QBs address celebration crowd; no hints offered
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State’s formal national championship celebration Saturday morning was a 40-minute infomercial for Urban Meyer’s program, and it was well deserved.
It was also a reminder of the program’s unresolved quarterback situation.
Meyer introduced the quarterback trio of Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones to a crowd announced at 45,000 in Ohio Stadium as, "The Magnificent Three."
All three have remaining eligibility, and all three addressed the crowd briefly.
Jones, who entered the season as the third stringer and had never played a significant down until Barrett was hurt in the Nov. 29 regular-season finale, announced earlier this month he’s returning to Ohio State for another season. He said after his announcement he’s been made no promises by Meyer in regard to next season.
Miller, the two-time Big Ten Player of the Year, suffered a shoulder injury last August that cost him what would have been his senior season. Barrett, a redshirt freshman, went on to break the Big Ten single-season touchdown record and finish fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting.
Barrett suffered a leg fracture in the fourth quarter vs. Michigan, and Jones won all three postseason starts in helping the Buckeyes to the national title.
"I dedicated the season and the last three games to these guys (Miller and Barrett)," Jones told the crowd.
Miller took the microphone during the ceremony and told the crowd, "It was a privilege and an honor to be part of this national championship team in 2014. But guess what, we’ve got another year to do it. Go Bucks."
Because he graduated in December, Miller would be immediately eligible if he chooses to transfer. He hasn’t spoken to reporters since August; he traveled with the team during its postseason run.
Meyer has answered questions since December by saying he believes Miller will be back and that the situation will be addressed. After the ceremony Meyer told reporters, "(Miller) is in a unique situation. We’ll cover that later."
Meyer said he’ll remember the 2014 Buckeyes as "the most selfless group of players I’ve ever been around" and in keeping with that theme named departing senior wide receiver Evan Spencer as a permanent captain of the 2014 team. Before the national title game Meyer had said he saw Spencer as the team’s MVP for his leadership and contributions that didn’t show up in the stat sheet.
Neither Miller nor Barrett is likely to receive full medical clearance for spring practice, which begins in mid-March.
Both Ohio State’s football and basketball program have highly regarded recruits on campus this weekend. Football’s National Signing Day is Feb. 4.