The appeal of new head coach Urban Meyer and his ability to develop quarterbacks has helped the Ohio State Buckeyes land a big quarterback commitment in the 2013 class with the Tuesday pledge of Wichita Falls (TX) Rider's JT Barrett.
A four-star prospect who will eventually compete with 2012 signee Cardale Jones to replace Braxton Miller, Barrett will give the Buckeyes some short-term insurance and some long-term upside when he arrives on campus.
Holding nine offers from around the country, including LSU and Nebraska, the 6-1, 210-pound Barrett makes up for his lack of ideal size with strong running ability and a greater refinement in the passing game than most dual-threat quarterbacks his age after running for over 1,500 yards and passing for over 1,600 yards as a junior.
Athletically, Barett didn't wow with a 4.79 40 at the Under Armour combine back in January, but it was on a slow track and in pads, he shows the quick feet to make defenders miss in small spaces
John Bronkhorst, a current Texas high school head coach specializing in quarterback development who has 17 years of experience at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels, has had a chance to watch Barrett in person and had this to say about him:
JT Barrett: Dual Threat - He is a slasher style of runner. Not a sound passer, has a tendency to push the ball but does a good job of transferring his weight, especially of the deep ball. Does look to run early at times when things start to break down and needs to improve on keeping his eyes downfield. Tremendous athlete.
More than just his skills on the field, Bronkhorst feels that Barrett has what it takes from the perspective of the intangibles that have such an impact on which quarterbacks are able to find success in college:
JT Barrett, much like Cody Thomas and Tyrone Swoopes, has had learn to adapt his skills and fine tune them with less around him. He has the unique ability to make the rest of the team around him better. If you can not only make your teammates better but control the environment around you, the better you can be. Barrett, I think has that quality.
J.T. Barrett (full junior highlights) (via 247SportsStudio)
For more on Buckeyes football, visit Ohio State blog Along The Olentangy, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire and SB Nation Cleveland.