Urban Meyer has a reputation for taking quarterbacks’ strengths and utilizing them to create great college careers. He’s had the likes of Alex Smith (Utah) which he turned into a No. 1 overall pick after only coaching him for two years and Tim Tebow who is by far the less talented QB he’s coached but might be his most successful collegiate QB. This year is a different situation for Meyer. He’s put in a predicament that most coaches couldn’t even dream about.
The Ohio State Buckeyes might have the most unusual dilemma of the new millennium. They possess three quarterbacks who could all be a Heisman Trophy winner for any other college team. Braxton Miller is entering his senior season, Cardale Jones is a redshirt junior and J.T. Barrett is a redshirt sophomore. All three have been successful in their young careers and bring undeniable attributes to the table. With the trio showing that they can all be successful under Meyer, who should be the starter?
Miller is the most athletic out of the three and is probably the hardest to game plan for as an opponent. His knack for being able to dial up a 70 yard touchdown run at anytime during the game gives defensive coordinators nightmares. But his deep passing ability is considerably underrated. He is normally accurate when he takes chances down the field. The experienced QB who is formidably a game changer should be used the same way that Meyer used Tebow when Chris Leak was the starter for the Florida Gators in 2006. If he comes in on short yardage plays, the opposing coach has to play him honest because of his dual threat ability.
Barrett is another dual threat who can burn you with his feet and arm. Barrett is the least athletic QB of the three. He’s not the “take it to the house” player every time he elects to take off running, but still is just as effective. Barrett showed he can be very dependable and make sound decisions. He’s justifiably the best decision maker out of the QB committee. He threw 34 touchdowns while only turning the ball over 10 times through the air. So why shouldn’t he start? Nothing against his play on the field but he will have two more years at the helm for the Buckeyes.
Jones has played the least amount out of all the quarterbacks but he’s accomplished what the other two can’t say they’ve done, win the National Championship Game as a starter. He has the strongest arm and his towering 6-foot-5 250 pound body frame makes him even scarier. Yes, he is mobile as well but he possess the most natural quarterback skills of all three. While displaying his cool and no time for panic demeanor, he’s proven that he can man the ship and lead them to consecutive national titles.
Jones could have been a first round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft if he had elected to come out. It is almost guaranteed that he will enter the 2016 Draft barring any significant injury. Yes he played in only three games but the fact that his only career starts were monumental in playing in the Big Ten Championship Game against the Wisconsin Badgers, the Sugar Bowl Playoff Game against the Alabama Crimson Tide and the National Title Game against the Oregon Ducks makes his starts more impressive than just winning the national title. He undoubtedly gives Ohio State the best chance to win another title.
With Miller still not healthy and Barrett coming back for at least his junior year, Jones must start since he is considered a top 10 pick in next year NFL Draft if he continues his success. Meyer is blessed to have a this type of dilemma on his plate but he and Buckeye nation will be truly blessed if he makes the correct choice.