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August 18, 2014

The Barrett File

Untitled Document

COLUMBUS, Ohio - There had been an uneasy feeling around Columbus (Ohio) as Braxton Miller never received a full green light for practice despite claiming he was 100-percent. On Monday night the greatest fears of Buckeyes fans were realized when reports came out that Miller re-injured his surgically repaired shoulder at practice and the prognosis was anything but good.

The next man up in J.T. Barrett, a quarterback who has not played a down of football in a contested game since the 2012 season when he was a prep player at Rider high school in Wichita Falls (Texas). Barrett lost most of his senior season of high school to a torn ACL and did not play in 2013, his true freshman season.

We have seen bits and pieces of Barrett through his time in Columbus and have limited tape from high school due to missing a high number of games as a senior but what does Barrett bring to the table as the Buckeyes appear ready to hand the keys to the car over to the redshirt freshman? We take a look at some of the things he does well and some of the thing that he needs to improve on.


What Barrett brings to the table
  • Barrett has shown an accurate arm during fall camp and most importantly, has displayed the ability to make quick decisions and then deliver the ball to the proper spot to allow his weapons to make plays. This is easier said than done when making the transition from practice to game situation but it's an excellent starting point for a player that will need to ease his way into this job.

  • Ideally in this offense you want a guy that can make plays with his legs and Barrett can certainly do that. While maybe not the gamebreaker that Miller is, Barrett has the athleticism to make defenses pay for not accounting for his legs. Whether it's bailing out the offensive line and scrambling for positive yardage or taking advantage of what the defense gives him, Barrett definitely fits the dual-threat bill.

  • Going all the way back to his time in high school, Barrett has been lauded for his intangibles. Barrett is a leader that commands the trust and respect of his huddle.
  • What losing Miller takes away
  • While Barrett has displayed an accurate arm during fall camp, he doesn't have quite the level of arm strength as Miller. He'll need to rely on his mental gifts first, where as Miller can sometimes make something out of nothing by using his arm to fit a throw into a tight window. Barrett will need to go the safer route and rely on making quick/correct reads.

  • Experience, experience, experience. Miller was entering his fourth year as a starter at Ohio State, while Barrett hasn't played a meaningful football game since the midway point of his senior season of high school. All of the positive practice reps in the world won't fully prepare him for when things go live in two weeks.

  • With what would appear to be a new starting quarterback for the season opener, everyone else must now bear a little bit more of the burden from the skill players, to the offensive line, and perhaps even more importantly, the defense. Barrett will not be asked to do as much as Miller has done for Ohio State over the past three years and that will mean that everyone must now accelerate their own learning curve, not just the redshirt freshman quarterback.


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