- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- With Ohio State likely done at quarterback in the 2013 class, one of the main objectives of the first day of the Buckeyes’ three-day camp was to identify and begin separating the quarterback targets for 2014.
One of the more decorated quarterbacks at Thursday’s camp was Drew Barker (Hebron, Ky./Conner), who was throwing for the Ohio State coaches for the first time.
“When we were just throwing routes on air [at the start], I was a little shaky. The wind was blowing pretty hard, but I’m not going to use that as an excuse,” Barker said. “Once I started getting in a rhythm in one-on-ones, I started throwing really good.”
Urban Meyer and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman kept a close eye on Barker, and the two offered praise and advice for Barker throughout the afternoon.
“Coach Herman said I did really well," Barker said. "He gave me his number because I just talk to Coach [Kerry] Coombs, but he gave me his number personally and said to keep calling him once a week. Coach Herman was a great guy. His instruction, I thought, was really helpful. I really think I can see myself playing for him.
“Meyer said I threw really well, too. He really liked me. He just said to keep in contact and he said he’d get on the phone with me, too.”
Cincinnati, Illinois, Louisville, Purdue and Western Kentucky have already offered Barker. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound pocket passer is on the Buckeyes’ recruiting board, and it was his third time on the Buckeyes’ campus. He visited on consecutive weekends in April.
Barker did not stick around following the camp, though, as he is visiting South Carolina on Saturday.
DeShone Kizer (Toledo, Ohio/Toledo Central Catholic) also worked out for the Buckeyes on Thursday. The 6-5, 208-pound quarterback has seven offers. He’s familiar with the program, and he stuck around with the coaching staff following the camp.
Two other quarterbacks who performed well Thursday were Adam Bertke (Maria Stein, Ohio/Marion) and Joey Duckworth (Louisville, Ohio/Louisville).
Bertke, who already has a Toledo offer, thought he did well but picked up a few pointers from the coaching staff during the camp.
“I thought I threw it well today. As far as critiquing, mostly just my throw and my release and where the ball should be and standing tall in the pocket, too,” Bertke said. “ My elbow was down a little bit. They wanted me to get it higher, and that’s why some of my balls were going low.”
Duckworth, who has offers from three MAC programs, believed he could have done better, and he said the coaches worked with him on his drops. Playing in a high school offense based in the shotgun, Duckworth said it is a part of his game he needs the most work on.
Another 2014 quarterback will be on campus Friday and work out Saturday. Caleb Henderson (Alexandria, Va./West Potomac) could be the one quarterback to land an offer by weekend’s end.
Spearman makes it to another camp
Three-star Reggie Spearman (Chicago/Simeon) is a regular on the camp scene, but not many expected him to be in attendance Thursday. Not only has he worked out at a number of camps already this spring and could have been in need of a break, but he also had to catch an early-morning flight Friday to Texas to compete for the U.S. Under-19 national team.
Still, Spearman was out there competing with his Core 6 teammate Clifton Garrett (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield), a 2014 linebacker who has an Ohio State offer and lists the Buckeyes as his early favorite.
With a cloudy picture at linebacker in the Buckeyes’ 2013 class, Spearman is a name worth keeping an eye on. He has a few BCS offers, with likely more to come by the time signing day nears. The 6-1, 218-pound outside linebacker has excelled at camps all spring, so if he couples that with a strong senior season, it might be enough for Ohio State to send out an offer.
3hJosh Moyer and Dan Murphy