Staff changes aided J.T. Barrett's decision to return to Ohio State

Staff changes aided J.T. Barrett's decision to return to Ohio State

(AP) Quarterback J.T. Barrett said coaching changes were needed at Ohio State and getting new offensive coordinators played into his decision to return for his final year of eligibility.

During the Ohio State basketball game on Sunday, Barrett accepted the Chicago Tribune Silver Football award as the Big Ten’s best player. He said bringing in new offensive coaches was a positive move because “sometimes we get set in our ways.”

After passing-game struggles culminated in a 31-0 rout by Clemson in the College Football Playoff, coach Urban Meyer ushered out Ed Warinner and Tim Beck, replacing them with former Indiana coach Kevin Wilson and NFL assistant Ryan Day.

“Something new,” Barrett said. “Change is also a good thing. Change is not always bad. I think it was needed.”

Barrett said last season’s offense was effective but wasn’t “lighting up the scoreboard” like fans had come to expect from the Buckeyes.

“It was not like we were awful by any means,” he said. “We’ve got the train running, we just got to make sure it’s going full speed.”

He said he considered the coaching changes as he decided whether to enter the NFL draft or return for a final season. Day, who also will coach quarterbacks, comes to Ohio State with 15 years of coaching experience, spending last season leading quarterbacks under Chip Kelly at San Francisco.

“That was part of it, just trying to make sure that if I was to come back, it was something I was going to do that was best for me and for me to grow as a quarterback,” Barrett said.

Barrett, who holds the school record for touchdowns, said he never thought of transferring. There had been speculation he might join former Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman at Texas for his final year.

Guard Billy Price decided before the season ended to return, saying it’s important for him to graduate from Ohio State. He will shift over to center to replace All-American Pat Elflein, giving the Buckeyes an experienced battery.

He said Barrett returning will make the Buckeyes better.

“It’s another leader, a guy I’ve been to war with, to come back and lead this team,” Price said.

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