We have signed QB J.T. Barrett and S Tray Matthews to our practice squad.— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 24, 2019
Recently all of Columbus has been buzzing with news that Cardale Jones, Braxton Miller, and J.T. Barrett were doing deliveries around the capital city for Chipotle to celebrate “Free Delivery Bowl Season”.
The trio of quarterbacks handing off orders will be down to a duo for a bit, as earlier today J.T. Barrett was signed to the practice squad of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The former Ohio State quarterback has spent much of his two-year NFL career shuttling on and off the practice squad of the New Orleans Saints. Last year alone, Barrett was involved in 23 transactions, either being released or signed to the practice squad.
After being released by the Saints on August 1st, Barrett was signed by Seattle, spending most of the preseason with the Seahawks before being released at the end of August. Barrett was brought back to the Saints practice squad in November, spending just over a month with the team while Drew Brees was injured before being released on October 22nd.
With the Steelers fighting for a playoff spot, Barrett has been added to the practice squad to add to their depth at quarterback. Pittsburgh will be without quarterback Mason Rudolph in their regular season finale against Baltimore on Sunday, which will bump Paxton Lynch onto the active roster to backup Devlin “Duck” Hodges. Now the Steelers have Barrett on the practice squad to start learning some of the offense in case the Steelers make the playoffs and have to deal with any other injuries at quarterback.
After planning on handing off some Chipotle deliveries, at least for the next few days the only handoffs Barrett will be making will be of the pigskin during Steelers practices.
After Jordan Fuller accept an invitation to the East-West Shrine Bowl yesterday, it was announced today that wide receiver Binjimen Victor will be joining his teammate in the annual game. Victor is Ohio State’s third-leading wide receiver this season, trailing K.J. Hill and Chris Olave with 31 receptions, 507 yards, and six touchdown receptions. The receptions and yardage are both already career highs, while Victor is one touchdown reception away from equaling the seven touchdowns he grabbed in 2017.
Last year’s NFL Draft saw Parris Campbell and Terry McLaurin taking in the second and third rounds, respectively. Even though Victor didn’t put up huge numbers at Ohio State, he has proven to have good hands and agility that makes him tough to bring down in the open field. After Ohio State’s season ends, whether it be after the Fiesta Bowl or the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, the East-West Shrine Bowl will allow Victor to start to state his case as to why he should be taken in the NFL Draft.
“I just wanted to give what I could to the team and just play my heart out. Special teams is all about effort. Coach [Ryan] Day loves it. We know how important special teams can be and how it can affect the game. We try to swing the tide with one play. We love the energy and playing our hearts out.”
Want to get noticed at Ohio State? The best way to earn yourself some more playing time is to make some plays on the special teams unit. Under former head coach Urban Meyer, younger Ohio State players were expected to prove their worth on the special teams unit before they were trusted with more responsibility on the football field. Ryan Day has shown he values performance on special teams just as much as his predecessor.
One player who has stood on the special teams unit this season has been linebacker Dallas Gant. With linebackers like Malik Harrison, Baron Browning, and Pete Werner ahead of him on the depth chart, Gant has embraced his role on special teams. The sophomore from Toledo just wants to contribute to the team in any way possible, and if that means being one of the standouts on special teams, then Gant is going to put everything he has into his assignment.
After showing some his ability on special teams, expect to see more of Gant at linebacker next season. With linebacker Malik Harrison in his final season with the Buckeyes, more snaps will be up for grabs next year, and Gant looks primed to scoop up some of the playing time. Linebackers coach Al Washington has raved about Gant’s ability, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Gant make strides on the football field like Baron Browning did this year. Expect to being hearing Gant’s name a lot over the next two years, since he has put in the work necessary to be successful in the scarlet and gray.
“Honestly if you told me I’d be here doing this right now, I’d probably laugh at you last year. It’s just a blessing, man. Have these guys, everybody around me, being in this group and being a part of this culture in such a historical program is incredible.”
It’s hard to fault offensive lineman Jonah Jackson if he is enjoying Ohio State’s success this year a little more than his teammates. Jackson spent the previous four years at Rutgers, where the best Scarlet Knights team Jackson was a part of finished with a 4-8 record. Now he’s a key component on the offensive line of the Big Ten champions who are in the College Football Playoff.
Jackson closed out his Rutgers career by earning honorable mention All-Big Ten honors last season, but he knew he was capable of even more. Jackson decided Ohio State was the place where he would close out his college career. The offensive lineman probably could have gone other places where a starting job would have been more a certainty, but Jackson knew he had to be at a place like Ohio State.
After earning a starting spot at job in August, Jackson went on to earn first team All-Big Ten honors from the coaches around the conference. Even though Jackson has accomplished a lot of firsts this year for the Buckeyes, he knows there is some business left for the team to accomplish. With two more wins, Ohio State would not only win the College Football Playoff, but they would provide the ultimate close to his college career.
STICK TO SPORTS
- After practice yesterday, 40 members of Ohio State’s football team did some Christmas shopping with 50 at-risk kids in need in Arizona.
- Central Ohio first responders put on a holiday light show to bring some cheer to those at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
- Looking to sip some holiday brews from Ohio on Christmas? Here are 12 options from Buckeye State brewers.
- ESPN has announced a June 2020 release date for the 10-part 30 For 30 documentary about the 1998 Chicago Bulls.
- T-Mobile could be considering a merger with Comcast.