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The Spring Game, the QBs and “If you were Urban…” - Baver Answers Colin’s Questions

Follow @baverbuckeyebag and listen for him on the CD1025 Morning Show with Brian Phillips.

Colin: Do spring games tell you anything? I mean, if they did…wouldn’t Bam Childress have ended up with a couple of Heismans?

Baver: Indeed…..ha. You don’t get much from these things. The halftime races and QB throwing contests they have now are often more entertaining than the actual scrimmages. But I do like to see the freshmen that arrived early and those frosh that redshirted the prior year, at least to see what they bring to the table athletically. And it’s nice to see the Buckeye QBs in scrimmage action, especially if they haven’t played much. And to be honest, I think that watching Bam Childress go off once a year in April was actually pretty cool.

Colin: If you were Urban, would you tell Ohio boy Joe Burrow he has no shot and have him transfer or lead him on as insurance?

Baver: I really don’t think that’s the case….that Burrow has no shot. I think Burrow was likely your #2 guy before his hand injury last August. But Haskins held his own in mop time, and more than held his own leading OSU to the comeback win in Ann Arbor. And there are whispers that Haskins has the backing of the rest of the team more so than Burrow. So I agree Haskins has the leg up, but Burrow is the more accurate of the two, and will do more with his legs than Haskins will. But to try to answer your question, I don’t think anyone outside of the coaches’ room will know of Urban’s pecking order at QB anytime soon. If Burrow transfers, he may end up at Nebraska or even worse, heading 4 hours north of us to play, and playing immediately. UM would be a longer shot with them likely getting a waiver for Shea Patterson to play this fall, but it’s not out of the question….and Urban is well aware of that.

Colin: How does Tate Martell play into the QB equation?

Baver: I see almost no way Meyer names Tate Martell the #1 guy, as he risks having Burrow and Haskins both transfer. They can probably satisfy Tate by promising him legit playing time, and in packages with Haskins or Burrow on the field with him at the same time. I do struggle seeing Tate as a true #1 QB at OSU at any point in his career. He is much smaller than two other guys he is being compared with – Johnny Football and Baker Mayfield. But Tate appears to be a gamer and a guy that can cause college defenses a lot of problems if you utilize him the right way. The kid is going to see quite a few snaps this fall, and not just playing the mop-up roll.

Colin: Seems like a lot of question marks on this team…at least for a team you expect to win 11+ games every year. What’s your gut telling you about this ’18 team?

Baver: Urban has had the Buckeyes, at a minimum, on the playoff bubble each of the four years the CFP has been around. I fully expect them to be there again.  With the last two recruiting classes, Urban and co. are on the verge of stockpiling talent at every position the way Bama has done it for years. I haven’t said that in the past, as I always considered Bama a clear cut above the rest in talent level (and everything else for that matter). But you are right, there are a lot of questions. Replacing both OTs and a Remington Award winning center is rough. Tons of talent at linebacker, but not sure who will be manning any of the three specific LB positions come September. There was a clear drop-off after Denzel Ward at corner last year, and now he’s gone. Again, plenty of talent there but no proven star, and no tutelage from Kerry Coombs anymore. Still, Ohio St will be fine at QB and WR, and are loaded at running back. They also, of course, have another elite D-line. This team should go 10-2 or 11-1, and maybe make another legit run