Ohio State has the best problem in college football
February 11, 2015
Attention Big Ten: At this point, it might be a good idea to close your eyes and turn away, especially if you are not Ohio State.
It probably should not be a shock to anyone who follows Big Ten football, but Ohio State has added a potential star under center to an already extremely talented trio of quarterbacks. With a national championship just a month in the rearview mirror, head coach Urban Meyer has stepped even harder on the gas pedal.
Last week, the Buckeyes signed highly rated quarterback recruit Torrance Gibson, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Though technically recruited as an “athlete,” Gibson will most likely ply his craft at quarterback.
Gibson is the ideal dual-threat quarterback. As a five-star prospect, he boasts all the physical tools needed to excel as an elite player at a top program. The first thing that stands out about Gibson is his size — he stands at 6-foot-4 and 204 pounds. He has potent arm strength — evidenced by his 44 career touchdown passes in high school.
But perhaps the most exciting aspect of his game is his running ability. He possesses game-breaking speed combined with an elusiveness that should be enough to make him a matchup nightmare for any defense in the Big Ten.
The Buckeyes have probably the best dilemma that any team in the country could ask for: Four of their quarterbacks, including the three who have had past success, could start for any other program in the country, but instead have chosen to stay in Columbus.
Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones have all proved themselves under center in one way or another, and each can stake a legitimate claim to the starting job.
Miller put up Heisman-like numbers for Ohio State in 2013, leading it to a berth in the Sugar Bowl. Miller was injured prior to 2014, and Barrett would go on to right the ship, leading the Buckeyes to a 12-1 regular season record.
When Barrett broke his leg in the final regular season game, it seemed as if a promising season would be lost. But the third-string quarterback, Jones, took over and beat the top two teams in the nation and all three Heisman Trophy finalists in three consecutive starts to win the national championship.
At this point it looks like there will be quite a quarterback battle in 2015, though that may change as recent reports have indicated Braxton Miller is considering transferring to either Oregon or Florida State. Even with that development, Ohio State would still be left with three skilled quarterbacks — two of whom have past success.
As exciting as signing Gibson is, conventional wisdom says starting a true freshman would be a mistake. It would be wise for the Ohio State coaching staff to declare an open quarterback competition, and decide the starter based on success in training camp, as opposed to past accomplishments.
As much as choosing between four quarterbacks is tough, it reveals just how strong Meyer has reconstructed a program that a few years back was mired in controversy and mediocrity. Ohio State is the class of the Big Ten, and the starting quarterback dilemma further proves this point.
Ohio State might have a problem on its hands, but that problem is more of a problem for the rest of the Big Ten and the nation than it is for the Scarlet and Gray.
Dan is a junior in Media. He can be reached at [email protected] and Twitter @danescalona77.