COLUMBUS, Ohio – It’s not unlike what happened three years ago when an unheralded freshman earned the starting quarterback’s job at Ohio State after the sudden departure of a highly-touted veteran.
Then, the veteran was Terrelle Pryor and the freshman was Braxton Miller, who went on to become a a two-time Big Ten player of the year and Heisman Trophy candidate.
Now, it’s Miller who is the upperclassman and the newcomer is J.T. Barrett (left), who will take over as the starting Buckeye quarterback after an injury sidelined Miller for the season.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer announced on Saturday that Barrett, a redshirt freshman, had moved ahead of sophomore Cardale Jones to the No. 2 spot on the quarterback depth chart. Miller’s injury has vaulted into the starting job less than two weeks before the saeason opener.
Coming out of Rider High School in Wichita Falls, Texas, the 6’1”, 225-pound Barrett was rated as the No. 11 prospect in Texas and a top 150 player by multiple scouting services.
Barrett rushed for 569 yards with seven touchdowns and passed for 784 yards and five TD’s before a knee injury cut his senior season short.
He rushed for over 1,500 yards with nine touchdowns and passed for over 1,600 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior.
Analysts say Barrett, like Miller, is a legitimate dual threat though some oservers say he lacks the arm strength of either Miller or Jones.
Miller left practice in pain Monday after making a throw and the university confirmed Tuesday that he will require surgery.
It’s a huge blow to the nation’s No. 5 team, which already has several major holes to fill on offense.
The senior and three-year starter partially tore the labrum in his right shoulder in a loss to Clemson at the Orange Bowl. He had surgery, did not face contact in spring practice and was held out of several practices this month due to soreness.