The Ohio State offense was in really good hands entering the 2014 season with Braxton Miller calling the shots, but when the two-time Big Ten offensive player of the year went down during practice in mid-August with an injury to his throwing shoulder, backup J.T. Barrett was thrust into the spotlight.
We all know how the rest of the story goes; Barrett came in and lit up the Big Ten, leading Ohio State to nine straight wins before getting hurt in their rivalry game against Michigan. Then third string quarterback Cardale Jones came in, finished off the Wolverines, and the following week led the Buckeye offense to a 59-0 drubbing of Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game. Then, on the biggest stages of his young career, Jones led the team past Alabama in the college football semifinal, and then beat Oregon in the national title game.
While offensive coordinator Tom Herman may be gone to Houston to lead his own program, all three of those quarterbacks return for the Buckeyes, leaving Urban Meyer with a wealth of experience and talent that most coaches can only dream of. So far during Spring practice, the dynamic between the three guys has been special, and rare. The AP notes that the three guys share in each others good plays, encourage each other, and are constantly talking ball during practice.
"Everything is positive," Meyer told the AP yesterday after practice. "Talent. Quality of people. Value to the program. Investment in the program. Check, check, check, check."
While most coaches would love to be in Meyer's shoes, there's just one glaring negative to the whole situation, "Negative? Two people are going to have to watch." he explained.
"It's not like receiver, where you can put three of them out there. That's the one thing that's weighing a little bit. It didn't for a while because you're just so busy. But now I'm seeing what I'm seeing, and I have such great respect for all three guys."