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Dwayne Haskins is the preseason favorite to win Ohio State's starting quarterback job.

Ohio State football: Buckeyes quarterback intrigue could get back to crazy 2015 levels

Austin Ward

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As J.T. Barrett can no doubt attest, sometimes the coverage, conversations and debates about Ohio State quarterbacks can get a little extreme. Certainly I’m adding fuel to that fire since it’s still January and I’ve already broken down what feels like the most intriguing storyline for the Buckeyes this year probably a dozen times. But for a team with national title aspirations, a proven coaching staff, and a flood of veteran, NFL-capable players electing to return for another season, what Ohio State gets from the most important position on the field is almost certainly going to determine whether it can win another College Football Playoff.

So, it’s starting to feel a little like 2015 again. And while that was one of the craziest quarterback circuses I have even been around, there’s a chance that the transition into the Post-Barrett Era could reach those levels again.

Now, it’s a little different in that Dwayne Haskins appears to have the edge when the Buckeyes get back to work for spring practices in March. But there is still some drama as we wait to hear from Joe Burrow on his intentions for the future, since he can graduate and transfer without sitting out a season. That’s kind of a throwback to the Braxton Miller saga when every major program in the country was hoping to land him as a transfer, even though his shoulder issues had already helped convince him to make a move to wide receiver.

Ohio State football-Tate Martell-Dwayne Haskins-Urban Meyer-Buckeyes
Tate Martell is looking to help Ohio State any way he can. (David Jablonski/Cox Media Group)

If nobody leaves, there could be another debate over which is more valuable: a strong-armed thrower like Haskins (Cardale Jones, anybody?) or a dual-threat game manager to operate the power spread like Burrow (in the role of Barrett). The wild card this time around is Tate Martell, who almost certainly is going to be involved offensively in some capacity and has raised lready sky-high expectations even more with how he handled his redshirt season on the scout team. And just for good measure, there could be plenty to learn about Matthew Baldwin after he enrolled early, since he’ll get a chance to dive into the offense and start learning the system during spring ball.

There’s going to be a whole lot more written and discussed about the quarterbacks this year. Maybe it will resolve itself quickly and neatly and the attention can go elsewhere — but this is Ohio State we’re talking about here. The quarterbacks are always going to be under a microscope, and this offseason obviously is going to belong to that position.


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