Monday, February 18, 2013
State of the rivalry: Quarterback
By Chantel Jennings & Brad Bournival
The writers at WolverineNation and BuckeyeNation put their heads together to break down the rivals' 2013 classes. They'll give readers a position-by-position look at who coaches Brady Hoke and Urban Meyer brought in and, ultimately, which class edged out the other. It's too early to say what will happen through the next few seasons, and we won't make any promises except that Hoke and Meyer are going to put talent on the field.
Facing more rehab from a torn ACL last season, incoming Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett looks to capably grab the reins from Braxton Miller down the road.
Michigan got: The Wolverines picked up 2013 quarterback signee Shane Morris (Warren, Mich./De La Salle) before they had even picked up most of their 2012 class. His early commitment helped get other players on board, as he gave prospects faith that the Wolverines truly were transitioning into a drop-back, pro-style offense.
He likely will redshirt in his freshman year (and possibly his sophomore year, too, depending on Devin Gardner’s medical redshirt status). But he could be the face that brings Michigan’s program back to pro-style relevance on the national scene.
He has a cannon of an arm, and will greatly benefit from a year of work on accuracy with offensive coordinator and QB coach Al Borges. He won’t be an immediate impact name, and that’s a good thing for Michigan. But he could be a player who carries this team in the future, and that’s a big deal for the Wolverines.
Ohio State got: The Buckeyes picked up J.T. Barrett (Wichita Falls, Texas/Ryder) as the only quarterback signee in the 2013 class. He committed to the university on April 18 and is already a student at Ohio State, having enrolled in January. He’s a dual-threat quarterback cut from the same mold as Heisman Trophy hopeful Braxton Miller, who is entering his junior year with the Buckeyes.
Barrett will almost assuredly take a medical redshirt in his freshman year in college, as he suffered a torn ACL and meniscus halfway through his senior season. Barrett had planned on enrolling early anyway, but part of his longing to get to Ohio State and reconnect with Urban Meyer and Co. was so he could be put in the hands of team doctors as he looks to rehab from the injury. If Barrett can bounce back as planned, Ohio State is looking for a seamless transition when he takes over the quarterback position in what the Buckeyes hope is 2015. His appearance in the Elite 11 shows he’s ready to take on the challenge and be the face for Ohio State in the future.
Advantage: Michigan (slightly)
This is a battle we really won’t see played out for a few years, unless serious injury happens in the first groups at either school, but Michigan gets the nod more because of what Morris did in assembling the class and the inherent advantage that gives him from a leadership standpoint. He’s a player to whom guys will look, and as long as his game comes along, he’ll continue to be given the advantage. But by no means is this a battle that’s out of reach for Barrett.