Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said J.T. Barrett doesn’t have a choice when it comes to the Ohio State quarterback’s future when he’s finished playing.
“I joke around about it, but he is certainly going to be a coach,” Meyer said on his radio call-in show Thursday on 97.1 The Fan. “He doesn’t really have option. I tell him go play as long as you can and then you don’t have to look for work. We’ll find you.”
Meyer spoke at length about the success his quarterbacks have had, starting with Josh Harris at Bowling Green and then Alex Smith at Utah. Smith was taken first in the NFL draft by San Francisco but was often criticized early in his career. Now he has developed into an elite quarterback for Kansas City.
Meyer called that early criticism a joke.
"They put him on a bad team and said he couldn't play in the NFL,” Meyer said.
At Florida, Meyer had Chris Leak and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, who both won national championships.
“Then you had Braxton (Miller), Cardale (Jones), J.T,” Meyer said. “That’s pretty cool.”
Meyer said they haven’t all fit the same mold.
“Tall, skinny, short, fast, not as fast, black, white, orange, green, yellow,” he said.
But there is a link.
“They’re leaders,” Meyer said. “Tough as nails and they raised the level of the guys they were around. It’s the most unique position in all of sport and J.T. is right there. And the young man we’re playing” – Penn State’s Trace McSorley – “is just like that.” ‘He’s too short, he’s too this.’ No. he’s going to find a way to get a first down and that’s what makes this game so intriguing, these two quarterbacks.
Other highlights from Meyer’s radio show:
* Meyer on the Buckeyes’ improvement since the Oklahoma loss: “There’s been nice progress made. I’ve been saying for five weeks that we’re realistic (about what it means). The weaknesses of our team that were exposed early have very much improved."
* I like (the improvement). We’ll find out. This is our sixth year here and every year it kind of comes down to this stretch run. The perfect template was ’14. The team got stronger and stronger and played its best when we needed it the most. Back in ’15 other than the one (against Michigan State), they did the same thing. They played great against our rival and in the (Fiesta) bowl game (against Notre Dame).
* Meyer on the stakes his team faces now: "You're in March Madness. It's every game (that's must-win)."
* Meyer on having Tuf Borland and J.K. Dobbins take over for injured players and play well: “It's critical. It's all about recruiting and developing players and making sure next man is up.”
* Meyer on night games: "I'm a fan of night games, just not four of them (on the road)."
* Meyer on Penn State linebacker Jason Cabinda: "Very talented guy. Fast. Just a very good player."
* Meyer on PSU defense: Said it's the first 4-3 defense OSU will face. They're a penetrating defense, not read and react. He said that Penn State’s experienced secondary is the best one Ohio State has faced.
* Meyer on Penn State’s offense: "Their skill level is one of the best in the country."
* Meyer on depth/culture of his receiver unit: "This group is one of the most selfless, humble groups -- probably the best group I've ever had."
* Meyer on Tuf Borland: "Tuf Borland is to me as valuable as anyone on the team" because of play as LB and as leader on special teams.
* Meyer on rotating players vs PSU on defense: Said he doesn't micromanage, but says rotation might be shortened a bit in crunch time.
* Meyer on OSU’s scout team: "Tate Martell (as McSorley) and Demario McCall (as Barkley) has really helped out our defense this week."
* Meyer said Eron Hodges, Mark Pantoni and Tim Hinton have been instrumental in walk-on program, which has resulted in scholarships for some.
* Meyer on Larry Johnson's PSU ties: Said it's not much of a factor anymore. "He's a Buckeye now. He looks good in scarlet and gray."
* Meyer on ex-OSU FB/LB Zach Boren: Said they had “very much dislike for each other” early in 2012. Then added, “He became one of the greatest leaders Ohio State has ever had.”
This week's guest is linebacker Chris Worley.
* Worley: "Whenever you have a team with the amount of talent that can match up with you and is also tradition-rich just like you have, it provides a little extra oomph for the game. At the end of the day, it’s two great teams and one team has to be the winner.”
* Worley on PSU's playmakers: "It’s been pretty amazing from a football aspect to see the type of talent they have on offense. We have watched extra film. … Everyone knows about Barkley, but Trace runs the whole show. He’s so great within their offense. TE (Mike) Gesicki is a great receiving tight end. (WR DaeSean) Hamilton… They have some really good weapons they can use.
* Worley called his injury a blessing in disguise to some degree because it allowed players like Borland to get playing time but said it has been bittersweet having to miss time in his senior year.
* Worley on OSU's young LBs: “Pete (Werner) is playing amazing on special teams right now. Said Baron Browning has “all the ability,” but like most freshmen is still learning how to put it all together.
* Worley said he enjoys watching opposing O-lines "panicking" at trying to block Nick Bosa and the others on OSU's D-line.
* Worley on the defensive line’s flexibility: "We put Tyquan (Lewis) in the middle and he just kills the center."