After ‘Pretty Devastating’ Injury, Joe Burrow Ready To Fight For Starting Job

Ohio State Football Buckeyes Joe Burrow


Joe Burrow entered Ohio State football’s 2017 fall camp with a strong chance to seize the backup quarterback position. That meant that not only would he be the one to step in if J.T. Barrett suffered an injury during the season, he might also have a leg up to start the battle to be the starting quarterback in 2018.

He arrived in Columbus with an incredible pedigree. Burrow put up more than 11,000 yards passing, more than 2,000 yards rushing, and accounted for 184 touchdowns in three seasons as a starter for Athens High School.

He showed flashes of that promise during limited action as a redshirt freshman in the fall of 2016, going 22-for-28 for 226 yards and two touchdowns, and then racked up 262 yards and three touchdowns through the air during the Spring Game.

That all changed in an instant during the Buckeyes’ practice on August 21. Burrow broke a bone in his throwing hand and had to undergo surgery.

With OSU set to kick off their season at Indiana just 10 days later, the timing couldn’t have been much worse.

“The injury was pretty devastating to me this year,” said Burrow.

The redshirt sophomore did everything possible to get back on the field as soon as he could.

Joe Burrow takes his first snaps of the season against UNLV.

“I was throwing about six days after surgery – I started gripping and throwing the ball again,” said Burrow after the Cotton Bowl. I was in there probably 8-10 hours per day getting treatment on my hand. It was a long journey to get back to 100 percent.”

While Burrow was scrambling to get back on the field, Dwayne Haskins grabbed the top backup job and held it throughout the season. That meant it was Haskins, and not Burrow, who got the call to step in and save the day in Ann Arbor when Barrett went down with a knee injury.

Burrow had to settle for mop-up duty in five blowout wins, going 7-for-11 passing for 61 yards all year.

It was a pretty low moment for me,” said Burrow, who credited another Buckeye quarterback for helping get him through it.

Leaning on people like J.T., some of my best friends,” said Burrow. “People I trusted and people close to me.”  

Burrow hands the ball off against Illinois.

With a frustrating 2017 behind him, Burrow knows he still has the chance to seize the starting job. With Barrett now gone, Burrow, Haskins, and redshirt freshman Tate Martell figure to have a fierce competition throughout the spring and perhaps even fall camp as well.

“Obviously I’m excited for it. But I’ve come into every spring thinking the same thing, that I was going to get better and improve and try my best and compete,” said Burrow.

Burrow is on track to graduate following the spring semester, which has led to speculation that he could be a graduate transfer candidate. Burrow said he’s just focused on winning the starting job.

“I’ve been thinking about that for 15 years, being the starting quarterback somewhere. The moment is here for someone to come and grab it. We’ll see what happens.”


14 Responses

  1. If everyone starts with a clean slate and a level playing field, it should be an interesting competition. As I recall, prior to the injury to Burrow, he was in the lead for the 1st backup spot.

    Both Burrow and Haskins are more than capable of being a starting QB in the B1G and I’m not sure there’s a poor choice. Burrow seems to be as accurate a passer as anyone and can also take off and run when needed. If there’s an edge, that would be it… but we are all on the outside looking in and unable to evaluate to the depth and extent as the coaching staff.

  2. I’ve felt all along that Burrow will be the starter next year after all the smoke clears. That, of course, depends upon him staying. I’m guessing he will have a deep heart-to-heart with Urby. If he is absolutely convinced that the competition will be truly open, he’ll stay.

    I think he’ll win the job for sevefral reasons. He has always been ahead of Haskins until the injury set him back. He is Urby’s kind of QB, a dual-threat who can both run and throw (better passer than JTB btw). He is a coaches son and should have alot of innate abilities that are absorbed by osmosis by being a coaches son. He probably has a real chip on his shoulder because of the bad break he had this year (pun intended).

    As always, we fans have no way of knowing several things. We don’t know the dynamics in the locker room and who the rest of the team favors (if anyone). We also don’t know the mental abilities each QB has re making reads, anticipating defenses, leadership etc. The coaches do. It will fun to watch and a good competition all the way around.

    Regardless of who wins, OSU is in good shape at the QB position for a number of years. This has seldom, if ever, been true at OSU. Urby has changed that, no doubt. Can’t wait to see how it unfolds.

  3. There is another walk on QB named Kory Curtis who will also try to win a spot in the spring. I personally believe that Meyer has his mind made up in advance. Haskins will be given the job and most likely Martell will back him up. Burrow did catch a bad break (no pun intended) in fall camp. This young man is legit. His touch on the ball is outstanding. I look for him to transfer after spring training. Cincy with Coach Fickell would be a nice fit. Wherever he goes I believe Burrow will excel!

  4. The QB competition will be fierce! I hope the coaches can truly hit the “Clear All” button and evaluate all 3 quarterbacks objectively. After spring practice they need to look at the plus and minus deltas of each QB. We know all three have good arms and are athletic. But who is the best RPO QB with with best QB IQ and possess the leadership qualities that JT Barrett possessed.

    I am excited to see how things turn out and anxious to see all 3 perform. Especially, TM since he comes to us with great skills and expectations given his high school accomplishments.

    May the games begin and the best QB win!

  5. BuckeyeBob48 Just say “may the best quarterback win” Amazing how anyone can inject race into that article. Pure crap

  6. Will be very interesting to see how the QB competition shakes itself out. Presuming Burrow does return, that will mean that 3 of the Buckeyes’ quarterbacks is white. Hope that doesn’t somehow become a racial issue. It shouldn’t, especially considering the vast majority of OSU signal callers of the past 2-3 decades have been African-American. But in this crazy world, who knows? May the best quarterback win!

    1. Can we get past the race obsession, please? I’m incredulous that anybody would make that inference.

    2. BuckeyeBob48, how could you possibly say, “3 of the Buckeyes’ quarterbacks is white” as if that’s somehow some kind of issue? What difference does race make? I think the only person who does is you. Perhaps you should take a step or two back and take a closer look at what you posted. It was uncalled for.

    3. What does race have to do with anything?

      I’m happy with anyone that is an accurate passer with good leadership skills and passes more than runs.
      Maybe hockey, NASCAR or swimming would be a better sport for you?

    1. I’d love to be a fly on the wall during Spring practices. At least 2 QBs who can really throw a football! 2 keys- developing an O line that protects them, and game planning that actually utilizes them. Here’s to a legitimate base pass package and running backs RUNNING.

  7. One thing’s for sure……..Barrow doesn’t quit. Don’t count him out.
    Great article, Tom. GO BUCKS!!!!!!

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