What If No Starter Is Named? Joe Burrow Isn’t Sure

Joe Burrow 2018 Spring Game Ohio State Football Buckeyes

After Ohio State’s spring game, quarterback Joe Burrow was peppered with what-if scenarios. Reporters were trying to get a feel for any slight direction he could be leaning.

As a soon-to-be Ohio State graduate, Burrow has options that most players do not have. He can leave OSU following graduation and be eligible to play somewhere else this season.

Since the Big Ten Championship Game last December, Burrow has stated that he would have a decision to make following spring football. He wants to be the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback. If that can’t happen, however, then he wants to be a starting quarterback somewhere.

Just as third-year running back Antonio Williams announced his intentions to transfer in order to find playing time, Burrow could do the same if he’s not comfortable with his standing.

Earlier in the spring, Urban Meyer said that he hoped to have a decision at the quarterback position for both the team’s benefit and Burrow’s benefit. As of last week, however, no decision had been made by Meyer or his offensive coordinators.

With his options open, the question arises whether he would have to be named the starter or simply have nobody named the starter yet.

“That would be a discussion in the meetings that we have,” Burrow said. “I’m not sure yet. Again, I’m happy with how I played and I’m happy with how the situation was handled this spring.”

And what happens if no decision can be made because things are too close to call?

“I would have to have conversations with my family and still my coaches and my friends that I’m close to and I would have to make a decision,” he said.

Burrow — and fellow quarterbacks Dwayne Haskins and Tate Martell — made the most of the competition this spring. He believes it has made him a better quarterback having gone through such a hotly-contested spring camp.

“Absolutely it has,” he said. “It’s really been tough on us to stay close as friends and as quarterbacks. I think I’ve grown as a person. I definitely think that the competition has brought out the best in me as a player.”

Burrow isn’t the only one who has seen his growth as a quarterback.

“Joe has gone from — he has to be one of the most improved quarterbacks as far as delivery speed and arm,” Meyer said. “He’s always been a very smart, tough guy and a very good leader, but his improvement is very notable over the last, really couple of years. That started a couple years ago. You see the ball coming out much faster.”

The increase in arm strength certainly helps in a competition against somebody like Haskins. Burrow has closed the gap in that regard, and he believes his leadership, intangibles, and toughness may ultimately separate him in this competition.

“I think if they were to go with me, that would be the area that put me over the top,” he said. “Obviously, Dwayne has an arm that you don’t see a lot. I have a pretty darn good arm too, but I think my leadership and my intangibles really came alive this spring.”

Transfer talk surrounded Burrow before he acknowledged the possibilities last December. He has heard it for years. He is hoping to prove each of his doubters wrong. He understands, however, that only one quarterback is going to play, and the decision is not going to be easy.

“I’ve heard for three years that I’m never gonna play here and I’m going to end up transferring,” he said. “I’m ‘not good enough to play here.’ I just sit back and put my nose to the grindstone and work. That’s what I’ve done for three years and I think I’ve come a long way.

“But that’s the nature of the quarterback position. You can only have one guy play. You can be a really good quarterback and still sit on the bench.”


13 Responses

  1. Harbaugh needs a QB…..Needs to beat OSU…Burrows to TTUN…..Burrows knows the BIG10 and he goes to a major program and starts….gets recognition for NFL

  2. I will be surprised if both Burrow and Haskins stay. Based on what we’ve seen it’s too close to call between the two, but I think if both contemplated leaving Burrow would have more opportunities. I suspect Joe will play somewhere else, but I hope I’m wrong.

  3. Burrow is between a rock & a hard spot!! For the last couple years Meyer didn’t even know Burrow was on the team. But with his outstanding play of late Meyer has taken notice. How much, well see. Burrow will stay at OSU. He is not a quitter! There is a chance he starts. I have come over to Burrow, I think he is the better choice.

    1. He was the back up last year ahead of Haskins until he broke his hand. He knew who he was but, he couldn’t play

  4. I’m not sure I like the fact that he predetermined that he was going to leave if he didn’t start. Antonio Williams left but I think he did it the right way – stay poised, compete for a job, if you don’t get it and you feel the need to move on then do so without the added drama. I’m not sure if a running back, safety, O-Lineman, or any other position player could have gotten away with that and the coach basically agrees. It would be chaos if every 2nd – 4th year player determined they would bring the play me or I’m out option to the table. Thoughts?

    1. Burrow says he doesn’t know what he’s going to do.

  5. As seen in the recent past we need three QB’s…start Joe…he’s been there three years…

  6. If it was me making the decision I’d go with the more experienced of the two, Burrow. (Almost took the opportunity to pick Burrows) Even if it wasn’t as close as they are saying, I think it was always going to include the first 2 games as part of the competition.
    Could Burrow stay and battle it out into the fall and transfer next year, seeing how he has 2 years of eligibility left?
    I would be ok with either QB but Burrow is my personal favorite because he reminds me of a strongarmed Craig Krenzel and he looks more comfortable than Haskins. Meaning Haskins looks like a 50% completion QB at this time because of overconfidence in his arm. Burrow would pick up the 1st down on 3-4, while Haskins would go deep instead.

  7. It’s really pretty clear. There is no reason for Urby to make a decision. If he continues to let it play out the ball is in Joe’s court. If he stays, the battle goes on. If he leaves, the job is Haskin’s. That’s a shame for Burrow but the best way for the Buckeyes, especially if the two are as close as they appear to be. The real downside if either leaves is depth. Tate doesn’t appear to be quite ready yet, certainly not for a NC drive. But overall, this is still a pretty good situation to be in.

  8. Joe is definitely good enough to play here. It’s a shame that he probably won’t. I just get a shitty feeling about this whole situation. When Burrow was a sophomore and they were talking to Haskins it changed. He wasn’t even committed and everyone seemed to assume that he would swoop in and be some kind of Quarterback savior. Joe wasn’t even mentioned for months. I knew then that he probably should transfer.

  9. 12 Gage started 3 games and he could have been drafted pretty high had he left in 14. Be patient. Even if you are not declared a starter, you will play a lot. You will get your chance to showcase and you will show it at the highest level, in a system that is about to see an outstanding transformation. It will heavily feature the QB and passing, plus you have just enough wiggle to be dangerous. The NFL is not blind. You will get drafted high no matter what and you will not be warm down. They will also value your team spirit and your integrity and passion for your team, coaches, and fans. Above all, you will always be loved and highly regarded as a Buckeye! Not all success in life is measured by the millions, millions will still be at your reach within the buckeye family.

    1. Be patient, sit around and hope Haskins gets injured? Hell no. If Joey B. isn’t named the starter before June 1, its time to transfer, start, and get paid on Sundays. If Barrett hadn’t gone down 12 Gauge would have gone undrafted.

  10. I really hope he doesn’t transfer, but I wouldn’t blame him if he chose to. It’s hard to tell who is truly the better option between him and Haskins, as they both have their moments. Thank God I’m not Urban having to make this kind of decision.

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