How Will Ohio State Football Replace… J.T. Barrett

Joe Burrow J.T. Barrett Dwayne Haskins Ohio State Football Buckeyes


At this point, it would be quicker to list the records that J.T. Barrett does not possess. He is not the fastest man on the planet — that’s Usain Bolt. He has not skydived from the highest point in human history — that’s Felix Baumgartner. Everything else, however, belongs to Barrett.

Replacing a four-year starter at any position is a difficult proposition. Heck, replacing Barrett after just one year as a starter didn’t work in 2015, so it won’t be any easier in 2018.

Barrett threw for 9,434 yards in his career and rushed for 3,263 yards — which is more than guys like Keith Byars, Carlos Hyde, and Raymont Harris.

Even ignoring his four-year statistical compilation, whoever plays quarterback for the Buckeyes in 2018 is going to have to replace over 3,000 yards passing, 800 yards rushing, and 47 touchdowns. It won’t be as easy as  J.T. Barrett made it look.

The Candidates

Watching Dwayne Haskins take control of the Ohio State offense and lead the Buckeyes to victory at Michigan this past season, it is easy to simply anoint him as the future, and many already have. That is not quite reality, however. Not yet, anyway. Haskins will need to show that not only can he complete those key third-down strikes like he did against Michigan, but that he can also be the leader that Urban Meyer needs from his quarterbacks.

Before Haskins was the heir apparent, there was Joe Burrow. Burrow was J.T. Barrett’s backup in 2016 and was competing with Haskins to remain there again in 2017 when he broke his hand in camp. That ended Burrow’s stint as the No. 2 quarterback because there is no competing for that job during the season. Burrow’s chance finally comes this spring and he’s not just going to let Haskins have the job that he wants equally as bad.

The third member of this group is Tate Martell, who redshirted as a true freshman this past season. Martell shined on scout team, but those days are done now that he will not only be competing for the starting spot, but also competing for a role in the offense that could be singular to him because of his abilities with the ball in his hands. Martell is on the outside looking in, but that won’t keep him from peeking.

There will also be a fourth quarterback to watch this season, as true freshman Matthew Baldwin is already on campus. He is expected to redshirt this season, but he was a must-get in this class because of a quarterback situation that could thin a bit after the spring. There is the possibility that a rule will pass this season that will allow players to play up to four games throughout the year and still redshirt, so you may get to see Baldwin on the field as well this coming season.

Spring Outlook

Urban Meyer wants to know his depth chart by the end of spring, and that will include the quarterback position. It gets talked about constantly with any mention of Joe Burrow, but he himself has said he will need to evaluate his future after the spring. It is going to be fascinating to see how the coaches treat this situation and how focused Burrow is on the task at hand. Expect Dwayne Haskins and Burrow to split reps evenly — perhaps a 40/40/20 split with Tate Martell bringing up the final third.

Best Bet

The best bet here is that all three starting candidates will excel because they will have another year of experience to draw upon, and with Ryan Day’s return, they can hit the ground running and just focus on getting better. The coaches will chart every single rep, response, and wrinkle during the spring and summer, but ultimately the winner of the job will be the guy who moves the ball the best.


I don’t expect a starter to be settled by the end of spring, but I do think a starter will be named by the end of fall camp. Urban Meyer kept his quarterbacks in the dark in 2015 and I think he has learned from that. It’s okay to name a starter but still let the No. 2 guy play in games until you’re sure you made the correct decision. The real challenge for Meyer may be convincing all of his quarterbacks that they have a legit shot to win the job in the fall.

How Will Ohio State Football Replace…

…Sam Hubbard

…Jerome Baker

…Tracy Sprinkle

…Billy Price

…Tyquan Lewis

13 Responses

  1. JT has everything you could ask for in a QB except he is not an elite passer. Unfortunately for him that is what is needed to get that job in tne NFL. He didn’t set all those records being an average QB. It helped to have a very talented group around him. If he had finished the season out the way he finished the Penn State game. He would have won the Heisman and gone down as one of the greatest QB’S ever to play college football.

  2. Let’s be honest…Urban is set on Haskins…a leopard doesn’t change its spots. Joe Burrow would be better off transferring and playing where his talents will be appreciated! OSU does have another QB who was a preferred walk-on by the name of Kory Curtis….could you at least mention him? Kory is a great young man and he had some very good numbers in high school (though i really he may never get to play in a game.
    Everyone has raved about what Haskins did against the team up north cannot be denied but Joe Burrow could have done as well if not better! It will be a shame if this so called competition turns out to be a farce.

    1. Joe COULD have done the same, he COULD have done better or he COULD have done far worse and lost us the game. That game COULD have been too big for him, you just don’t know. Here’s what we do know… Haskin DID perform well on that stage and did so as cool as a cucumber looking the entire time like he belonged there. And he DID win THE GAME. Meyer’s biggest knock against Haskins has been his lack of experience, well I’d say that if that is the metric he’s using for readiness then Haskins has it in spades by comparison to the rest of the QB room.

  3. Replacing JT’s read option skills is next to impossible. Nope, Tate Martell is NOT at that level. Nor is he close to JT Barrett’s ability to lead.

    Saying that. It won’t take much to improve the passing options for this offense.

    Records schmeckers. 5 yards tosses and athletes boosting his passing numbers, and eliminatation of the power run game inside the red zone to boost JT’s passing TD numbers. Sorry, but those passing records are sand out in the sunshine that were held together with bailing wire and duct tape.

  4. I think that Barrett’s “performance” slipped this past season because they tried to turn him and the offense into something that it wasn’t. Forcing the pass. We were a run first team in 2014. Power, QB read, QB counter, things that we ran with Braxton. That opens up the pass! Barrett was an amazing runner and could also put the ball on the money off of play action. Same thing goes with receivers getting open. I hope burrow wins the job. Get that running game going and don’t come out in 5 wide on first down.

  5. The question is not how we replace J.T. Barrett… the question is will we replace the QB Power Dive as our base play. That can’t be your bread and butter play if you want to win a N.C. Thank goodness we got away from it in time in 2014 to grab that National Title…because had we gone into the Alabama game with that QB Power Dive crap we don’t win that title.

  6. OSU will name a qb starter after fall practice. Thank you for that brilliance.

    1. That’s actually not what I said. Almost close tho.

  7. No problem. Barrett had many wonderful qualities, but left tons of TD’s on the field by overthrowing, underthrowing of flat out missing wide open receivers. Haskins and Burrow are both much more accurate passers and both can run too.
    And in another year or so, Tate will be ready.

  8. Wise words, while we OSU fans lamented his poor passing, he did produce at a very high level, we just wanted elite, like a BCS title. He set the B1G record that lasted nearly 20 years under the All NFL pro Drew Brees, so no, he’s not easily replaceable. While his arm didn’t win tons of game, his leadership and legs did, see OSU vs. MI in 2016! We Buckeye fans also have to learn not to get to giddy after the Spring game, our passing O looked great in that game, but against real teams like OK, MI, even USC and others it didn’t so much. In other words just because she smiled at you in history class doesn’t mean she wants to go to prom with you. OSU does have a good problem, these are all very capable QB’s with plenty of stars and very fine coaches!

    1. Dave Richards was the sort of reply I expected in the comments. Thanks for restoring my faith in tOSU fans, Kurt.
      J.T. missed throws. So has Tom Brady. J.T. also had receivers drop easy TDs and chain-movers and never complained. He got levelled with no chance because his OL let him down. Never once pointed the finger anywhere but himself.
      The kid was class and a winner and whatever we get with the coming QBs there’s just no guarantees of even close to what Barrett produced. Let’s enjoy the ride and be grateful for what we had while we’re anticipating what we MIGHT get.

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