Ohio State quarterbacks J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones both say they would support whichever player gets the starting nod from head coach Urban Meyer, but add they are opposed to a dual-quarterback system.
The defending national champions enter the 2015 season with a logjam at quarterback diminished significantly by the move of Braxton Miller to H-Back. Still, Barrett was a Heisman Trophy candidate before he fractured his ankle in the regular-season finale against Michigan last year and Jones replaced him by leading Ohio State to three consecutive wins and the College Football Playoff championship.
Meyer, entering his fourth season at Ohio State, has experience utilizing two quarterbacks from his days at Florida. In 2006, the Gators won the BCS National Championship with both Chris Leak and Tim Tebow getting significant playing time.
“I don’t think it would be as efficient,” Barrett told ESPN’s Austin Ward. “I did that in high school and switched every series ... and that’s kind of tough to do being that you can’t get into a rhythm, get a real vibe off the defense.
“I don’t think it would be the best idea.”
Barrett, a sophomore, completed 64.7% of his passes last year for 2,834 yards, 34 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. An able runner, he also rushed 171 times for 938 yards and 11 touchdowns.
His style stands in contrast to the 6'5", 250-pound Jones, who completed 60.9% of his passes for 860 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions. He rushed 72 times for 296 yards and one touchdown.
“I don’t think it’s a great idea,” Jones said. “I don’t think you could get in a rhythm. In a two-quarterback system, if I run three plays and run off the field and J.T. runs out for a drive, I don’t know how well that would work with rhythm and timing with guys.
“Only one of us can play.”
Both quarterbacks have supported the position battle throughout the summer and said they would trust whatever decision Meyer makes. In his four seasons at Ohio State, Meyer holds a 38–3 record.
- Mike Fiammetta