The Ballad Of Burt And Chug: Ohio State Quarterback Nicknames

Matthew Baldwin, Justin Fields Ohio State Football Buckeyes Quarterbacks

Can you name every Ohio State scholarship quarterback since 2015? Everyone remembers J.T. Barrett, of course. But what about John, Ross, and Chuck?

Yes, those were all names of quarterbacks for the Buckeyes. One now plays for LSU, another led the team to a Rose Bowl championship, and the third is at Miami.

You might remember them as Joe Burrow, Dwayne Haskins, Tate Martell, but inside the walls of the Ohio State quarterback room, they had different names.

The tradition started in 2015 when Burrow arrived in Columbus. Barrett, whose full name is Joe Thomas Barrett, was coming off a standout redshirt freshman season. And he wasn’t thrilled about another Joe, in this case Burrow, joining the room. So he just started calling the new guy “John” instead and the nickname stuck.

The following year, Haskins arrived and was christened “Ross” because in Burrow’s mind it was the worst name he could think of.

“Chuck” was Martell’s nickname, courtesy of strength coach Mickey Marotti.

Former walk-on Kory Curtis was “Beef.”

When Baldwin arrived in 2018, he was called “Burt.” Why?

“I didn’t get it either,” he said last year. “I can’t wait until I’m the old guy giving the young guys names. But I can’t call any other QBs by their nickname. I have to say their actual name, but I’m Burt to everyone.”

So now with Burrow, Haskins, Martell, and Curtis all gone, Baldwin has been part of the quarterback room longer than anyone else. But some things haven’t changed.

“I’m still Burt,” he said Friday. “Joe (Burrow) would want me to keep that up.”

So when do Justin Fields, Chris Chugunov, and Daniel Vanatsky get their nicknames?

“I think that’s a great idea. We should come up with a name for Justin. And I guess we’ve got to do Chris and Danny too. Wow – we’ve got some work to do,” he said.

It might be less work than Baldwin thinks, since Chugunov’s last name lends itself to a nickname that’s basically impossible to top. That’s why he didn’t get a nickname last fall.

“I think for me it just stuck with Chugs,” Chugunov said.