Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett wants people to know he can throw the deep ball.
After practice Wednesday, Barrett spoke to reporters at length discussing his arm strength and ability to throw the football long. His comments centered around comparisons to Cardale Jones, with whom he has competed for the starting job this season.
"[The offense] really didn't change with Cardale in the game," Barrett said. "Like last year when I was playing, how many deep balls did I throw to Devin [Smith]? All the deep balls that we had were to Devin, and I threw them, but I guess since I'm not 6-5 and 250 [pounds] that I didn't have a strong arm or something. I didn't know what that was about.”
Barrett, a redshirt sophomore, stands 6'3", 225 pounds. Jones, 6'5" and 250. Barrett, who started last week’s win over Rutgers, got the comments off his chest, adding that the playbook has not changed based on who is playing quarterback. He has often been tabbed as the dual-threat (Barrett is the team’s second-leading rusher), with Jones painted as more of a traditional quarterback with prolific arm strength. The debate has dated back to the 2014 season.
He acknowledged he’s underthrown some passes, but said that he used the media discourse as motivation in the offseason while lifting weights.
"I threw deep balls the whole year, and it was like, 'Oh, Cardale, he's got a strong arm, they're going to be throwing deeper and pass it downfield,'" Barrett said. "What? What are you talking about? I can do the same things. The thing is, now when a play breaks down and somebody is 80 yards down the field, am I going to throw it? Absolutely not. Cardale is going to throw that. I'm not going to throw that. But I feel that's different.”
Ohio State is 8–0 and faces Minnesota next on Nov. 7 at home.
- Jeremy Woo