J.T. Barrett is now an Ohio State graduate. Now his life as a college quarterback is much different than it ever used to be.
After four years as an undergrad, Barrett graduated from OSU in December with a degree in Communications. He has since enrolled in graduate school, as all players must do if they want to continue playing after graduation.
Any time someone graduates from college, a brand new world awaits, and the same holds true for Barrett. For one, the academic workload is not nearly as daunting.
“I’m taking a couple of classes and they’re online, so right now my life is football, literally,” he said this spring. “Before it was said, but I had to go to tutor, had to go to class, had to take care of that. Whereas now, I’ve taken care of that. So now it’s literally just ball, pedal to the metal and trying to make sure that at the end of the day we can all be on the same page and be able to lift that trophy.”
Barrett worked for four years and got his degree. Now he is able to reap some of the rewards for that hard work while he is still in college. Academic demands have lessened, which allows him to focus more on football. The fifth year is almost a reward for the previous four.
That doesn’t mean Barrett is any less busy. He’s just busy in other areas. He could be seen this spring working with the other quarterbacks as much as position coach Ryan Day was. When something needs to be said to a teammate, Barrett has no problem saying it. While fans might be torn on who they think should be the starting quarterback, there is no such sentiment from Barrett’s teammates.
“It’s kind of the same reaction I have when people say we’re terrible offensive linemen,” center Billy Price said this spring. “As far as the conversations about who should be the starter and who should not be, your body of work stands for a lot. I stand behind him 110 percent within the locker room, if we’re on High Street, wherever we’re at.
“There’s just a lot of things that people don’t know about. They don’t understand it. You’re not in the rooms, not in the meeting rooms, you just don’t know what’s going on. There are things that are out of our control that fans and people get upset about that we don’t even have control on. So we are respecting our coaches and doing what they say. I’m going to snap the ball, give it to him, he’s going to make plays, and we’re going to go win some games.”
Barrett now has one final go-round at Ohio State, but like Urban Meyer always says, a quarterback is only as good as the players around him. That’s why in his final season as the Buckeyes’ quarterback, Barrett will be spending even more time getting everyone ready for what lies ahead.
“One of the things we talk about as a quarterback is make sure you have the people around you in place and make sure that they’re playing at the highest level that they can play at in order for myself to be successful, because as a quarterback you know that you need everybody to be a part of the party,” he said. “I think that’s something I focused on last year and now it’s full throttle, pedal to the metal. I have my degree. School is taken care of, and now it’s really ball, that’s what I have left here at Ohio State.”