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Thursday, March 14, 2013
Pocket passer? Ohio State says no thanks

By Brad Bournival

With apologies to Joe Bauserman and Todd Boeckman, there’s a certain quarterback Ohio State wants these days.

For the most part, it started when Troy Smith took over for Justin Zwick as the signal-caller and has continued ever since.

Whether it’s been Smith (5,720 career passing yards, 1,168 yards rushing, 68 total touchdowns), Terrelle Pryor (6,177, 2,165, 74) or Braxton Miller (3,198, 1,968, 48), the Buckeyes want a quarterback that can both run and pass.

Nothing has changed under Urban Meyer. The two-time national champion has offered 10 quarterbacks since national signing day 2012. Just one -- Brice Ramsey (1,396 yards passing, 19 touchdowns) -- has been a pocket passer.

J.T. Barrett, a 2013 signee, finished with 1,353 total yards and 12 touchdowns before a knee injury shut him down last season.

From Mitch Trubisky (3,712 yards passing, 41 touchdowns, 797 yards rushing, 16 touchdowns), to Malik Zaire (1,632, 21, 914, 9) to Bucky Hodges (2,214, 18, 505, 11), Meyer not only craves a mobile quarterback, he demands it.

That hasn’t changed in the classes of 2014 and 2015. Three quarterbacks have been offered, and all can scoot.

Much has been made of Deshaun Watson, who passed for 4,024 yards, rushed for 1,441 yards and had a combined 74 touchdowns as a junior last season.

A look into 2015 shows the same thing as Kyler Murray -- the son of former Texas A&M signal caller Kevin Murray -- was the latest to pick an offer up from Ohio State. He threw for 2,004 yards last season, rushed for 1,370 and logged 42 total touchdowns.

The only other offer out there went to Torrance Gibson. While the sophomore quarterback was stuck behind Cincinnati signee Tyler Cogswell last season, he’s the same dual-threat field general Meyer craves.

While Ohio State certainly won’t pass on offering the best of the best, the trend shows if a quarterback doesn’t have wheels, he’s probably not garnering much interest from the Buckeyes.