Ohio State Football: Meet JT Barrett, the Heir to Braxton Miller's Throne
It's no secret that Urban Meyer places a premium on talented quarterbacks.
As a first-time head coach at Bowling Green, Meyer had Josh Smith, who piled up 3,213 yards of offense and 41 total touchdowns in Meyer's signature spread system.
Meyer coached Alex Smith at Utah, who went 22-2 as a starter, highlighted by a perfect 12-0 record in 2004. Smith went on to become the No. 1 NFL draft pick in 2005.
At Florida, Meyer coached two different quarterbacks who won a national title in Chris Leak and Tim Tebow. Of course, Tebow won the Heisman Trophy in 2007, becoming the first sophomore ever to win college football's most prestigious individual honor.
Now at Ohio State, Meyer is set for the immediate future with a quarterback that's tailor-made for his offense in Braxton Miller.
Judging from how excited the coaches are about 2013 quarterback commit JT Barrett, the Buckeyes' offense appears to be in good hands far past Miller's tenure at Ohio State.
Barrett is a 4-star prospect (according to 247Sports.com) out of Wichita Falls, Texas. The dual-threat quarterback is lauded for his accuracy in the passing game and his outstanding leadership skills.
Barrett's senior season was cut short when he tore his ACL in early October but, through five games, he had piled up 784 passing yards and five touchdowns to go along with 569 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. That performance came on the heels of a junior season in which he threw for over 1,600 yards and ran for over 1,500 yards to go along with 23 total touchdowns.
The season-ending knee injury didn't prevent him from graduating early and Barrett enrolled at Ohio State with six other freshman in January.
Despite staying in Columbus for just one month, Meyer has high hopes for Barrett, according to Austin Ward of ESPN.com.
"I'm hoping he brings a little something that our quarterback position can use, and that's a grinder, a guy that's just nonstop," Meyer said. "You know, the [guys like] Alex Smith, they wake up in the morning and they're a quarterback all day long. They go to sleep and the next day they wake up again and they're a quarterback all day long."
Jim Garfield, Barrett's high school coach, gushed when talking about Ohio State's new quarterback:
"His leadership skills are immeasurable," Garfield said. "He was our captain. He was our emotional leader. He's a leader by his mouth and his actions. With his leadership ability and his sacrifice for team, that's what I believe helped us get where we were at.
"We never missed a beat when he got hurt, not one beat, and I believe he's the reason we got into the semifinals -- and that's a crazy thought. Think about that. If we have him, we probably win the state championship."
Whether Barrett can provide that same leadership at Ohio State during his freshman season, where a redshirt could be on the table as he recovers from the ACL tear, is the big question.
Barrett has impressed Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman, particularly with those leadership skills Garfield raved about.
Tom Herman says JT Barrett gave an "awe inspiring" speech to recruits visiting the WHAC a few weeks ago.— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) February 6, 2013
If this is any indication of how Barrett's career will play out, Meyer could have another star in the making at Ohio State.
David is the lead Ohio State football writer for B/R. Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.
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