Joe Burrow Focused on 2017 Before Evaluating Situation for 2018

Kevin Wilson Joe Burrow Ohio State Football Buckeyes


Situated side-by-side at their respective lockers Saturday night, it was impossible not to notice the contrast.

Despite neither quarterback actually playing in Ohio State’s 27-21 win over Wisconsin, reporters swarmed OSU backup quarterback Dwayne Haskins, while former No. 2 QB Joe Burrow sat and watched, completely engulfed by the scrum trying to get a word with the redshirt freshman who saved the day against Michigan one week earlier.

The disparate scene was a perfect reflection of the attention that both players have received this season. All eyes were turned toward Haskins, while backs were turned toward Burrow.

None of this was the fault of Burrow, instead it was the result of a broken right hand in camp and some stellar relief play by Haskins.

Burrow and Haskins came into 2017 competing to be J.T. Barrett’s backup, but that competition ended the moment Burrow broke his hand.

Due to the nature of the college football season, there is no time for an in-season competition to be the backup quarterback, which meant that it was Haskins who would be Barrett’s understudy all season long.

“Yeah, I mean I knew it would be that way because someone has to get ready to play,” Burrow said after the Big Ten Championship Game. “And he played well when he was in there in the beginning of the year, he played well at the end of the year, so I knew it was his job and I just focused on trying to get better every single day.”

Not fully healthy until the second half of the year, Burrow was frustrated by the injury, but he wasn’t discouraged or frustrated by the way his 2017 turned out so far.

“We just won a Big Ten Championship, so I’m pretty excited,” he said.

While there is still one game to go this season, there are plenty of people wondering what is going to happen in 2018. Barrett will be gone and the job will once again be up in the air.

Any time there is a quarterback competition, there is speculation — even expectations — of somebody transferring once that battle is over.

Given the way that Haskins has played in stretches, some may already view him as the winner of that competition.

How does Burrow see things playing out?

“I’m going to evaluate my situation after the season, and until then I’m going to be all in for the Buckeyes,” he said.

What does he mean by “evaluate”?

“Just think about what I need to do to be the starter here, what I need to do moving forward going into spring ball,” he said.

There is no thinking ahead to the 2018 competition yet because there is still one more game to play, and with Barrett just coming off of a knee surgery, Burrow could be one or two snaps away from being needed.

“J.T. still just had surgery last week, so I still have to get ready for myself to play, and I’m just going to focus on getting better during bowl practice,” he said.

The fact that a No. 3 quarterback was facing questions about his future is simply the nature of the position. Quarterback is unlike any other position in sports. Only one guy can play, and Burrow has now had to sit behind J.T. Barrett for three seasons waiting and working toward his first opportunity to be the starting quarterback at Ohio State.

He knows that he is good enough to start, and he welcomes the competition.

“Yeah, I mean that’s what we knew we’d get into at Ohio State,” he said. “We come here to compete with the best in the country and challenge each other, and that’s what we’ve done.”

That being said, he still wants to play, and that didn’t happen this season. Instead, he watched Haskins put up essentially twice the numbers he did as a redshirt freshman in 2016. Some people may see the writing on the wall, but Urban Meyer doesn’t want anybody reading it.

Meyer and Burrow have had talks over the past year. Sometimes Burrow goes to Meyer and other times Meyer comes to him. The conversations are meant to keep Burrow’s spirits up and to let him know that nothing has been written.

“Me and Coach Meyer have a really good relationship. I think the trust between both of us is real and it’s true,” he said. “We talk about it every once in a while, but it’s tough to talk about things like that during the season when games have to be won and championships have to be won.”

Regardless of how that evaluation turns out this spring, Burrow — who graduates in May — still has the same desire he had the day he signed with Ohio State.

“Oh, absolutely. This is where I want to be. This is where I want to play,” he said. “This is where I want to be the starting quarterback.”


15 Responses

  1. Joe and Tate both realized when they signed with THE that it’s competitive and nothing is given. That stated, I believe it will be competitive and everyone will get a fair shot next year.

  2. I do not have enough of a sample size to say which one will be the better QB, but just because of his injury and the way Haskins has played in live games Joe is the underdog. I am not wishing bad luck on anyone but guys do tear ACLs in spring ball and fall camp so I hope Joe stays, but I can not and will not blame him if he decides to leave. Joe should be commended for his fine work in the classroom which now lets him leave and play anywhere immediately. I think we will all agree it is better to play college football then stand on the sidelines and watch college football so I wish Joe well with his difficult decision. Sad part is I think Dwayne or Joe could have been the starter for almost every other team in the Big 10 this year. Whoever is recruiting our QBs is doing an excellent job.

    Go Bucks!

  3. He’s a class act and has always been a winner and a great athlete. He had an amazing high school career and is a coaches kid. He looks like NFL and we will see him on Sundays. He could lead this team to a championship but the injury sealed it for this year. I’m sure coach will be straight with him so Joe can do what’s best for him and he has my support either way.

    This isn’t meant to take anything away from how Haskins played when we needed him. He deserves the accolades he’s getting.

  4. Haskins has the bigger arm so all else being equal he will be the next starter at The Ohio State University. Joe might be the better runner but I don’t see a huge difference in the limited sample size available to fans. Joe’s best shot at being a starter will be elsewhere unfortunately. This is part of the deal with college football. Competition is fierce at every school. Hope he stays because you never know when the starter will go down. All the best either way Joe.

    1. History shows the bigger arm does not always win the job at tOSU (See Cardale 2015). Urban’s offense demands the ability to run the read option. Both Burrow and Martel are RO quarterbacks, Haskins is not.

  5. I would like to compliment Old Buckeye & Phil Miller on their excellent posts. Now let me add, If Burrow were QBacking Michigan or Wisconsin They would have beaten Ohio State. Harbaugh desperately wanted Rosen & Burrow but got neither. Thank god. It would be a different story today!! If Barrett starts Usc game,take the points!!!

  6. Burrow alot better than Haskins. His surgery was more siginificant than reported. I’d like Joe to stay. But if he leaves and somehow faces OSU in a game I’m a Burrow and Bucks fan and not a Meyer fan. I think he’s a nut. He couldn’t handle it when when Tim Teebow left. Tim was alot better than JT. I’ll root for Burrow to defeat Meyer

  7. I would think Burrow would be the better option for Ohio State. He has a good arm and is a decent runner.

  8. I really feel for Tate Martell! What’s he going to do in the next 3 years? If the kid has talent, then he should get to play. If not at OSU, then somewhere else. I understand having good QB backups, but next year there will be around 5 or maybe 6 possibilities competing for that one position. I think recruiting that many QB’s is unfair to two or even 3 of those kids who really are good enough to play almost anywhere! I hate to see any of them transfer, but if they want to play, then that is what they must do. I know there are teams out there that would gladly take 1 or 2 of those who are here now and any one of those new QB’s coming in next year!

    1. I could see Haskins starting for 2 years and then going pro leaving Tate 2 years of eligibility. If Tate has the X factor he will get a chance to shine before he is done.

  9. I absolutely think he got shafted a little. Even before the injury, it was Dwayne this, and Dwayne that, by both thee coaching staff and fans. I think not only does he run the ball better, he also makes better decisions with the ball.

  10. Joe certainly deserves an opportunity but he has to do what is best for him. With his graduation in May, he will be free to go anywhere without sitting out a year. This will be awful tempting since Haskins has the earned advantage going into Spring practice. Of course, he can wait and see how Spring turns out. I do hope that Urban will consider using Haskins or Burrow against USC if JT is having one of his bad days of if his leg is not better than it was Saturday. We cannot afford to give USC 15 points on interceptions like we did Wisconsin.

  11. Class kid all the way, and I think when healthy he’s shown he’s the best option for next year. The qb with the best arm does not necessarily make the best qb. He has shown that he has a good arm, is very accurate and is the more mobile of the two. Regardless of what fans want, this will remain an offense that depends on the qb being a threat to run. They tried to fit Cardelle into this offense rather than change it to his strength so they won’t change it for Haskins. I believe we can and will have success with either but I hope Joe gets an opportunity.

    1. Totally agree on all points, Steve. If Haskins starts in 2018, Burrow is one play away from starting. Although Haskins may make the BIG throws, I believe Burrow will be much better at game management and preventing so many three-and-outs. Hang in there Joe !

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