In the competition to find Ohio State’s starting quarterback, Urban Meyer and his coaching staff have charted all they’re going to chart this offseason. Now comes the tallying.
Every seven-on-seven, every read, every scrimmage, it’s all going to be part of the stream of data that will be analyzed.
Saturday’s spring game was the final opportunity for Dwayne Haskins and Joe Burrow to add to that data. The intention was either to clarify their status as the team’s best option, or muddy the waters on a decision that wasn’t headed in their direction.
On the afternoon, Haskins completed 9-of-19 passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Burrow, meanwhile, completed 15 of his 22 pass attempts for 238 yards and two touchdowns. Even though the day may have gone to Burrow, it was just one piece of a four-month puzzle.
Overall, Haskins believes he has shown the coaches enough for them to know all they need to know.
“I feel like I’ve done enough, but enough is never enough, you’ve got to keep going,” he said. “So I’m going to keep pushing myself and pushing my teammates.”
Being the kind of leader who gets the most out of his teammates is a surefire way to get the coaches’ attention, and that has been something Haskins has worked on all offseason long.
“I feel like I’m doing a great job of being a leader and having a great demeanor and having energy,” he said. “I’m a laid-back type of guy, but for Coach Meyer, the biggest thing is competitiveness. I feel like I’ve done a great job showing that this spring.”
Urban Meyer wants competitors because championships aren’t won without them. Every player on the roster is measured in wins and losses, and Meyer is looking for a quarterback with an outstanding record. When you consider what the ultimate goal is for Ohio State every year, having a quarterback that refuses to lose is the only way to win a title.
If Dwayne Haskins or Joe Burrow can be that guy for Meyer, then there is little doubt who will win the job.
Haskins thinks he’s ready to be the guy, or at least he will be when the time comes.
“I feel like I’m ready, but I’m not ready yet. It takes time,” he said. “You have to go through fall camp and keep building our relationships and building our team. It takes time to get there. It’s a journey more than a race. So we’re just working every day to get to that point. We all have high goals and expectations. We want to be there at the end of the day, but it’s going to take some time to get there.”
A Glorious End?
Saturday’s spring game was the end of the Ohio State quarterback battle. Burrow said afterward that now he can relax a little bit and wait for a decision to be made. Just as a student can sleep easy the night before a test that they have long-prepared for, Haskins and Burrow are comfortable with what they have shown.
Every day since winter workouts has been leading to the day when there was nothing left to show. And everywhere Burrow or Haskins go, the competition has been brought up. If the battle hasn’t grown old, you would at least think the conversation has. Haskins doesn’t mind, though, because it’s just a reminder that he still has more work to do.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m tired, but I’m going to keep doing what I have to do until it’s no longer a question,” he said.
After a winter of workouts and 15 spring practices, Haskins believes he should be the starting quarterback. That is exactly the attitude that Meyer wants from each of his quarterbacks, and Haskins knows it. That’s why even though all of the data is now in, Haskins has no plan to stop proving himself to his coaches and teammates.
“Everybody has a right to feel that way,” he said. “I feel like I should be the guy, but I’m going to keep doing so until it’s proven.”