With Joe Burrow having suffered a broken bone in his throwing hand earlier this week, the backup quarterback job at Ohio State appears to belong to Dwayne Haskins Jr. moving forward, the news underscoring something Haskins said to reporters just last week.
He relayed how coach Urban Meyer and the rest of the coaches continually stress the importance of being ready when one’s number is called, and referenced recent OSU history as testimony.
"They always preach about 2014 and just how everybody was ready to play whether it was Braxton or J.T. or Cardale," Haskins said.
Braxton Miller was the No.1 quarterback that preseason who suffered a shoulder injury, thrusting a then-redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett into the starting role. Barrett led the Buckeyes to the brink of the Big Ten championship game before suffering a broken ankle in the fourth quarter against Michigan. Cardale Jones stepped in and led the team to three straight post-season wins and the first College Football Playoff championship.
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Burrow, a third-year sophomore from Athens, Ohio, was the backup to Barrett last season, and was in a battle with redshirt-freshman Haskins for the No.2 job this preseason before suffering the injury on Monday. A team spokesman confirmed Burrow underwent surgery to set the fracture on Tuesday and is out indefinitely.
Freshman Tate Martell, from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nev., who was the most highly decorated prep quarterback in the nation last season, likely assumes the No.3 spot. Interestingly, Martell, who enrolled in January, had the black stripe removed from his practice helmet just a few days ago, signifying he is ready to play if needed.
But when the Buckeyes, ranked No.2 in both major preseason polls, open the season Aug.31 at Indiana, Haskins will be the backup to Barrett. From the Bullis School in Potomac, Md., Haskins indicated last week he is much more comfortable running the offense with a year of college under his belt, and he spoke of what he considers his strength.
“I’m just really confident with where I put the ball (with passes), and that I can make any throw on the field,” said the 6-foot-3, 214-pound Haskins, who was considered one of the nation’s top pro-style QB prospects when he signed with OSU in 2016. “When I go play, it’s like if somebody is open I’m going to throw it to him; if he’s covered a little bit I can get it in the window. So it’s just having that gunslinger mentality.”
First-year OSU quarterbacks coach Ryan Day sees Haskins’ talent similarly.
“Very talented throwing the football, he can get the ball out of his hand very quickly, extremely accurate,” Day said. “He’s coming along … in the classroom as well, doing a nice job running the offense, picking it up.”
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