J.T. Barrett is the big man on campus, the starting quarterback for the Ohio State Buckeyes. He accounted for a record-seven touchdowns Saturday in a 77-10 victory over Bowling Green.
It’s only natural he got this question Monday from a reporter at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
“You know a lot of famous people,” the reporter said. “You had a record-setting day on Saturday. Who was the most famous person who texted you congratulations?”
“Most famous person?” Barrett said. “I talked to Kirk Herbstreit. We text every now and then. That’s pretty cool.”
The Centerville grad Herbstreit is a big name in college football. He has 944,000 followers on Twitter. He also knows what it’s like to play quarterback for the Buckeyes.
Herbstreit never had a day like Barrett had in the season opener. No one in Ohio State history has. The Big Ten had an easy choice when it named Barrett the offensive player of the week Monday.
Barrett’s performance is even more remarkable considering how his day started. Ohio State’s first drive ended with an interception returned 63 yards for a touchdown by Bowling Green’s Brandon Harris.
“I was, like, man, J, somebody could’ve told you you was throwing a pick six the first drive of 2016, you’d be, like, ‘You’re a liar,’” Barrett said. “I said, ‘Sheesh, J.T., it’s a pick six, but relax, you know what happened. You were just being greedy. So stop being greedy.’ And then I went to everybody and I was, like, ‘It’s on me. I apologize. It won’t happen again.’ And then we went on about our day.”
Barrett threw six touchdown passes and ran for another. His first four touchdown passes went to four different players: K.J. Hill, Dontre Wilson, Curtis Samuel and Noah Brown. After the interception, the Buckeyes scored 11 touchdowns on 13 possessions.
“J.T. is athletic enough, certainly quick enough to get us in the end zone,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. “The other thing is you have to make those tight window throws, and he’s pretty good at that.”
Barrett entered the season with his name ranked high in the Ohio State record books in numerous categories. He has thrown 51 touchdown passes in his career and rushed for 23. Still he thinks he got better this season in one area: reading the defenses. He used the first touchdown pass of the season, to Hill, as an example.
“I saw the no-deep look that we practiced on the field and in practice,” Barrett said, “but also saw on film and what the look was going to look like and then checked into the protection and gave the routes, and we scored.”