Countdown To THE GAME 2015

Saturday, March 7, 2015

2015 Ohio State Spring Football Questions: Will It Be “Three’s Company” Or “Three’s A Crowd” At QB?

Beginning March 10th, Ohio State will have fifteen spring football practices before the conclusion of spring practice on April 18th in Ohio Stadium. Over the next few weeks, I will rank the top ten questions facing Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer and his coaching staff as the Buckeyes retake the football field after concluding the 2014 season as the national champions.

These articles will be submitted from areas of lowest concern to highest concern. While Ohio State returns the overwhelming majority of its 2014 team, and welcomes in a highly-touted recruiting class, it will be important for Coach Meyer to convey to his team that complacency within the player ranks could derail any hopes of the Buckeyes repeating as national champions in 2015.

9. Quarterback

Key Players/Contributors Lost: None

Key Players/Contributors Returning For 2015: All. Braxton Miller (Redshirt Senior), Cardale Jones (Redshirt Junior), J.T. Barrett (Redshirt Sophomore), Stephen Collier (Redshirt Freshman).

Let’s review from August 2014 to now, shall we?



All was seemingly lost for Ohio State at that point.  While Ohio State fans hoped for the best, many prepared themselves for the possibility that Ohio State would not be able to survive the loss of Miller at quarterback and still qualify for the inaugural College Football Playoff.

Then J.T. Barrett emerged.  After a disastrous game at home versus Virginia Tech, Barrett regrouped and emerged as a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate in his own right, setting numerous records before being lost for the season in THE GAME versus That Team Up North.




I seem to recall some joker posting something about Cardale Jones, even before the diagnosis had been revealed about the extent of Barrett's injury...




Heading into The B1G Championship game versus Wisconsin, Fox Sports' Gus Johnson summed up what all Buckeye fans were feeling about the newly-designated starter at quarterback...



Needless to say, I'm not going to bore you with how it all turned out.  Well, maybe I will give you this little clip that I have personally decided is among my favorite...



After the national championship, many people, including myself, expected Cardale Jones to declare for the 2015 NFL Draft.  With no guarantees to start for Ohio State in 2015, and the possibility of a lucrative financial future, Jones stepped up to the podium in the gymnasium at Cleveland Glenville and made the following announcement...



And in the bitter cold on January 24th, 2015, while in Ohio Stadium to honor the 2014 national champions, could there have been a better moment to summarize how blessed Ohio State fans were in 2014, and possibly will be, in 2015?



Getting down to business, here is how the quarterback position will probably be handled this spring ~

Braxton Miller, while coming along in his recovery, will be handled with caution by both Ohio State's medical staff, as well as coaching staff, this spring.  Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer stated the same recently in an interview with 97.1 The Fan's Anthony Rothman...




J.T. Barrett will also be somewhat limited in his spring football participation.  While Barrett is no longer on crutches, as he was during the national championship celebration on January 24th, will need to be cautious as well this spring...




With those concerns being publicly stated, this results in Cardale Jones having the opportunity to run with the first team offense for fifteen practices.  With new quarterbacks coach/co-offensive coordinator Tim Beck on staff this spring, Jones will have the best chance to cement his role as the starter before Barrett or Miller are fully healthy.

Where does this place Stephen Collier, last year's scout team quarterback? 

Look for Collier to be provided ample opportunities to play this spring, with both Miller and Barrett limited.  It would not be a shock to see Collier play substantially in the spring game on April 18th.  With newly-signed Torrance Gibson and Joe Burrow arriving this summer, Collier will want to take advantage of any and every chance to impress the coaching staff this spring.

There are always exceptions to every rule.  The old football axiom that "if you have two quarterbacks, that means you don't have one" was shattered by the performances over the last few seasons by Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett, and Cardale Jones.  Will the three quarterbacks prove to Ohio State fans that the quarterback situation at Ohio State is more "Three's Company" than "Three's A Crowd"?  That question will possibly not be answered until fall camp, so it may be raised as a priority in my mind by that time.  Even so, I am guessing Coach Meyer, Coach Beck, and all of the coaches and players at Ohio State will be reassured knowing they have three dynamite players at the most crucial position on the football field.





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