Why OSU'S J.T. Barrett Will Have More Success Than Michigan's Shane Morris
As if the Michigan-Ohio State football rivalry wasn't intriguing enough over the last few years, with two new head coaches (Urban Meyer and Brady Hoke) reeling in top-notch recruits in the 2013 class, it is only intensifying and becoming more and more interesting.
The two powerhouse programs seemed to be headed in different directions last season, as Ohio State had its worst season in seven years and Michigan had its best season in five years.
Nevertheless, Ohio State was still just a couple of overthrown balls away from upsetting the Wolverines in Ann Arbor thanks to the excellent quarterback play of freshman Braxton Miller
In the discussion of quarterbacks, in their 2013 classes, both programs received verbal commitments from some pretty good signal-callers in Shane Morris (Michigan) and J.T. Barrett (Ohio State). Morris is the 37th-ranked overall recruit in the country according to ESPN, while Barrett isn't even in the top 150.
However, have the experts got it all wrong?
Morris has already talked the talk, claiming he would go 4-0 against Ohio State in his career at Michigan. However, who has a better chance to walk the walk?
Here are five reasons why J.T. Barrett will have more success in his college football career than Shane Morris.
5. Arm Strength
As we know, having the ability to throw the deep ball is essential to the success of a quarterback. While Shane Morris is considered to be more of a pocket passer, Barrett has more of a cannon on him and he has pinpoint accuracy when he locks in on his target deep downfield.
Moreover, Barrett averaged over 10 yards per completion compared to Morris' seven.
4. Pass Accuracy
J.T. Barrett has good mechanics and a very quick release, as demonstrated in all of his highlight videos. This helps him be more precise with his passes and fit the football into tighter windows. With these intangibles, he completed 104 of 166 passes (62.7 percent) with 1,461 yards, 12 TDs and six INTs as a junior.
While Shane Morris also has great mechanics (along with an above average pocket presence), he wasn't nearly as efficient as Barrett. In his junior year, Morris only completed 121 of 235 passes (51.4 percent) with 19 TDs and seven INTs.
Don't get me wrong here, Shane Morris has the ability to scoot around the field a little bit. He also does a good job creating plays with his legs.
However, he isn't a game-changing, home-run threat on the ground like Barrett is.
Not only is Barrett capable of turning the corner for an 80-yard touchdown dash on every play, he can also use his mobility to improvise behind the line of scrimmage until a receiver springs open.
In his junior season alone, Barrett rushed for 1,515 yards on 189 carries (8.0 yards per carry) and seven TDs while Morris only had 150 total rushing yards on 74 carries (2.03 yards per carry).
2. Ohio State's Stable of Running Backs
In most cases, you must have a successful passing game in order to keep defenses honest and open up running lanes for your running backs. However, with the talent in Ohio State's backfield, the pressure can be taken off of the quarterback a bit and they won't have to rely on passing so much. This helps with the development process of young quarterbacks.
In Barrett's case, a talented backfield could also help him with option reads. If the defense pays too much attention to the running backs, Barrett could very easily take off and run for huge chunks of yards.
Ohio State will have at least five running backs on their roster this fall that were once 4- or 5-star recruits.
1. Urban Meyer's Offensive Design
Throughout Urban Meyer's head-coaching career, he has been known for bringing out the best of quarterbacks. Dating back to his years as the head coach of the Utah Utes (2003-04), the design of his spread offense has caused havoc in the world of college football, as he knows exactly how to utilize the quarterback's legs.
J.T. Barrett will fit in Meyer's offense perfectly, as he is just the type of quarterback that can be extremely dangerous in the shotgun formation. Not to mention, Barrett's high school football team runs the spread.
Urban Meyer has never coached a team that didn't have a successful quarterback.