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Why is this news?: Why J.T. Barrett should start at quarterback, how Michael Thomas' second-year redshirt has paid off

All the big Ohio State news, in one helpful place.

One college football writer makes a strong case as to why J.T. Barrett should be Ohio State's starting quarterback
One college football writer makes a strong case as to why J.T. Barrett should be Ohio State's starting quarterback
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

"Barrett, simply put, played like an elite quarterback last season, and he should be 100 percent removed from a broken ankle this preseason. Never mind his own team -- I consider him to be the second-best returning quarterback in the country."

Stewart Mandel,

Ask three different people who they think should be the starting quarterback for Ohio State when they take the field in September against Virginia Tech and chances are there will be three different answers. With the talent each of the three quarterbacks in the mix have it doesn't seem like there is a wrong answer, which makes the decision by Urban Meyer even tougher. The latest to weigh in with their opinion on who should be the Buckeye starter is Stewart Mandel of, who feels the correct decision for Meyer if Ohio State wants to repeat as champion is to start J.T. Barrett at quarterback.

For months when asked the question, Mandel had responded that he thought Cardale Jones should be the starter for Ohio State after what Jones did in stepping in to lead the Buckeyes to wins over Wisconsin, Alabama, and Oregon following Barrett's injury against Michigan. While Jones may have the considerable size and arm advantage over Barrett, Mandel recently switched his pick to the redshirt sophomore from Texas. The reasoning for the switch to Barrett is that for most of the season Barrett was the second-best quarterback in the country behind Marcus Mariota, and is the best returning quarterback aside from TCU's Trevone Boykin. In Mandel's mind the thing that sets Barrett apart is the ability to run the football since Jones and Barrett had similar passing yards per game numbers. Jones may be able to bowl over defenders with his size, but Barrett posed more of a threat to break the big run. There is still a couple months before the season begins, but Urban Meyer is going to have quite the choice to make when it comes to settling on a quarterback.

"I felt like, you know, life is not always going to be the way you want it to go. Sometimes you have obstacles, and that was an obstacle that I had to overcome. I had to remain positive. I still had to keep a straight head."

Ohio State wide receiver Michael Thomas on second-year redshirt via Austin Ward, ESPN

After showing so much promising in the first two spring games he played in, it was rather surprising when wide receiver Michael Thomas took a redshirt before his sophomore season. Ohio State didn't have too much depth at wide receiver, which made the decision to redshirt Thomas when they did an even more puzzling choice. After showing promise early in his career it could have been easy for Thomas to voice his displeasure or even transfer, but to the credit of Thomas he trusted the plan Urban Meyer and wide receivers coach Zach Smith had in mind when they made the decision.

Last year Thomas caught 54 passes for the Buckeyes, which was most on the team, and combined with Devin Smith to spark a potent passing attack which helped Ohio State to make their way to the national title. With Smith having moved on to the NFL, Thomas takes the reigns as the number one wide receiver for an Ohio State offense that is loaded. Even with the redshirt, the timeline for Thomas to head to the NFL might not see any change. Without the redshirt, Thomas would've been a senior this year, but with the tremendous talents Thomas has shown at receiver it wouldn't be a surprise to see him declare for the NFL Draft following this year. It looks like a very tough decision for Thomas and the coaching staff is paying off even better than they could've expected.

"No, I've completely ruled that out. When you're away from something for four or five years, you're not as up to date and I would be a dinosaur in coaching right now. I'm trying to be up to date in what I'm doing. They need the younger generation right now."

Jim Tressel to WHBC 1480's Kenny Roda via Eric Seger,

Since resigning from Ohio State in 2011, Jim Tressel has certainly kept busy, but making a return to coaching college football isn't on his radar in the future. Following leaving Ohio State, Tressel spent most of the 2011 season as a replay consultant with the Indianapolis Colts, and then moved on to a non-athletic department position at the University of Akron before eventually landing as the president at Youngstown State University. While Tressel says he is done with coaching college football, in his eyes he has a much bigger job as university president. Instead of coaching 100 kids, he states that now he has to coach 12,000 kids as president at Youngstown State.

Tressel says he'd be a dinosaur in coaching right now, but if his prediction of the national championship game in January is any indication, he still has quite a feel for the game. Tressel predicted the Buckeyes to win 38-20 and he was just four points off of the final score. Even when Oregon went down and scored first, Tressel had little worry on how the game would play out since he knew the Buckeye players were battled-tested from what they had gone through during their careers. The time in Dallas was extra special for Tressel since he was already down there since he was part of the 2015 College Football Hall of Fame class. Now that Tressel has returned to Youngstown State as president he'll get to watch another coach with Youngstown ties coach the Penguins since Bo Pelini agreed to take over the program in the offseason.

"He was telling me the other night, 'Coach, I'm tired of all this. I want to get to where I'm going and I want to go to work.' He said it's draining flying all over the country and doing interviews. He said, 'I just want to go to work.'"

Thad Matta on D'Angelo Russell via Bill Rabinowitz, Columbus Dispatch

The waiting for D'Angelo Russell may be wearing on him, but luckily for the guard the waiting will soon come to an end since Russell is expected to be taken very early in tonight's NBA Draft. The consensus seems to be Russell will be taken with one of the first few picks in the draft, but the question still remains as to which team will be taking the skilled guard from Louisville. With Karl-Anthony Towns of Kentucky and Jahlil Okafor of Duke projected to be taken with the first two picks tonight smart money would be on Russell to be taken with the third pick by Philadelphia. The pick isn't set in stone though, since the 76ers still have to gauge how big of a setback last year's first round pick Joel Embiid suffered in his attempted return from a broken foot.

If the 76ers decide to pass on Russell, the fourth pick belongs to the New York Knicks would be wise to take Russell, and at least make the fine Phil Jackson was given for talking about Russell earlier this year worth it. Following watching Russell against Nebraska in late February, Jackson made public comments about Russell, which for NBA league officials is forbidden when it comes to college underclassmen. Not even Thad Matta knows where Russell might be headed tonight, since teams don't want to tip their hands, and there is the possibility of trades happening before or during the draft. No matter which team Russell ends up being taken by, they'll be getting a player who feels he is the best player in this year's draft.