Ohio State Player Spotlight: J.T. Barrett
The powerhouse Ohio State Buckeyes travel to State College this Saturday for a matchup against the Penn State Nittany Lions. The Buckeyes have been almost perfect since their surprising loss at the hands of Virginia Tech in Week 2.
The Buckeyes spectacular play is due, in large part, to their freshman quarterback. Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett has done a superb job replacing Braxton Miller. Miller, who threw for 2,094 yards and 24 touchdowns last season saw his season end before it even started with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, suffered in preseason practice.
Barrett enrolled at Ohio State in 2013, but was redshirted because of a knee injury that occurred during his senior year in high school. Barrett was named the starter after competing for the job with sophomore quarterback Cardale Jones.
In Miller’s absence, Barrett has thrown for 1,615 yards and 20 touchdowns through the first six games of the season. He has led the charge in every Buckeyes’ win this season. During the team’s current four-game win streak, Barrett has averaged 292.5 yards per game and has only thrown one interception. The freshman ranks second in the Big Ten in passing yards per game behind Rutgers’ senior Gary Nova. He heads the Big Ten’s second-best scoring offense, averaging 46.5 points per game, behind only rival Michigan State.
Barrett was a highly regarded dual threat prospect coming out of high school. His senior campaign was unfortunately cut short in the fifth game because of injury. In those five games, Barrett threw for 784 yards and rushed for 569 yards and still was sought after by some powerhouse programs despite the knee injury. Barrett, a Texas native, chose Ohio State over in-state Texas Tech. Barrett also had offers from other Big 12 schools like Kansas State and Baylor.
Barrett has recently seen his name pop up as a legit Heisman Trophy candidate, but that does not seem to be his focus. Barrett continues to stay focused on the team’s goals.
"Our focus is always to start fast and get things going,” said Barrett when asked about the team’s level of concentration. “I think we executed better than in past weeks, but we can still eliminate some mistakes. I put some of that on myself."
Although Barrett may not be focused on the Heisman, he could help his case Saturday night by putting in big numbers in Beaver Stadium. This will be the Buckeyes’ first true road game of the season and then their second will be in two weeks when they travel to East Lansing to take on Michigan State.
Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
Chris Gamble is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.