And so it is done: Joe Burrow is leaving Ohio State.
That means Urban Meyer’s offense will belong to Dwayne Haskins Jr. this fall barring something unforeseen.
Hopefully it works out for everyone.
There’s a good chance it will given the talents of both, but it’s still a little said.
I have to admit I was rooting for Burrow to be Ohio State’s starter with Haskins getting the keys after he excelled for a year or two.
That’s the perfect scenario, right? Everyone succeeds. Everyone lives happily ever after.
(As long as the Buckeyes win, of course. As John Cooper used to say, the fans are with you win or tie — and don’t tie many!)
Both signal-callers have great backstories — Burrow as Ohio Mr. Football and Haskins the youngster on YouTube geeking out in the locker room 10 years ago — but we’ll only get to see one of those storylines play all the way out in Columbus.
Life is rarely perfect, and the reminders are more frequent now as transfers become more regular.
Burrow likes to paint himself as an underdog despite his high school exploits, but I viewed the competition as a battle of equals. Both are talented enough to be successful starting quarterbacks in the Big Ten.
Burrow was really impressive in the spring game. He has a nice arm and is athletic enough to dial his number on the ground when necessary.
Haskins has a huge arm, but I have to assume his advantage in important playing time was the deciding factor.
If you do this long enough, you learn a few things about coaches. One is that they view game experience as practically sacred. They are terrified of what players will do the first time they are in a big spot regardless of how talented they might be.
That’s the biggest challenge in figuring out playing time because it’s often the missing variable in position battles.
Right or wrong, it’s how coaches are wired, and Haskins got vital playing time after Burrow broke his hand.
Looking ahead, I am excited about the prospect of a pure passer at quarterback for Ohio State for the first time in a decade.
With the evolution of defenses (and subsequently offenses), throw-first quarterbacks are a necessity again unless you are running the triple option or still have a Vince Young, Braxton Miller or Lamar Jackson.
Haskins’ skill set should encourage OSU to get back to its power football and the deep ball roots.
Smashmouth and fireworks all the way.
Best of luck to Burrow. He has enough skill to succeed without it, but sometimes that’s what it take to get an opportunity to play.
Just ask Dwayne Haskins…
Hey, the Cincinnati Reds actually did something I thought might be a good idea in acquiring Matt Harvey.
Matt Harvey might be damaged goods, but he’s still got a better ERA and WHIP than Brandon Finnegan this season.
Puts a few things in perspective doesn’t it?
Maybe this trade blows up in their faces if Devin Mesoraco blooms into an all-star catcher again, but he was going to be gone after this year anyway with the team already committing to Tucker Barnhart.
» EARLIER COVERAGE: Four reasons the Reds should acquire Harvey
This gives Mesoraco a chance for major playing time in a contract year, so that’s an added benefit.
Beyond that, I like sending fans a message this team is willing to be proactive in the face of desperation, too.
It’s a shame that feels necessary, but this is where we are after a largely botched rebuild has fans ready to revolt... or walk away…
Lastly here’s a reliable recruiting hack for programs trying to move up in the world: Find late bloomers.
That’s apparently what Dayton is getting in Chattanooga point guard transfer Rodney Chatman:
Rodney Chatman didn’t play organized basketball until he was 12. Even though he’s entering his junior year in college, he’s only 19.
“I knew once he once hit 18 or 19, his game would take off,” said Chatman’s dad, Rodney. “I would tell all the college coaches that.”
The players who develop early are often snapped up by the blue bloods of college basketball, but that is just a fraction of the players who will some day be productive at the next level.
Of course that’s easier said than done, but it’s pretty an essential part of roster building now and a big factor in the development of the transfer market, such as it is.