In 2014, Ohio State then-redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett helped propel the Buckeyes into the first ever College Football Playoff. Now, in 2017, Barrett will be leading the charge for OSU one last time, with extra backing from the Buckeye faithful on campus.
Barrett has been named The Lantern’s Best Athlete by voters, an award which went to current Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. It marks the second-straight year a member of the football team has been named as the university’s best athlete.
After tossing 24 touchdowns and rushing for another nine, Barrett was a key cog in the offensive machine for OSU. Flashing both his legs and his arm, the Texas native compiled 3,400 total yards.
Barrett received lots of criticism for the passing game woes, but managed to command an offensive unit that averaged 39.4 points and 459.2 yards per game. Next year, the redshirt senior will benefit from the presence of former NFL coach Ryan Day, who is now the team’s co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
“He’s a grown man,” Day said. “He’s like a professional when he shows up every day. From when I got here until now, I can see the best thing he does is play the game.”
OSU also brought in Kevin Wilson to help recharge the offense. The former Indiana head coach, who had to strategize against Barrett on multiple occasions, called him “the best quarterback in college football” after OSU’s 38-17 win last year.
“He’s one of the best players, he’s one of the best teammates,” Wilson said. “I’m not in their locker room, I’m sure he’s a phenomenal leader.”
Runner-up: Kyle Snyder