Ohio State football: Why not just play all 3 quarterbacks, Buckeyes?
During the week, Land of 10 reporters following the Buckeyes address pressing questions on the minds of the Ohio State fan base with our daily feature. To ask Austin Ward a question, follow along on Twitter and suggest a topic right here. Check back Monday through Friday as we dive into the Ohio State Question of the Day. Go here to see all of our previous answers.
Has Urban secretly created a Frankenstein type machine so he can make one guy who has Haskins arm strength, Burrow accuracy, and Martell legs?
— Brandon Shumate (@bshumate1028) April 15, 2018
If the technology existed, Ohio State would absolutely be set at quarterback since it has just about everything it could possibly need to build a terrifying monster at that position. Just imagine what that guy would look like leading the Buckeyes.
Dwayne Haskins has the size, arm strength and confidence in the pocket. Joe Burrow has the accuracy, veteran mentality and knowledge of the playbook. And there’s the mobility, elusiveness and confidence of Tate Martell to help round out the ultimate weapon.
OK, it’s fun to dream. And in that sci-fi scenario, Ohio State wouldn’t have to make the tough decisions about its depth chart and face the possibility of repercussions depending on how the evaluations and meetings at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center shake out this week. Of course, that’s not reality, and at least publicly it doesn’t appear like the Buckeyes are really any closer to a resolution at the end of spring than they were at the start. A big part of the reason why has to be the way Burrow played throughout March and April.
Looking at the physical tools, Burrow doesn’t seem to have one trait he can point to as being truly elite the way Haskins can with his rocket right arm or Martell can with his electrifying feet. For the other two guys, that tends to help them stand out and at least make it seem as if there is a greater upside for them both waiting to be untapped. That may or may not actually be the case, but what Burrow might lack in terms of 10s on the grading scale, he balances that out by pretty consistently posting 8s or 9s across the board. Looking at the complete package at the moment, then, it’s possible to make a compelling argument that Burrow represents the safest choice for the Buckeyes.
The flip side, though, is what could happen if Haskins is tabbed for the job and allowed to develop the rest of his game right along with that big arm. Or down the road, what Ohio State’s offense could look like if Martell’s passing ability catches up with his rushing skills. Burrow, like J.T. Barrett before him, has the ability to do almost everything well and I think would be more than capable of leading the Buckeyes to another Big Ten title. But the allure of some truly special sets of skills is also hard to ignore, which is why I favored Cardale Jones as the winner back during that heated battle in 2015.
It would be easier if there was a way for Ohio State to blend all those skills together and form one perfect quarterback. Maybe it would be helpful if the position allowed for more than one guy to play at a time, or even better if the Buckeyes could find a way to unleash all three.
But that’s not the nature of the position, and a complicated rotation surely isn’t going to be in the cards for the Buckeyes. But it’s fun to dream anyway, right?
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