Rider High school playing H, so I was a little nervous, but I brought it in.”
Could we see more catches in the future for Barrett?
“I hope we keep that play a little bit,” he said. “We don’t have to get too crazy with my catches, but I would like to have that trick play in because I sold it, I think. I think I sold it pretty well. I’ve got good hands. I catch snaps every play in the shotgun, so…”
One way to ensure the play happens again would be for Barrett to audible to it during a game.
“I don’t think I’m going to check to it, honestly,” he said. “I don’t want somebody to take my job for checking to a trick play like that, so I’m not going to check to it.”
After the game, Urban Meyer said one of the best things to come out of spring football is that they didn’t lose anybody to any long-term injuries. While that may always be the most important goal, it is not the only goal. There is still a season to get ready for, and players need to be ready to advance themselves and the team.
According to linebacker Chris Worley, they were very productive throughout the spring, but there is still more work to do. The progress to this point, however, has been as good as he’s seen in his five years.
“I definitely think we got done what we wanted to get done in some respects, but I still don’t believe we’re ready to go play for a national championship right now,” he said. “The good thing is we don’t have to be ready for that right now. We have a lot of time to put in work. Since I’ve been here, this is the closest we’ve been in spring.”
The goal during the regular season is to become a championship team, and that journey starts immediately after the previous season ends. It is a constant struggle for perfection, followed by unending lessons in dealing with the inevitable adversity that hits every team.
The only thing a team can do is keep their collective heads down and continue a grind that won’t be ending any time soon. The grind comes with championship hopes and purpose, and center Billy Price thinks this team is on a championship path.
“I believe so,” he said. “There’s been a lot of progress that we’ve seen at a lot of different positions. The defensive line depth and the rotation they’ve created, and the offensive line depth. The offensive line especially might be a continuing process. We’re trying to get better at a number of things we didn’t do so well last year, like identifying defenses. Some of the older guys like myself, Jamarco, Isaiah, we’ve kind of developed our identification. I think you answer a lot of great questions in the spring time, now we’re looking forward to fall camp.”