“Cardale, we all know he was a character. I do miss him just because our room is not as lively. ... It was something in our unit room that would help everybody relax. He'd always have something crazy to say.”
Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett is ready for another go-around in the scarlet and gray. Barrett enters the 2016 season as the undisputed starter for the Buckeyes, no longer worrying about a competition for the spot. Last season, Barrett came second to Cardale Jones at the start of the year, but eventually took over after Jones’ struggles on offense. But though Barrett won’t miss the seemingly never ending battle on the field between the two, he will miss the friendship with Jones.
Jones was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the recent NFL draft and that transition has been an interesting one for Barrett. The two have remained close, keeping in touch through their phones, as Jones continues his journey as a NFL rookie. Barrett spoke highly of his former roommate but is certainly ready for what’s in store this fall at Ohio State.
“[Top position battles] Ohio State Buckeyes: H-back”
With the running back position becoming much clearer after Bri’onte Dunn was dismissed from the program - allowing Mike Weber to step into the spotlight as Ohio State’s starting running back - the most intriguing position battle shifted to H-back this fall. The Buckeyes have plenty of talent at the spot with Curtis Samuel and Dontre Wilson both more than capable of starring in the role, but it will be interesting to see who gets the bulk of the snaps. Meyer has already mentioned that they wanted to get Samuel much more involved this season, but Wilson seems to always be a broken tackle away from hitting stardom.
Between the two, it might be safe to assume Samuel could have the edge at this point. After playing a healthy amount of wide receiver last season due to injuries around the roster, expect more Samuel than in previous seasons. The once heir apparent to Ezekiel Elliott still has some of the most versatile talent on the team. Wilson, meanwhile, still has excellent speed and could possibly make the necessary leaps and bounds this season if given the opportunity.
“We looked pretty good running around ... But the whole message today is: Name a team that did not have a good first day. There are 130 teams that had a great first day. That’s average.”
Head coach Urban Meyer seems excited about this Ohio State team, as the players have begun fall training camp. After a strong first day Meyer is not questioning this group’s athleticism but isn’t yet ready to give a verdict on the chemistry and toughness until pads are involved. Meyer does, however, believe this could be a team similar to 2014, in which a bevy of young talent stepped up to help propel the Buckeyes to a national championship.
With Ohio State losing a heavy amount of starters on both sides of the ball to the NFL draft, it will be up to the young guys like Mike Weber, Nick Bosa, and beyond to prepare and play at a high level early on. The good news is that the Buckeyes will have two games against lesser competition in Bowling Green and Tulsa to get up to speed for their key matchup in week three at Oklahoma.