Urban Meyer and company ended a long commitment drought when they landed a commitment from Athens (OH) The Plains quarterback Joe Burrow. Burrow becomes the first Buckeye since three-star safety Ben Edwards pledged before quickly decommitting from OSU.
It was known going into this recruiting cycle that the Buckeyes could get two quarterbacks. Securing a commitment from Burrow ensures they land at least one solid quarterback and that they have a guy locked up pretty early in this recruiting cycle.
As far as quarterback recruiting from a national perspective goes, I think we'll see Kyler Murray commit to Texas A&M tomorrow, which will push Travis Waller to Oregon, then many schools, including Ohio State, will continue to be on Torrance Gibson, who doesn't plan on making a decision until late in the fall. I fully expect the Bucks to keep recruiting him and would be pretty surprised if they weren't willing to take him, especially because he could develop into an elite wide receiver if quarterback doesn't work out.
Burrow is a guy I like, though he will definitely need a couple of years to develop before starting games at a school like Ohio State. He's a pretty solid passer right now and can make some plays with his legs, though he's by no means a Braxton Miller type player on the ground. He threw for 3374 yards and 46 touchdowns to only five interceptions as a junior and won Ohio's Gatorade Player of the Year award.
He's also a guy who I'm confident will step up as a leader for this class (see Alex Malzone with Michigan) and recruit elite talent to play with him in Columbus. I'm looking forward to seeing him in person at Elite 11 this weekend.
For more on the newest Buckeyes, here's a scouting report on the standout quarterback courtesy of SB Nation recruiting analyst Bud Elliott:
Burrow does not have elite arm strength, but he does have quite a few highlights of him throwing in rhythm and accurately, which is more important than having a gun, though obviously teams would prefer both.
He'll probably remind Urban Meyer of Alex Smith, who he had at Utah, or of a young Christian Ponder, who, like Burrow, also had to run for his life, often effectively, when he had the youngest offensive line in the country in 2008.
Burrow shows excellent quickness and decisiveness as a runner. He is able to evade the rush, slide in the pocket, and if the throw is not there, he takes off for the open field where he is very good. His top-end speed might not be the elite, but his quickness is really good.
*This is solely an evaluation based on his highlight tape, which although long, is not a substitute for watching full games or seeing a player in-person.
LGHL's Christopher Jason also added his perspective on what Burrow adds to the Ohio State football program:
Burrow has great size with a frame that could add up to another 20 pounds, standing at 6'4 and 205 pounds. He is not a burner but possesses deceptive speed when running with the football. He can outrun linebackers and has good vision when running the ball in between the tackles. Burrow makes good decisions in the read option and uses his size to break tackles against smaller players in the secondary.
When it comes to throwing the football, he is not afraid to stay in the pocket and take a hit after delivering the ball. He has very good touch on his downfield throws and he has very good accuracy down the field. I would like to see him get rid of the ball faster, as the Buckeyes use the wide receiver screen game more than his high school team, but he fits into his team's spread offense very well. Burrow moves well in the pocket and he can throw on the run, even across his body. He is a tough kid who will block downfield for his teammates if necessary and seems to really love the game.
Overall, Burrow fits into Coach Urban Meyer's spread offense, as he is a true dual-threat quarterback that excels at both rushing and passing the football. I think Coach Meyer found himself a very underrated quarterback recruit that could be in the mix sooner rather than later.