On the eve of playing in the East-West Shrine game Saturday in St. Petersburg, Florida, outgoing Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett was named the winner of the game’s Pat Tillman award.

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It goes annually to the player who best exemplifies intelligence, sportsmanship and service, and it takes into account his achievements and conduct on and off the field, celebrating the qualities brought by Tillman, a former Arizona State and NFL player who was killed in 2004 while serving his country in Afghanistan.

“It is an honor to receive this award that holds Pat Tillman's name,” Barrett said in a news release announcing the honor. “The people that he impacted during his career and the sacrifice he made says a lot about the kind of man he was.”

Barrett set multiple Big Ten and Ohio State records in his four-year run as starting quarterback. He led the Buckeyes to a win the Cotton Bowl over Southern California last month in which he passed Drew Brees as the Big Ten’s career total offense leader.

“J.T. Barrett is one of the great young leaders I have ever been around,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said in the release. “On behalf of the entire Ohio State football program, I want to congratulate J.T. on this tremendous honor of being named the East-West Shrine Game’s Pat Tillman Award winner.”

tmay@dispatch.com

@TIM_MAYsports

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