J.T. Barrett once tried to be a quarterback that he’s not.
That was three years ago when he admittedly pressed during his competition with Cardale Jones for the Ohio State starting job in 2015 in part because he listened to critics.
As Barrett transitions from decorated college star to what he hopes is an NFL career, he’s determined not to repeat the mistake. That was the attitude he took into Thursday’s pro day.
For one last time, he threw balls in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, though to mostly unfamiliar targets, including former Buckeyes and NFL receiver Brian Hartline. Barrett generally threw well, though he said he would have liked to have a couple of throws back.
“I’m not getting wrapped up in proving doubters wrong,” he said.
He said he just wants to be himself.
“I’m not trying to be somebody else,” he said. “I want to be myself because at the end of the day that’s who you’re going to get. You’re going to get J.T. Barrett like this — all day, every day.
“I’m not trying to show you somebody I’m not because then when I get there I change, it’s like, ‘Who is this guy?’ Being myself, being confident and encouraging guys and commanding the huddle are things that I have in my skill set, so that’s all I can do and that’s what I tried to do today.”
Barrett is projected as a late-round draft pick at best.
For Thursday, though, he was just pleased to throw meaningful passes for the last time at the Woody and share the day with his teammates before they scatter to continue draft preparations.
Price on the mend
Center Billy Price suffered a partially torn left pectoral muscle doing the bench press at the NFL combine and his arm remains in a sling.
But he said that his recovery is ahead of schedule. About 2½ weeks removed from surgery, he said he can lift his arm to almost 90 degrees, something that normally takes six months. He expects to be fully healed by June.
“It’s not going to be an issue,” Price said. “I’ll be bench pressing and full strength by the time training camp begins.”
Price was projected as a probable but not definite first-round pick before the injury. He hopes the injury doesn’t hurt his draft stock.
“You really hope it doesn’t impact it, but I’m not the one who gets to make that decision,” he said.
Price said that while he can't impress teams with his physical workouts for now, he wants to do so with his football knowledge in interviews.
One thing he is struggling with is sleep.
“I’m a stomach sleeper,” he said. “I grab my pillow. I (now) literally sleep in one position all night. It’s awful. I like to move.”
Some impressive numbers
Several players stood out at pro day.
Defensive end Tyquan Lewis had a broad jump of 10 feet, 7 inches and excelled in agility drills. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds, according to OSU strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti. Times in the 40 are unofficial because each of the 32 NFL teams represented records its own.
The fastest OSU player who ran Thursday — first-round lock Denzel Ward didn’t — was former walk-on Elijaah Goins. Marotti said he ran a 4.4.
“Somebody’s going to give him a shot because he can run and he played special teams here,” Marotti said.
Defensive end Tracy Sprinkle, the Buckeyes’ only departing starter not invited to the NFL combine, made the most of his pro day. He had 33 reps in the 225-pound bench press and had a 40 time right around 5.0.
“He really did a great job today,” Marotti said. “Ran great, did great in the weight room, looked really good in the drills.”