"This can't be, 'Well, I'm going with him because it's my gut feeling.' No gut feelings; it's got to be statistical analysis and data backing up who is going to play quarterback."
- Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer on choosing a starting quarterback
Urban Meyer has a luxury that no other coach in the country has right now with three talented quarterbacks in his stable, but he also has to try and decide which one will be the starter when Ohio State opens up the season in September against Virginia Tech. Each of the three quarterbacks Ohio State has brings something a little different to the table, but that will just make Meyer's decision even tougher as the start of the season gets closer. The good news for Buckeye fans is Meyer has a plan on how he will go about choosing a starter, which he will put in effect in training camp. Meyer plans to put a system in place where everything is charted to try and determine who best fits as a starter. The head coach says he has done this in the past, but he obviously hasn't had three quarterbacks who are quite as talented as the Buckeye trio.
There have been some rumblings lately about Braxton Miller transferring to Alabama since there have been reports of Miller spending some time in Alabama, which would make Urban Meyer's quarterback choice a little easier. But as DJ Byrnes of 11W reminds us, this isn't exactly breaking news to Urban Meyer. While many might be quick to be packing Braxton's bags to head down to Tuscaloosa to play for Nick Saban, it sounds more like just a trip to visit an old friend after the responsibilities of spring practice have wrapped up.
"To be honest with you, we don't even talk aboujt it. When we talk we talk more as friends because I know everyone is in his ear about all that, so I just try to leave it alone. But I really don't know because it's hard to get a feel from him, and I really don't try to get a feel from him to be honest with you."
- Alabama linebacker Trey DePriest on rumors of Braxton Miller transferring to Alabama
If Braxton Miller already knows where he is going to play college football this coming fall, he isn't letting those close to him in on those plans apparently. A number of times Miller has made the trip to Birmingham to see Dr. James Andrews, who performed shoulder surgery on Miller in August. During those trips Miller would meet up with friend Trey DePriest, who is currently a linebacker for Alabama. The two talk almost everyday, but from what DePriest says, the one subject they haven't touched on is what Miller's plans are for this fall.
Alabama isn't the first school to be linked with Miller, as Oregon, Florida State, and a number of others have been named as possible landing spots if Miller decides to forgo the quarterback competition that awaits in Columbus. Still as the days tick down towards the start of the season it is looking more and more likely that Miller will finish his college career in scarlet and gray. With Miller not yet ready to get back on the field in his recovery from his second shoulder surgery, as well as the possibility of transferring and having to learn a new offense, it is sounding like the most sense might be for Miller to stay in Columbus. Either way, Miller hasn't confirmed or denied his commitment to the Buckeyes amid these rumors, so be prepared for more rumors like this to come leaking out.
"I took Miller's participation in the fastest student race at halftime of the spring game as a sign that he is still locked into this program. Miller pulled off his shirt and really tried to beat running back Ezekiel Elliott, flying into music stands beyond the finish line as he finished his run with a smile. Not sure a guy who didn't want to be here would do that."
- Northeast Ohio Media Group's Doug Lesmerises' thoughts on the Ohio State quarterback battle
While we are on the topic of the Ohio State quarterback competition, Doug Lesmerises gave his thoughts on what might lie ahead as spring practice for the Buckeyes have wrapped up. The biggest takeaway Lesmerises had from spring practice is he still believes that Braxton Miller's future lies with the Buckeyes and not with one of the schools he has been rumored to transfer to during the offseason. While Lesmerises thinks Miller will try and put himself in the best position to try and set himself up for an NFL career, he thinks it might be hard for the fifth-year quarterback to leave behind the coaches and trainers he is familiar with.
While Cardale Jones was the only one of the three quarterbacks to participate in the spring game, he wasn't exactly able to strengthen his case with his performance. Jones threw a couple interceptions, and even Meyer admitted Saturday wasn't his day. What does leave Lesmerises with a little concern is Jones could be either boom or bust. While Jones has the ability to make some big plays, many have to remember he has only made three starts, and could be prone to some big turnovers as well.
What intrigues Lesmerises is the ability of J.T. Barrett, even if he doesn't end up winning the job. Barrett won't be a problem if he isn't named the starter, and still would have two years where he could start for the Buckeyes following the 2015 season. With the maturity and leadership Barrett has, Lesmerises likes how Barrett is equipped to handle the crazy quarterback situation the Buckeyes have going on, but it wouldn't be surprising if Barrett is able to win the job in training camp.
"I've always looked up to my dad, so it'll be really special to have my last regular season game ... where he played his first."
- Rick Lewis Jr, Ohio State senior lacrosse player
Ohio State will finish off the regular season in the inaugural year of Big Ten lacrosse on Saturday in New Jersey against Rutgers, but for one Buckeye the matchup will have a special meaning. In 1986 Rick Lewis was a part of the Rutgers defense as the Scarlet Knights went to the NCAA Tournament, and 29 years later his son will take the field in his final regular season game for the Buckeyes. It seemed high probable that Lewis Jr would be playing lacrosse somewhere, especially being given a lacrosse stick just hours after he was born. While the Ohio State captain didn't attend his father's alma mater, this weekend his dad will be clad in scarlet and gray and rooting for his son's Buckeyes to take down the Scarlet Knights.
Ohio State will be looking to rebound from their only home loss of the season, as they dropped a 10-9 decision in overtime to Maryland inside Ohio Stadium on Saturday. The win by Maryland allowed the Terrapins to clinch at least a share of the Big Ten title. With Ohio State currently sitting second in the Big Ten, they know they have to finish the season strong to build some momentum heading into the conference tournament.
STICK TO SPORTS:
- Jeni's Ice Cream announced a voluntary product recall today, as well as the closure of their scoop shops until they believe Listeria threat has passed
- UWeekly releases 2015 Best of Campus winners
- Not only will COTA's Cbus circulator remain free, but a bus pass program from those working downtown has been announced
- The eruption of a Chilean volcano has produced some incredible scenes
- Some important construction notes to know if you are traveling around Columbus this weekend