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Former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett is looking to prove doubters wrong again

It’s not like he’s ever been overlooked for flashier options before, right?

NFL: Combine Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

“He’s also the only three-time captain in OSU history. The next person who is anything less than glowing about his leadership will be the first. But Barrett is the latest case study in how little NFL teams care about any of that.”

-Alex Kirshner, SB Nation

Raise your hand if you expect J.T. Barrett to be a first ballot NFL Hall of Famer. Anyone? Ok, how about raise your hand if you expect J.T. Barrett to be an All-Pro. A starter? Make the league at all? Still not many hands raised?

Well, you may be right, but you also might be providing the most decorated quarterback in Ohio State and Big Ten history with a little extra motivation as he plans to prove people wrong, yet again.

As Kirshner notes in his article, Barrett has been dealing with being overlooked and second-guessed his entire career. Whether it was playing second-fiddle to Cardale Jones following the National Championship, or the avalanche of deafening tweets from Buckeye Nation for Urban Meyer to ride Dwayne Haskins into the postseason last year, Barrett has had to prove himself, to everyone, at every imaginable turn.

And with analysts like ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. predicting Barrett will go undrafted, the QB is ready for the challenge, yet again.

“There’s a lot of hype into the draft and workouts and I think that’s very important, but also understand that’s when the work begins,” he said during his NFL Combine media availability. “You’ve got to go out and make sure you make that 53-man roster when the time comes.”

While the NFL Network’s Mike Mayock says that he sees Barrett as “an ideal backup or third quarterback” who can “play in the league for a lot of years,” it’s going to be an uphill climb.

As Kirshner notes, Barrett isn’t being asked to change positions like other “mobile” quarterbacks, mostly because he isn’t as athletically gifted as Lamar Jackson or Quinton Flowers. However, I think it is his ability to run, especially between the tackles, that will allow him to have an opportunity to be a back-up in the NFL.

Is he ever going to be capable of doing what Nick Foles did for the Eagles; come in late in a season and lead a team to a Super Bowl? Unless he significantly improves his down-field passing ability, I doubt it. However, I do think that he is the perfect type of player to have in case of emergencies. Someone reliable enough to come into a game and move the chains— that you don’t have to pay top-tier backup money to.

“On the biggest stage that Ohio State’s charmed men’s basketball season had to offer, guard C.J. Jackson proved himself ready for the spotlight.”

-Adam Jardy, The Columbus Dispatch

With the graduation of Jae’Sean Tate, Kam Williams, and Andrew Dakich— and the NBA declaration of fellow grad Keita Bates-diop— there is a serious leadership vacuum in the upper-classes of Chris Holtmann’s basketball program.

While Holtmann and the Buckeyes’ coaching staff are currently kicking the tires on basically every available transfer option out there, even if they get a player to come in and start right away, he will have to deal with a significant learning-curve in order to integrate into the young program. So naturally, the mantle of team leader will— at least in part— fall to the only returning, contributing senior on OSU’s roster, C.J. Jackson.

A transfer himself, Jackson has been with the team for the past two seasons, and after being temporarily removed from the starting line-up early in the year due to turnover issues, he bounced back to finish the 2017-2018 campaign as the Buckeyes’ second-leading scorer (12.6 points per game), the team’s leader in assists (3.8), and one-tenth of a percent behind Tate in terms of steals per game (1.0).

The only other returners that saw playing time for the Buckeyes that will be upperclassmen this fall are rising-juniors Andre Wesson and Micah Potter. While the elder Wesson’s “moxey” could be important in helping to establish a style of play for the still-young squad to follow, the Buckeyes will need Jackson to step up even more than he did as a junior, if they are going to even come close to replicating this past season’s success; graduate-transfer or not.

So, as Holtmann eventually brings in potential transfers for on-campus visits, keep in mind that no matter who ends up joining the Buckeyes, next year’s squad will likely only go as far as Jackson can lead them.

“Anna Sanford, a senior on the Ohio State women’s tennis team, was named Big Ten Athlete of the Week after posting three wins on court one last weekend.”

-Ohio State Athletics

Now that college basketball has wrapped up for the season, it’s time to turn your Ohio State-loving attention to some of the school’s non-revenue, spring sports. The women’s tennis team is currently ranked 30th nationally, and senior Anna Sanford is climbing up the rankings herself.

Following a straight-set win over then-No. 23 Kate Fahey of Michigan (6-3, 6-3), she also quickly dispatched Michigan State’s Aslina Chun, 6-4, 6-2. Then, along with partner Shiori Fukuda, she knocked off Fahey and Brienne Minor, 7-5, in their doubles match.

The three wins helped Sanford move up to No. 62 in the ITA’s singles rankings and No. 25 in doubles with Fukuda. The Big Ten Athlete of the Week honor comes almost exactly one year after Sanford was similarly honored for the first time.

The women’s tennis team will be back on the court beginning on Friday as they travel to Minnesota on Friday and Wisconsin on Sunday.

Sanford’s younger sister Alle, a freshman at North Carolina, is currently No. 22 in the singles rankings.