Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, January 28, 2015

It may be the hottest subject in college football: Who will quarterback Ohio State in 2015?

It?s a conundrum for the defending national champions and Urban Meyer, who referred to the options as "The Magnificent Three" at Ohio State's national championship celebration.

You know the three guys well, but let's take a real quick look at them.

There's Braxton Miller, the two-time Silver Football Award winner as the Big Ten?s top player, J.T. Barrett, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year who rewrote Ohio State and Big Ten record books, and Cardale Jones, the beast who led Ohio State to the Big Ten title, Sugar Bowl title and national title in his first three starts.

I asked some leading college football writers who they think should start under center for Ohio State.

Ralph Russo, Associated Press (@ralphDrussoAP): Best case scenario for OSU is Cardale Jones as the starter in 2015 with J.T. Barrett as backup. Jones seems to have the highest ceiling. The key for Urban Meyer is to get Jones and Barrett to stay, so Ohio State is covered at QB the next two seasons. As for Braxton Miller, he needs to find a team where he can start next season. I don't think it's in his best interest to stay in Columbus.

Bruce Feldman, FOX Sports (@BruceFeldmanCFB): I guess the safe answer would be whoever wins the job in training camp, but my hunch is it'll end up as J.T. Barrett or Cardale Jones, and I'll guess Barrett. I think he's the most consistent. At this stage, that'll be what I think Urban Meyer covets most from the position, although it's thorny because I could see a bunch of OSU players wanting Jones.

Matt Hayes, Sporting News (@Matt_HayesSN): J.T. Barrett. Think people forget how good he was and who carried the offense before Ezekiel Elliott took over last three games. Think Urban Meyer will use Barrett and Jones like he used Chris Leak and Tim Tebow in 2006 at Florida with situational packages for Jones.

David Jones, Harrisburg Patriot-News (@djoneshoop): Cardale Jones should be the quarterback because he's exactly what Urban Meyer likes: big, physical and can take the pounding in the spread option that he demands. J.T. Barrett is the best complete quarterback of the three and he should transfer out to Houston. Braxton Miller should become a wide receiver.

Mike Huguenin, (@MikeHuguenin): Not that I am chickening out or anything, but, man, I am not sure. I think if Tom Herman still were offensive coordinator, the favorite would be J.T. Barrett, whom I think fits best with Herman's offense.

Cardale Jones has the most NFL upside, for sure, because of his cannon arm. He is the best passer of the three but also the worst runner (and "worst" is a relative term because while he lacks speed, he certainly doesn't lack for power).

I think Miller is second-best as both a runner and passer. I think Barrett is the best runner. As a passer, he definitely lacks the arm strength of the other two, but still can be an effective in the spread throwing the ball.

The bottom line: I wouldn't be surprised if Miller transfers and lets Barrett and Jones fight it out in fall drills. And I think Barrett ultimately wins the job because I think he offers the most upside for the offense as a whole.

My thoughts? If all three quarterbacks return, I think Barrett should get the nod. He's the best combination passer-runner of the trio. I also like his "gym rat" reputation when it comes to watching film and putting in extra work. Barrett's upside seems limitless.


For what it's worth, that's three votes for Barrett, two for Jones and zero for Miller. Sound about right?

About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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