The Curious Case of JT Barrett (Day IV)
Welcome to Day 4 of The Anion Sports 25 Days of Christmas blog. I have to say I have been very excited when it comes to sports over the last few days. General conversations, insightful opinions and hot debates are simply a part of my life forever when it comes to the world of sport. This weekend was no different. I want to start by saying thanks to the people in my life who constantly are giving me verbal sparring partners. Trust me, you all make me so much better at what I do.
One debate that got particularly intense this past Saturday is now the subject of Day 4. It is the curious case of JT Barrett IV.
Barrett, who is arguably the most accomplished OSU quarterback ever, has had his status and play questioned seemingly ever since he broke his ankle against Michigan at the end of his freshman season. I think the most absurd thing I’ve heard regarding JT is that OSU would not have won the title with him in at quarterback over Cardale (The person who said this knows who they are!). I would like to remind everyone that Ezekiel Elliot ran for a combined 696 yards and 8 touchdowns in Cardale’s first 3 starts. You’d be hard pressed to find a QB that couldn’t win with a dominant rushing performance like that. *See Dak Prescott in Dallas*.
But back to Barrett. I’m not here to argue that he is some highly-touted, Uber prospect worthy of tanking for in the NFL draft. I’m simply saying that the calls for his benching have been utterly undeserved, especially after Cardale Jones declared for the draft. Since putting on the Grey and Scarlet for the first time, all JT has done is set “more than 30 Big Ten and program records.” (Haas-Hill, para. 5, 2017)
Sure, question his deep ball accuracy, but has anyone stopped to acknowledge that this shortcoming comes across as nitpicking a stellar college career? Barrett is currently #7 in Big Ten history (since 1956) in completion percentage. His 9,309 passing yards rank #9 all time in the Big Ten despite his career attempts only ranking 13th (I wonder how he’d rank if not splitting time with Jones in 2015).
This weekend, I heard that he’s more of a running QB and not as good of a passer. Fair enough argument. His career 41 rushing touchdowns are good enough for #19 all time in the Big Ten. My issue comes with the fact that Barrett is the all-time conference leader in passing touchdowns with 104!! By the way, that checks in at #22 on the NCAA all-time leaderboard. His touchdowns responsible for is currently #8.
Barrett does have some negative aspects to his game, as all players do. But to hear him being called trash and weak is beyond disrespectful. I’m not an NFL talent evaluator, but I know good when I see it. Barrett, a three-time captain at OSU, the winningest quarterback in school history, and a sparkling 4-0 record against Michigan, does not deserve the amount of disrespect he gets.
Let me ask all the JT haters, how many times are you lucky enough to have a QB play four years? Just because he hasn’t made the leap pro doesn’t mean he isn’t more than qualified to be your QB1. Seriously, he has been the one constant force when they’ve lost more talent since 2015 than the entire Big Ten West division possesses.
Barrett isn’t perfect, but he is damn good. He does everything you need on Saturday’s. Calling for his head is a result of being spoiled by the greatness that is expected of an elite college football program. Don’t think JT should be the starter? As a wise man once said, “just check the stats bro.”
*All statistics obtained from sports-reference.com*
Hass-Hill, C. (2017, Dec. 2).
J.T. Barrett. (2017, Dec. 4).