There has been a lot of speculation and some mild, perhaps displaced, debate about whether or not J.T. Barrett should start ahead of Braxton Miller in 2015 (assuming Miller does return to Ohio State for 2015). Barrett, a redshirt freshman, has been performing well since his first real big test against Virginia Tech early in the season, and now that the Buckeyes are in a groove and making a run for a possible return to the Big Ten championship game, Barrett is becoming a respected player around the Big Ten. But is it too early to suggest Barrett is significantly better than Miller, a two-time Silver Football award winner in the conference?
Michigan State linebacker Taiwan Jones isn’t holding back in his praise of the new starting quarterback in Columbus. While speaking to reporters this week, Jones suggested Barrett is a “way better quarterback” than Miller. Asked to clarify his statement, Jones scaled back the hype slightly, but stuck to his word in suggesting Barrett is a better option for the Buckeyes.
“As an athlete, I feel like Braxton Miller is better, but I feel … (Barrett) fits better for that offense,” Jones said, per Detroit Free Press.
Barrett has started all eight games for Ohio State this season. Heading into this week’s game at Michigan State, Barrett has completed 64.7 percent of his passes for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns to seven interceptions. He has also carried the football for 496 yards and six touchdowns. Last year, Miller played in 12 games for the Buckeyes and completed 63.5 percent of his passes for 2,094 yards and 24 touchdowns to seven interceptions. He also rushed for 1,068 yards and 12 touchdowns. Barrett is clearly on track for a higher passing total and a slightly better pass completion percentage, and his running abilities are not bad in comparison to Miller’s 2013 production.
If Miller does return to Ohio State in 2015 and pass on the NFL Draft after missing the entire season with a shoulder injury, head coach Urban Meyer will have quite a decision to make. Of course, being faced with this kind of decision is one just about any coach would like the luxury of having. Did I mention Ohio State just added a pretty good dual-threat quarterback to the Class of 2015 commitment list?