SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — When it came to Clemson safety Jadar Johnson’s criticism of J.T. Barrett’s ability as a passer, Ohio State linebacker Chris Worley had his teammate’s back.
“That’s my quarterback,” Worley said. “That’s what T.O. said.”
All that was missing were the tears.
But while Worley’s attempt to mimic NFL great Terrell Owens’ passionate defense of Tony Romo was done in jest, the content of his message was hardly a joke. Worley wasn’t about to get into a war of words with his upcoming College Football Playoff semifinal Fiesta Bowl opponent. But Worley also wasn’t going to take somebody saying something about his classmate and quarterback lightly either.
“I don’t know what would make him come out and say that,” Worley said. “But at the end of the day, we’ve got to go out and win a game on Saturday, and that’s what it’s about.”
Added the Cleveland Glenville product: “Anybody who really cares about football cares about who’s winning and who’s losing. I mean, people have seen it throughout J.T.’s career. There was the overtime at Penn State (in 2014), he had a knee injury and probably wasn’t supposed to come back in the game and came back and led us to a victory. When the offense wasn’t playing well against The Team Up North, to see him come back and help us win a game, I mean, that’s who he is.
“He’s a winner at the end of the day. I’ll take my quarterback, like T.O. said, over anybody.”