Leaders Emerging in the Ohio State Quarterback Race?

Ohio State Football Buckeyes Dwayne Haskins Joe Burrow


The Ohio State offense lost a massive amount lot of leadership from last season. Guys like J.T. Barrett, Billy Price, and Jamarco Jones have moved on, and the lessons they have learned have moved on with them.

Replacing Barrett at quarterback won’t just be about who throws the ball the best. Every player competing to replace him knows that it will come down to being the kind of leader that everyone can count on.

“I think the big thing for all of us is leadership,” said fourth-year junior Joe Burrow. “I think the best leader is going to win the job. Obviously, J.T. was the leader of the team last year and somebody is going to have to step up.”

Being around Barrett more than any of the other quarterbacks on this year’s team, Burrow has learned from the best. However, redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins has made it clear that he has taken on a leadership role with the team as well. Even though he doesn’t know if he will be the starter this season, Haskins has set out to make this offense his own.

“I think I do a great job at involving all of my teammates and I’m pretty close with everybody including the offensive line, tight ends, running backs, and wide receivers,” he said. “I feel like being a leader you have to have a relationship with your teammates and if you disconnect with them they’re not going to want to follow you.”

Forming those relationships with teammates is always important. A quarterback can’t lead from a distance, after all. He needs to be connected with the entire offense. These relationships and extra effort by Haskins may not only help separate him from Burrow and freshman Tate Martell in the quarterback battle, but it could help the offense develop as a whole.

“How can I get this person better?” Haskins said. “How can I talk to the offensive line and give them something different that they haven’t experienced before?”

This effort to bond with his teammates is not just on the football field.

“He hangs out with me, all of the offensive line, plus all of the Zone 6 guys,” offensive lineman Thayer Munford said.

Even though Haskins is unsure if he has claimed the starting quarterback job, his leadership and relationship with the rest of the offense helps showcase his abilities. This offense needs a leader, and Haskins believes he can be that guy behind center leading the Buckeyes.

But Haskins is not the only one fighting to be the leader of the offense. His mentality, however, is to assume he is the guy until he is told otherwise.

For Burrow, balancing the mindset of trying to be a leader while still competing for the starting job is not that easy. His main goal is to win the battle, and he also knows great leadership is how that will happen.

“You’re all three fighting for it and you’re all three trying to be leaders at the same time,” Burrow said. “You have to find your niche and you have to find where you fit into the team and where your leadership role is.”


14 Responses

  1. Haskins Will go down as the best QB in OSU history with the numbers he posts the next two years. His arm strength , pocket presence, poise and accuracy and gunslinger mentality will put him in a class with Ben Roethlisberger from n NFL scouts POV. Haskins will be a top 15 pick!

    1. If he’s as good as you say, there may not be a second year.

    2. Then why did Cardale say Burrow was the most accurate?

  2. OSU does lose a ton of leadership as JTB exits as arguably the statistical leader of B1G QB’s. Meyer said that he just didn’t want a balanced O, but ‘THE THREAT’ of a balanced O that scared its opponents. That comes with the players that Urban believes brings the most fear and causes opposing D’s to prepare the most to always be concerned with both the run and the pass. I know that all three can run,the question is can they complete the intermediate and deep routes that causes D to fear and the pass which will open every phase of the running game. That’s what I believe Urban is looking for this Spring.

    1. Uh, I don’t “need” to do anything when the person giving the guidance is a clown (that means you Philbert). Any chance you can provide substance, or is a cartoon clip your best shot?

  3. Speaking of handing the ball off to our tailbacks, am I the only one who noticed a dramatic increase in Mike Weber’s speed last year? He seemed to have much faster straight line speed than the year before.

  4. From the little that we’re able to read directly from the three I see a lot of “team first” attitudes from 2 of the 3 candidates. Haskins has been quoted as saying he feels it’s his job, he’s preparing as if it’s his, etc. I’m starting to get some “me first” vibe from him, which is totally opposite of what the OSU culture has been in recent years. I get the competitive side of trying to claim the job but the “me first” players tend to be much less coach-able, lead to splits in the locker room and dissention on a team. Hope I’m wrong about Haskins but if he doesn’t win the job outright I would expect him to be gone.

    1. Steve, I’m beginning to have this sense also. The last one like that caused a ‘tattoo’ taboo and cost a whole season. I hope they get what is best for the entire team to dominate.

  5. Constantly leaning on JT to run the ball at crunch time was a crutch that was way too predictable. I know he was successful the majority of the time he ran but to me it was a play which took the ball out of the hands of the more dynamic playmakers. By last year due to injuries accumulated over his career I thought JT was just too slow to be running the ball as many times as he did. Sure he would get the 2 or 3 yards necessary but he wasn’t even close to a homerun threat anymore which made our offense too easy to defend at times. I know I’m not the head coach but to me let the RB’s run and let the QB’s throw. We’re recruiting way too much talent at RB to put them on the shelf in favor of running the QB. I just think that defenses have evolved too much in the college game to let a running QB dominate who isn’t a consistently effective passer.

  6. I had to go back and look at Urban’s history after his QB graduated. You can only really find one example when this happened, and it was after Tebow graduated. The year after, he started out with a pure passer… who struggled to lead Urban’s offense. Same basic thing we saw when Cardale was the QB in 2015. By the end of the year, he had a dual-QB situation going on with the passer and a runner… Not too unlike 2015, except he replaced Cardale with Barrett instead of splitting time. So I fully expect who ever wins the QB job to be benched at some point this year in favor for a running QB (basically Tate). Urban has never shown that he can curtail his read/option offense for a pure passer. Even when he had Leake, he still substituted Tebow in from time to time to run. I hope to god I’m wrong, but if history does repeat itself… the winner of this battle probably won’t matter… It’s Tate’s job.

  7. During the Spring media availability, the QB candidates are really hammering on the term “leader”. This is making me a bit itchy, as other coaching comments seem to downplay the physical necessities (like throwing a nice tight spiral?) for effective play, in favor of being a “leader”. I like all 3 of the QB candidates a lot, can’t wait to see who emerges. I am also hopeful that worthy backups get game reps, as it sounds like this year’s competition is very tight.
    Here’s a thought for those of you who have wondered mightily about the OSU coaching staff’s “collaborative” offensive play calling. Since these coaches keep pounding on how important it is for one QB to emerge as “the leader”, wouldn’t it be nice if one coach emerged as the TRUE play caller/”leader”? Regardless of who wins the starting QB job, I hope the game planning fits the skills of the players involved rather than insistence on a philosophy of some kind. In the end, QB choice won’t matter much if the game plan is nonresponsive.

    1. These are great points Longtime Fan. I would love to see one play caller. It would eliminate the problem of “communication” issues. I also hope they throw the ball to the tight ends this year(how many times can I write that comment) and hand the ball off to our incredibly talented tailbacks. This should be a really fun year to watch.

      1. Hi Pete- thanks for the kind words. Our “friends” at UM also use this committee play- calling philosophy and its killing them (I’d be willing to bet, in both cases, its the head coach forcing his plays onto coordinators who are objecting, but that’s speculation…) Totally agree regarding the tight end- why not throw it 5 yards to him? Even if he gets brought down, a 5 yard gainer is better than a 25 yard long lateral that defenses know is coming. And the RB comment is spot on. If a RB is averaging 7-10 yards per carry, why in the world even consider going away from him until the opponent stops him? I hope- and emphasis on the word hope- the play calls reflect the hottest players on a game by game basis, rather than an attempt to establish a philosophy. Time will tell…

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