Week two into training camp, the most talked about and overly speculated topic is who will be the starting quarterback for the Ohio State Buckeyes this season. From New Jersey to Columbus, I’m always asked, “So, who do you think will be the starter…?” From ESPN to sports blogs, everyone thinks he or she knows who will start and who should start. There have been countless analysis and pontification about JT and Cardale and Cardale or JT. But honestly, none of these analysis matters. The following are three reasons it doesn’t matter who comes through that tunnel in Blacksburg.
The team is loaded
Not to minimize the important role of a team’s quarterback but Ohio State is loaded with talent. There are high school All-Americans who won’t get to play this season because there are so much talent in that locker room. Whether it’s JT or Cardale, the team will galvanize and play with same intensity, focus and force. These guys all want to win. Both JT and Cardale are proven winners. Can’t lose with either of them in the huddle.
JT and Cardale are Solid
With many other teams, the issue of picking a starter could divide a locker room. Not so with Buckeye football because the two guys vying for the starting job are solid friends and each other’s biggest supporter on the team. That’s not a cliche or a PR stunt. It’s the truth. They are great competitors who understand the nature of the game and the fleeting moment of it all. No matter who starts, the other knows he has the support of his teammate and friend. There’s no friction among them; therefore none with the team.
Both quarterbacks know what’s important
Winning one game at a time is the goal for the Ohio State Buckeye this season. No matter what’s reported and speculated, they still have to go out there and play. For JT and Cardale, the focus is the playbook and execution. We needed two quarterbacks last season to win the championship. Both guys stepped up and delivered when their numbers were called. When Braxton Miller went down less than two weeks before the start of last season, JT stepped up and broke just about every QB record at Ohio State and the BIG Ten and his QBRs were off the charts nationally. When JT went down, Cardale, the offense and that defense broke down Wisconsin in the BIG Ten Championship game, leading the team to a Sugar Bowl win and National Championship victory.
You don’t get this much success from young guys if there isn’t a firm commitment by the team to focus on the team. So whichever quarterback comes through that tunnel on game day at Virginia Tech will be something for the other Hokies to worry about, not us. Our team knows what it has to do to win, and whichever quarterback enters that huddle on game day will be ready to execute, knowing he has the support of his friend and all his teammates. Plus after watching the team practice during training camp all week, I can assure you we’ll be just fine.