Ohio State added two more quarterbacks to the roster on national signing day last week.
Joe Burrow, of Athens, Ohio, and Torrance Gibson, of Plantation, Fla., may not see the field in 2015 or even 2016. The Buckeyes have an embarrassment of riches at their position. Even the three quarterbacks with the proven track records — Cardale Jones, J.T. Barrett and Braxton Miller — face uncertainty of playing time.
The man who will deal with all five of those players — plus Stephen Collier and Luke Morgan, two more quarterbacks on the roster — is new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tim Beck.
While the odds would say Burrow and Gibson will redshirt next fall, Beck said, “You never know.”
Injuries change everything, as the Buckeyes well know from recent experience during their national championship season. Miller lost his season to a shoulder injury. Barrett took over. Barrett went down in the Michigan game with a broken ankle. Jones led the Buckeyes to three straight victories.
Beck will tell the new quarterbacks to prepare for the unexpected. Meanwhile, they’ll get a chance to develop in head coach Urban Meyer’s system.
“Wherever he’s been, quarterbacks have been extremely successful,” Beck said. “They saw that. They saw the success. They saw the opportunity to come play in an offense where they can get better. They saw their chance to play in a program that’s going to develop them as young men and student-athletes. My hat’s off to them. They’re going to compete, and our guys (currently on the roster) know they’re going to compete.”
Beck was hired in January when Tom Herman left Ohio State after the national championship game to become coach at Houston. He spent the last four years as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Nebraska.
Nebraska locked up a quarterback commitment for 2015 early in the process, so it didn’t recruit Burrow or Gibson. But Beck knew their names. When he was hired at Ohio State, he worked on making sure they didn’t change their commitments.
Beck also explained to Burrow, who has family ties to Nebraska, why the Cornhuskers didn’t recruit him. Mostly, Beck worked on getting to know Burrow and Gibson.
While Burrow and Gibson might be the future of Ohio State football, the present remains the most pressing matter. The quarterback controversy involving Jones, Barrett and Miller won’t go away anytime soon.
“The good part is those guys understand,” Beck said. “It’s an interesting group. Great young men. Hard working. There’s a tremendous bond between all three of them, which is a great tribute to Tom and what he was able to put together along with coach Meyer and his staff.
“They compete hard because they want to win and want to play, but they also help each other. I think it will be interesting. It’s a good problem to have right now, isn’t it?”