Reader Mail: What Happens When Joe Burrow is Named the Starter?

Joe Burrow Ohio State Football Buckeyes Buckeye Football

I haven’t done a mailbag in a while, but every few days I still get interesting topics sent to me from inquiring minds. Many of them are about the quarterbacks, and most of them read something like the one I’ve included below.

I’ve been caught up in this whole inking in of Dwayne Haskins as the starter like everyone else, but has anyone given any thought to what happens when Joe B wins this damn thing?

I watched the spring game and saw what you saw, a glorified 7-on-7 drill. But I also saw command, leadership, and better intangibles that fit this offensive system. Not that Haskins doesn’t have those things, but I just see a man in Burrow who has a little extra. Whether it be because the hourglass is running out or what ever it may be. Just my observation from SEC/ACC country.

I suppose my question is, if Burrow wins, does Haskins transfer out? I just can’t see him waiting his turn either. Burrow strikes me more in the mold of J.T., where even if he lights it up this year I can’t see him having very high draft stock after 1 year of starting experience. Whereas Haskins has that NFL look and cannon and could probably go after one year. — Ryan in South Carolina

We have discussed this topic on Accost the Field a couple of times, and my personal opinion is that I wouldn’t expect Dwayne Haskins to leave if Joe Burrow is named the starter.

For one, the job truly won’t be won until fall camp, so any proclaimed starter right now is just going to be a placeholder until the real competition begins in August.

For two, if Burrow has been named the starter, I don’t see Haskins opting to transfer now and sit out the season somewhere else. How often has the starting quarterback made it through a season unscathed for the Buckeyes over the years? Even under Jim Tressel, in five of his 10 years at OSU, two different Buckeye quarterbacks started games.

Under Urban Meyer, the Buckeyes have had to rely on the backup in three of his six years, and that’s not even counting Haskins coming into the Michigan game last year.

The reason Joe Burrow is seen as a transfer possibility is because his window is closing and he doesn’t have to sit out an entire season. Dwayne Haskins, however, is just opening his window, so it would be odd for him to leave at the first sign of a struggle.

Getting back to the first point — even if a starter was named following spring practice, the only thing that means come fall camp is that they get the very first rep. After that, the job is once again up for grabs.

The other thing to keep in mind is that Haskins operated all spring as if the starting job was his, and now as they reach the summer offseason, he will continue that mindset, organizing workouts with teammates. Would Urban Meyer telling him that Burrow is currently in the lead derail that thought process and send him spiraling into the arms of another program? I doubt it. If the Buckeyes recruited the guy they thought they did, it would only drive him to work harder.

Remember, OSU recruits competitors at quarterback first and foremost. Why would that competitive nature now not come out and drive Haskins to become good enough to win the job in the fall?

Yes, quarterback is different than any other position in sports, and so the transfer rate is higher, but I don’t see Haskins going anywhere just yet. The timing just doesn’t work.

If Burrow wins the job in the fall, then Haskins can take his rightful position as the most popular player on the team. I’m also not convinced that Burrow wouldn’t be able to leave for the NFL after the 2018 season. As a graduate, he may want to move on to the next phase of his football life. And if he closes the season in a strong manner, he may want to strike while the iron is hot.

If he doesn’t leave early, you now have the same situation in 2019 that you did in 2018 — Joe Burrow vs. Dwayne Haskins. Except at this point, there is no reason for Haskins to transfer because unless he graduates one year from now, he wouldn’t be eligible to play until 2020, which is also when he would take over for the departed Burrow.

If he does graduate one year from now, the question then becomes would he rather transfer out and play somewhere else for two seasons, or stay patient and start for one season at the place he’s always wanted to be?

Joe Burrow was faced with that same situation this spring. Ultimately, however, I don’t think Dwayne Haskins is going anywhere.

But I do think whoever wins the job this year will have an NFL decision to make, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see two different quarterbacks starting for the Buckeyes in 2018 and 2019.

And then in 2020 we can all begin the Tate Martell for Heisman talk. (Actually, let’s just go ahead and start that now.)


10 Responses

  1. It seems that you have clearly been stumping for Haskins, whereas I don’t see him as the job being his to lose. Would not surprise me in the least to see Burrow win the job… actually I rate it as maybe 60/40 toward Burrow if I was a betting man. The other thing to consider here is if Martell doesn’t see himself in the picture until 2020, is he a transfer risk?

    1. Fwiw, I’m not stumping for anybody. I’ve had both sides accuse me of it, so I must be toeing the middle pretty well. 🙂

      1. O think you’ve done a good job of delivering pretty beneficial articles on the subject of who wins the QB derby. I’ve actually gotten more of a lean from certain players leaning one way or the other. I still don’t think that it makes any difference who wins the job between Joe and Dwayne. They’re both terrific. My leaning is to Joe based on limited inside info and what we have been able to see of them. We’ll see who the Staff ultimately goes with on opening day, and I’m STILL not the slightest bit concerned about who that is. My eyes are on the offensive line.

  2. Much ado about nothing. Joe Burrow won the starting position. He was the best quarterback on the roster last year, and throughout this offseason he has simply pulled away. The Spring game was simply an exclamation point. Didn’t matter what personnel was on the field with the quarterbacks, Joe Burrow executed efficiently and clearly better.

    Never since Joe has been on Campus has he been anything short of a strong leader. Obviously he has excelled in the classroom, the community and in every instance where he been given the opportunity in mop up time. This Spring is just a reminder of how good this young man can play the game.

    That’s not disparaging the guys behind him. They are both terrific and also dedicated. They’ll get to compete for the 19-20 season as has been mentioned. They both also know that Joe won the starting job.

  3. Meyer has said repeatedly that the position battles are in the spring. Fall is for preperation. I think the position battle is over. Meyer may pay lip service to “competition” but the depth chart is solidified at the end of spring barring injury.

    Maybe he platoons both QBs? He has done it before at Florida. Thing is he has promised Burrow to be straight with him due to his situation. So my thinking is if Burrow hasn’t transferred out by fall then he is the starter.

    If Haskins doesn’t win the job, I think he is gone.

    1. You still have to keep the job in the fall. If you don’t practice at the same rate or better, why would he not move somebody up or down?

      1. I understand you. And you may be right. I just remember Meyer saying this. Perhaps the thing to watch is which one is getting time with the 1s.

        1. He absolutely has said that, but if a guy tanks fall camp, he’s not going to start.

  4. 1. I’m not about to ink in Dwayne as starter, I never was in that queue.
    2. Your lead question: “What Happens When Joe Burrow is Named the Starter?” With the probable (highly likely) dynamics of the offense this year…Joe waxes the opposition early and sits then we get a pre-spring ’19 debut of Dwayne taking over for the 19-20 season.
    3. I think Joe scoots after this year…yes I believe he is that good.
    4. The only one going anywhere if my scenario plays out is maybe Tate. But I think that’s unlikely.
    5. The quality of maturity just isn’t there for either Dwayne or Tate, however, I can see both with playing time this fall.

    Do you really want Tate to win the Heisman at the other school he attends?

  5. You mention JB leaving after a successful season. I would anticipate that, just as I anticipate this team going into the playoffs regardless of WHO starts. With degree in hand, and a ticket to a high selection in the draft and instant millionaire status, why risk another season in CFB as others have in the past? (A.J. Hawk)
    For that reason alone, I can’t see DH transferring out if he ends up as #2.

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