COLUMBUS, Ohio — When former Ohio State quarterbacks coach Tim Beck, now the offensive coordinator at Texas, took over the room at Columbus in January of 2015, he walked into one of the most talented groups of Buckeyes signal callers ever assembled.
Somehow, Ryan Day’s initial group with the Buckeyes might be even better, at least from an on-paper/recruiting hype/expectations point of view.
Day, who comes to Ohio State from the San Francisco 49ers, is pretty pleased with his crew so far. At least that was the vibe during his introductory media availability in Columbus on Tuesday morning. The first-year Buckeyes assistant spoke to the assembled media about each of his four quarterbacks, attempting to break down their respective strengths and opportunities.
So what does the new guy in charge of the Buckeyes quarterbacks think of his new guys?
Let’s start with his review of the Buckeyes starter and three-time Ohio State captain.
J.T. Barrett, senior
“He’s been an impressive kid ever since I’ve been here. I’m impressed with how he goes about his business. It’s like dealing with a pro. When you show up to work every day you better be prepared and you better give him a good plan. He’s out here working to get better every day just like everybody else.”
“He’s working hard with his footwork and working throwing the ball in the pocket. He’s excellent in play-action pass. It’s really just building on what he’s done so far in his career here. He’s got three years under his belt, and that’s a lot in college football. To have a guy who has that many snaps under his belt. Play at the highest level, in championship games and that’s really, really important experience at this level. He’s like a grown man, a professional who shows up every day. Every day he’s trying to prove to me, and I’m trying to prove to him the worth to each other.”
“The best thing he does is play the game. You can see in today’s practice, when we get out there and we started playing it, he’s moving the team up and down the field.”
Joe Burrow, sophomore
“Very, very impressed. Coach’s son. Really talented, really smart in the classroom. Can run and can pass. Been very impressed with him.”
Dwayne Haskins Jr., freshman
“Talented. You watch him stand in the pocket and deliver the ball, you can see the ball spin off his hand. When you watch it, it just really jumps out at you how impressive and how talented he is.”
Tate Martell, freshman
“Tate’s just kind of getting his feet on the ground. Again, really talented in a different way.”
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Day pointed out that each player is unique, but there’s no doubt each is also talented.
“The funny thing about those guys is they’re all kind of different. Dwayne is a little bit of a taller guy and can really deliver the ball from the pocket. Tate is more of a run-around guy and make things happen. Joe is kind of a little bit of everything. And then J.T., obviously, you guys know what he is. So, all kind of different, but all are really hungry to get the starting job.”
“They’re talented,” he continued. “Now, it’s a matter of when they go to play the game, how does that translate, and that’s what you try to develop in the spring as well.”