COLUMBUS, Ohio – If you’re wondering why it’s been a warmer-than-average winter in Ohio this year, it may be time to start looking for reasons to blame the Buckeyes. After all, the Ohio State football team still seems pretty heated up following its embarrassing 31-0 loss to Clemson in the College Football Playoff more than two months ago.
“That’s one of the main things, I don’t like that sour feeling my in stomach,” defensive end and captain Tyquan Lewis said Thursday when asked why he chose to return to Ohio State rather than opting for the NFL, as many analysts and experts expected him to do. “Especially after losing like that. That was definitely on the list.”
Lewis, a fifth-year senior for the Buckeyes, wasn’t alone in citing that game – and the devastating manner of the defeat – as a reason to return to Ohio State. Quarterback J.T. Barrett, who a lot of Buckeyes fans were inexplicably hoping would leave the program, admitted the nature of the loss played a role in his decision.
“There were a lot of different aspects that went into it,” Barrett said. “I talked to my family, you know, throughout that whole week after the game.
“One of the main things that went into my decision to come back was, I mean, it was really hard for me to leave Ohio State when that was like the worst game I’ve ever been a part of in my life. We didn’t score any points. I’ve never been shut out as the starting quarterback in my life.”
Though the Clemson loss was one piece of the decision to return to college, Barrett also noted that his NFL stock isn’t where he wanted it to be.
“The NFL, the impression of me, wasn’t where I wanted it to be,” Barrett said. “There are things out there that I can definitely enhance and improve in. It wasn’t like I was just going to take that on full head of steam – which I could have done, and leave and prove them wrong, whether it be a pro day or a combine, it could’ve been done. But I think the better approach was to come back to Ohio State, a place that I love, the place that I have the opportunity to win another national championship, but also definitely enhance and improve my stock as far as the NFL.”