Ohio State, a place where dual-threat Quarterbacks have thrived, particularly under the leadership of Urban Meyer.
J.T. Barrett, Braxton Miller, Terrelle Pryor and even Troy Smith possessed the athleticism to threaten defenses with their legs under Meyer, Jim Tressel, and Luke Fickell.
Conversely, all of the previous Quarterback “eras” also had more traditional pocket passers as back-ups. Most recent being Cardale Jones for J.T. Barrett. But Braxton Miller had Joe Bauserman, Terrelle Pryor had Todd Boeckman, and Troy Smith had Justin Zwick.
With the Read Option being the staple of the Ohio State offense, pocket passers have not always been afforded the opportunity to thrive in the past 15 years. One could argue that some of the more frustrating losses over those past 15 years have been with a traditional Quarterback behind Center.
Only the “Thrillogy” (books still available) of Cardale Jones and Troy Smith’s Heisman season of 2006 saw the Buckeyes be an offensive juggernaut with a pocket passer.
Which brings us to the present day.
Battling with pocket passer Dwayne Haskins, Joe Burrow entered Spring practice with an equal opportunity at winning the starting quarterback job, and after an impressive Spring Game has made the impending decision that much more difficult for the coaching staff.
Burrow showed the ability to carry out the offense Buckeye fans have come to know best following the run of J.T. Barrett. His ability to run puts the defense a half step behind as it accounts for the legitimate option of a Quarterback run.
Burrow also showed excellent poise when the pocket got messy and was able to maintain good mechanics to deliver an accurate throw. The calmness he possesses in the pocket allows him to manipulate the defenders to make up for his lack of comparative arm strength to that of Dwayne Haskins.
With the departure of leadership from J.T. Barrett, Joe Burrow has shown the ability to be a leader of men as well as the ability to maintain a level of calmness when on the field. Urban Meyer has proven to be a creature of habit, yet also reward the hard work and time spent in the program by his veteran players.
In the breakdown below, Joe Burrow displays the key traits worthy of the starting position as well as a sense of familiarity to Urban Meyer, and history has proven this to be the most effective way towards winning football games.