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Today’s Ohio State recruiting Question of the Day
Welcome back to the Recruiting Question of the Day here at Lettermen Row.
We’re heading to the weekend and doing it with a final question this week, which comes by way of Twitter.com and focuses on the apparent shift at quarterback recruiting by the guys in Columbus.
Looking at the QBs that we have been bringing it. Is it safe to assume we will start to see a change to our offensive playbook that could start to show this year?
— • (@Willuhkey) July 5, 2018
Since the end of Ohio State’s incredible run through the 2014 College Football Playoff, the idea that an offensive shift was wanted or needed has been pretty evident. Urban Meyer tried to kickstart that process when he named Cardale Jones the starter at the beginning of the 2015 season, though that season eventually returned to capable hands of J.T. Barrett.
So did the 2016 season.
Then the 2017 season.
Barrett was a phenomenal leader and the most productive statistical quarterback in Big Ten history – but the Buckeyes did start recruiting the quarterback position differently. Joe Burrow in 2015, Dwayne Haskins in 2016 and Matthew Baldwin in the Class of 2018 were all “pro-style” quarterbacks, though none of those guys are Dan Marino-esque statues in the pocket. They’re just expected to be pass-first guys that can get the ball down the field with accuracy. Both current quarterback commitments, Dwan Mathis in 2019 and Jack Miller in 2020, fit that bill as well.
Tate Martell’s recruitment in 2017 was a little different, but he was also not the first quarterback committed in that group. He’s also on such a different level of on-field leadership that it was hard for Ohio State to pass him up, despite the fact he’s essentially the outlying member of the quarterback plan right now. That doesn’t mean he’s not going to play, though, because I firmly expect he’ll see pretty regular playing time this season.
In general though, yes, you should expect things to change on offense. Dwayne Haskins should not run the ball 12-15 times a game, and if he is, then there are problems at Ohio State. The Buckeyes have two of the Big Ten’s best running backs and more than a handful of capable receivers who should provide Haskins reliable targets down the field. Haskins should be more reliable in getting the ball vertical than his predecessor.
But if Haskins doesn’t prove more consistent in that way? Don’t expect Meyer to sit idly by while the offense stumbles along without an identity, not while a player like Martell is next in line and fully capable of running the offense the way Barrett did the last three seasons.
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