Last season was a bit of an oddity for the Buckeyes in that they never once needed a backup quarterback to come in and lead the team to victory. It was the first time since Urban Meyer’s first season at OSU in 2012 that a starter was never benched or injured for at least one game.
Given that it has been more likely than not to need a backup quarterback for the Buckeyes, the competition this spring between third-year sophomore Joe Burrow and redshirt freshman Dwayne Haskins has arguably been the most-talked about battle of camp.
Burrow was J.T. Barrett’s backup throughout the 2016 season, and began the spring as the team’s No. 2 quarterback. That appears to be how he left the spring as well, but there is still a little more evaluating to do.
“I want to watch the film and have conversations with our coaches, we haven’t had that yet,” Urban Meyer said after the spring game. “I know it’s very close. I’m not prepared to say who is two or three yet.”
An excellent spring game for each quarterback — Burrow was 14-of-22 passing for 262 yards and three touchdowns, while Haskins was 26-of-37 for 292 yards and three touchdowns — was exactly the kind of capper that both players were looking for, which only makes the decision more difficult for Meyer and his coaching staff.
That decision is further down the road, and right now it looks like there may not be a wrong answer.
“I think both of them had really good springs,” offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said. “Those guys, hopefully they are great competitors and great teammates and have great summers because right now I think we can be very successful and win with both.”
While Meyer and Wilson would like to nail down a depth chart and a quarterback pecking order, not being able to make a decision based on the outstanding play of a couple of players is exactly the kind of problem that stellar recruiting tries to create.
If a program recruits well enough, the decision can be nearly impossible to make. It can also bring a level of comfort that doesn’t usually follow such impossible decisions.
“With as great as J.T. is, a lot of years you need more than one to play at a high level, and so the comforting thing to me is they’re both on track to play at a high level,” Wilson said. “It will be interesting to see as their summer goes.”