J.T. Barrett is Big Ten All-Decade First Team Quarterback

Brendan Gulick

J.T. Barrett wasn't supposed to play in 2014. Going into preseason camp, his job was to prepare for life after Braxton Miller, who was planning to make a run at the Heisman Trophy for the third straight season. But a preseason injury to Miller forced Barrett into duty during his redshirt freshman season and it opened the door to perhaps the greatest career of any quarterback in Ohio State history. 

On Friday, J.T. Barrett was named the Big Ten All-Decade First Team quarterback. He was the only Scarlet and Gray signal-caller to win all four starts against Michigan and he is the only three-time recipient of the Big Ten Quarterback of the Year award (2014, 2016- 2017).

A four-star recruit coming out of Wichita Falls, Texas, Barrett's first year on the field in Columbus was something of a fairy tale. From backup to a Heisman candidate to a Heisman candidate himself, Barrett is widely regarded as one of the best leaders during the seven years Urban Meyer led the Ohio State program. Barrett threw for nearly 2,900 yards and 24 touchdowns in 12 games his first season, while also running for 938 yards and 11 scores. In many ways, Barrett's game resembled Miller's with the two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year watching and mentoring him from the sideline.

Barrett broke his ankle against Michigan in 2014 and gave the keys to the offense to Cardale Jones. Jones led the team to massive wins over Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon in the weeks that followed and the Buckeyes won the National Championship. Despite not playing in the playoffs, Barrett was fifth in the 2014 Heisman voting.

Barrett went into 2015 in a heated, and highly-publicized, quarterback battle between himself, Miller and Jones. Barrett won the job and never looked back.

In the three years that followed, J.T. Barrett continued to be a dominant force and lead one of the most dynamic offense in college football. Barrett led the Buckeyes to a 12-1 record as a sophomore, 11-2 as a junior and 12-2 as a senior.

He bookended his playing career with Big Ten titles and posted numbers that might be hard to achieve on a video game. As a passer, Barrett threw for 9,434 yards with 104 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. He also ran for 3,263 yards and 43 scores in four seasons. Somehow, he managed to do all of that with Ezekiel Elliott, Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins all rushing for more than 1,000 yards each year (Elliott ran for 1,800+ in both '14 and '15). He owns the record for most career TD's and most TD's responsible for in conference history.

Perhaps Barrett was most well-respected by his teammates for his leadership skills. He is the only player in program history that has served as a three-time captain. It took an awfully special player to navigate the choppy waters of the 2014 season. Barrett accepted that challenge face-on and turned it into one of the all-time great careers in Ohio State football history.

Barrett joins several other Buckeyes who've been recognized by the Big Ten Network this week.

Ohio State Buckeyes Selected for the BTN All-Decade Teams

QB: J.T. Barrett (first team)

RB: Ezekiel Elliott (second team)

OL: Wyatt Davis (first team), Billy Price (first team), Taylor Decker (second team) and Pat Elflein (second team)

LB: Ryan Shazier (second team)

CB: Malik Hooker (first team), Jeff Okudah (second team), Vonn Bell (second team)

DL: Joey Bosa (first team), Chase Young (first team), Nick Bosa (second team)

All-Purpose: Braxton Miller (first team)

Coach: Urban Meyer

The Big Ten Football All-Decade Team is selected by college football experts chosen by the Big Ten Network. which will be announcing selections from 2010-19 across BTN social media platforms (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook) throughout the week.

Stay tuned to BuckeyesNow and all of our social media outlets (@BuckeyesNowSI) on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for continued coverage!