Thursday May 28th, 2020 4:49PM

Is J.T. Barrett the best QB to ever play at Ohio State?

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — J.T. Barrett helped bring Ohio State a national championship but has heard hysterical fans demanding he be benched. He has broken nearly every school passing and scoring record but isn't considered a top NFL prospect.

The quarterback who plays his final regular-season game on Saturday against Michigan is more driven than naturally talented, more analytical than emotional, more pragmatic than go-for-broke. He has struggled with accuracy and his arm strength is mediocre.

But he's undeniably a winner.

He's 35-6 as a starter at Ohio State and holds 35 school and Big Ten records. If he beats the Wolverines again, which has to happen for the No. 8 Buckeyes to have any shot at getting back to the playoffs, he will tie Art Schlichter for most quarterback wins in school history.

Barrett passed four-year starter Schlichter this season in career passing yards, and also holds school records for passing yards per game, completions, completion percentage, touchdown passes, touchdowns responsible for, and total offense. He's second only to Heisman winner Troy Smith in career passing efficiency (157.1 to 153.7).

But it's not all about the numbers.

"He's one of the best leaders I've ever been around," Ohio State senior tackle Jamarco Jones said. "He's also one of the most competitive people I've ever been around. He just wants to win, and he's going to do whatever it takes to win, and that's something that everybody feeds off of."

His coach, Urban Meyer, says part of that makes Barrett exceptional is a desire to win that exceeds physical limitations or ego.

I love J.T.," Meyer said. "J.T. is a member of the Meyer family and the Buckeye family for the rest of his life."

Yet Ohio State fans haven't appreciated him as much at times.

Maybe because he was sitting out with a broken ankle when the Buckeyes won the national championship in 2014. Or maybe because he hasn't managed to be quite as good as that first year. Or maybe because he's been there so long. Barrett is a four-year starter in a sport where the brightest stars rarely stick around.

He acknowledged as much during spring practice this year, saying he understood the fascination over newcomer Tate Martell, a flashy freshman quarterback popular on social media.

"We live in an era," Barrett said, "when everybody wants something new and something fresh."

Barrett, from Wichita Falls, Texas, was barely on Meyer's radar coming out of high school. Nobody from Ohio State had even seen him play in person before he committed.

After redshirting a year, Barrett began 2014 camp as the backup to Braxton Miller, who had been the Big Ten Player of the Year. But a shoulder injury to Miller thrust Barrett into the starting role and stardom. He went 11-1 as the starting quarterback, compiling a school-record 3,772 total yards before getting hurt.

Barrett broke his right ankle in the fourth quarter of the final regular season game against Michigan. He was on the sideline in a cast as his rifle-armed backup, Cardale Jones , stepped in for three games and led Ohio State to a title.

Jones won the starting job before the 2015 season but Barrett eventually was reinstalled, missing a game on suspension after being arrested for drunken driving. Barrett was better in 2016, but passing problems swallowed the Buckeyes in the playoffs against Clemson. Fans started chattering about giving one of the backups a chance to QB in 2017.

That talk continued when the Buckeyes lost to Oklahoma, then were surprisingly blown out at Iowa Nov. 4. Barrett was terrible in both games.

Now the door to the playoffs has been cracked open a bit again, and Meyer will count on Barrett to beat Michigan and then take down No. 5 Wisconsin next week in the Big Ten Championship. If those things happen, there is a slight chance the Buckeyes could end up back in the playoffs.

"Everybody's path is a little different," Barrett said. "There are things along the way I didn't expect, (but) God knew what was happening. And I think those things positive or negative, I was able to grow from them. And I think at the end of the day, I'm a better person for things I went through."

Barrett hesitates to talk about his legacy. Maybe there will be time to think about that when it's all over. But the story is still being written.

"I think I've done some good things here," he said. "Who knows?"


More AP college football at and


Follow Mitch Stacy at

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, College Sports, AP Sports - College Football
© Copyright 2020
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
CBS News and PBS cut ties to Rose following sex allegations
CBS News fires Charlie Rose after several women accused him of sexual misconduct
2:48PM ( 3 minutes ago )
'Call Me By Your Name' leads Indie Spirit Award nominations
The romantic coming-of-age film "Call Me By Your Name" has a leading six Film Independent Spirit Award nominations, followed by Jordan Peele's satirical horror "Get Out" and the Robert Pattinson thriller "Good Time" which both picked up five nominations
2:46PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Lebanon's Hariri in Egypt amid resignation crisis at home
Lebanese PM Hariri in talks with Egypt's president before heading home to deal with crisis over his resignation
2:31PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
No. 2 Arizona, No. 5 Villanova top Battle 4 Atlantis field
Second-ranked Arizona and fifth-ranked Villanova could be a marquee early season matchup in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas
1:15PM ( 1 hour ago )
Gordon back from suspension, set to practice with Browns
Gordon set to practice with Browns following NFL suspensions
11:56AM ( 2 hours ago )
US home sales rose in October as hurricane impact wanes
US home sales rose last month as hurricane impact rapidly fades; supply falls to record October low
10:02AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Sports
Ex-NFL receiver Terry Glenn dead after Dallas-area wreck
Officials say former Cowboys receiver Terry Glenn has died following a one-vehicle rollover traffic accident near Dallas that left his fiancée injured
2:40AM ( 12 hours ago )
Oklahoma QB Mayfield won't start home finale after gesture
Oklahoma QB Mayfield won't start his final regular season game after making lewd gesture against Kansas
9:34PM ( 17 hours ago )
Saints' season starting to resemble 2009 title run
Saints tight end Josh Hill says it's been "surreal" to play for New Orleans lately
9:25PM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Online Football
LaVar Ball questions Trump's role in son's release
LaVar Ball questions Trump's involvement in son's release, again declines to thank president
5:20AM ( 9 hours ago )
Phil Knight's tourney draws top-10 teams to Oregon this week
Phil Knight is bringing some of the nation's best teams to Oregon this week for a tournament to help the Nike founder celebrate his 80th birthday
2:36AM ( 12 hours ago )
Duncan, Stockton headline college hoops Hall of Fame class
Tim Duncan and John Stockton, who became stars in college and icons in the NBA, headline the 2017 class that was inducted into the Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame
7:11PM ( 19 hours ago )
College Sports
AP Top 25 Heat Check: Status quo before final playoff push
Almost nothing changed in The Associated Press college football poll this weekend
2:50AM ( 1 day ago )
UCLA fires football coach Jim Mora late in 6th season
UCLA has fired football coach Jim Mora after he compiled a 46-30 record in six seasons with the Bruins
5:48PM ( 1 day ago )
UCLA fires coach Jim Mora after 4th straight loss to USC
UCLA has fired football coach Jim Mora after he compiled a 46-30 record in six seasons with the Bruins
2:33PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - College Football
Lebanon's Hariri in Egypt amid resignation crisis at home
Lebanese PM Hariri in talks with Egypt's president before heading home to deal with crisis over his resignation
2:31PM ( 21 minutes ago )
The Latest: PBS cuts ties with Rose after misconduct claims
The Latest: Following CBS News by an hour, PBS cuts ties with interview show host Charlie Rose after several women accused him of sexual misconduct
2:16PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Trump and Putin speak by phone about Syria, other hot spots
President Donald Trump has spoken by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin for more than an hour
2:07PM ( 45 minutes ago )
The Latest: US slaps new sanctions on NKorean, Chinese firms
The United States has slapped sanctions on four Chinese trading companies and a Chinese national said to have conducted hundreds of millions of dollars in business with North Korea
2:07PM ( 45 minutes ago )
Lawyer: Ex-student charged in body fluids case isn't racist
The lawyer for a former Connecticut college student accused of smearing body fluids on her roommate's belongings says he doesn't expect authorities to file hate crime charges
1:57PM ( 54 minutes ago )