Ohio State's Quarterback Derby Starting to Take Shape

Austin Kemp@@Theaustinator_1Analyst IJune 8, 2013

BOSTON, MA - MAY 11: Head coach of the Ohio State University Buckeyes football team, Urban Meyer, stands on the field prior to the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays on May 11, 2013 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Following Ohio State’s quarterback recruiting so far in the early process of 2013 has been nothing short of entertaining.  At first it seemed like Drew Barker might have been the top choice, but OSU’s lack of interest led Barker to give his commitment to Kentucky. 

Then, Caleb Henderson’s name popped up a few times here and there, but again, the Bucks didn’t show much interest, which resulted in Henderson giving a commitment to North Carolina.  

As we ran through March, April and May, the quarterback sweepstakes started heating up in a big way.  Louisiana prospect Brandon Harris and Kyle Allen out of Arizona were atop the Buckeyes’ recruiting board.  Shortly after those two gained offers, Zack Darlington, a state champion QB from Florida, earned himself an offer as well.  

Though a mid-summer decision was expected from Kyle Allen, he decided to pull the trigger last week and gave his pledge to Kevin Sumlin and the Texas A&M Aggies.  This move came shortly after Brandon Harris visited the Buckeyes’ campus. 

Now, in no way am I saying Harris will become a Buckeye, even though they are in fine shape at this point in time, but the timing of Allen’s decision makes you think if anything “silent” happened last weekend when Urban Meyer was able to talk to Harris one on one.  

At this time, Brandon Harris has to be the No. 1 option for the Ohio State coaching staff and is quite possibly the most underrated player in the class of 2014.  He has prototypical size at 6’3" and is a nightmare to tackle in open space. 

Questions surrounded how lively his arm was, but at the Elite 11 camp in Columbus last weekend, he was able to turn away all critics as each scout in attendance ranked Harris as one of the top five players at the camp.  When you turn on the film, it seems like a match made in heaven for Brandon Harris and Urban Meyer’s offensive system.

Behind Harris, the No. 2 option is more cloudy.  Ohio native DeShon Kizer hasn’t picked up a Buckeye offer yet and it doesn’t seem like he’ll pick one up in the near future.  

Zack Darlington is intriguing, as Apopka High School runs a spread similar to Ohio State’s.  He’s no Harris when it comes to running ability, or throwing for that matter, but Darlington excels because of the competitive nature he possesses. 

Sure, he may be somewhat of a project his first couple years on campus, but you can never go wrong with a proven, championship-caliber quarterback.  If he wants to be a Buckeye, Darlington will have to camp at OSU over the summer and shows he has what it takes.  

One name to look out for Stephen Collier, an athlete out of Georgia.  Collier is attending a camp at Ohio State tomorrow, and if he’s able to impress, he’ll put his name in the mix for the coveted quarterback spot for 2014.  Collier is a dual-threat with massive size at 6’4".  

Ohio State’s quarterback derby is far from over, but that should be of no surprise.  Throughout his career, Urban Meyer has proven himself to be one of the best closers when it comes to recruiting, and this year won’t be any different. 

If there’s one thing Buckeye fans should be told, it’s this: with Meyer as head coach, there’s no reason to worry about recruiting.  His track record speaks for itself and before signing day, he’ll find his guy and believe in him 100 percent.