We are starting a new series on BuckeyeWire.com. We’ll be looking at who would be on the Mount Rushmore of each position group. Stay with us as we publish a new one each day. Up first is the quarterback position.
Ohio State Football: Mount Rushmore Of QBs
For a program in the top five of total wins, Ohio State has been relatively new at this whole quarterback thing. The program has been known more for stout defense and a featured running back in its illustrious history.
But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some guys directing the offense worth noting — in fact far from it. Here are your top four that would appear on the Mount Rushmore of OSU quarterbacks.
This list is of course very subjective and open to individual interpretation, but feel free to weigh in by contacting us on Twitter.
Art Schlichter (1978-1981)
Schlichter was a four-year starter for Ohio State. Despite playing before all the prolific passing offenses came about, Schlichter’s name still appears near the top of a lot of OSU passing records.
He struggled throwing interceptions his freshman year, but was a Heisman finalist from 1979-81. He nearly steered the Buckeyes to the national championship his sophomore season in the Rose Bowl. The missed last second field goal against USC that resulted in a 17-16 loss will always be remembered as one that got away.
All told, Schlichter completed 52.3% of his passes for 7,547 yards and 50 TDs during his time in Columbus. He still holds the record for most passing yards in a game by a Buckeye, throwing for 458 yards against Florida State in 1981.
Bobby Hoying (1993-1995)
Hoying came along at a time when Ohio State was searching to get back among the elite in the nation after going through a bit of slide for about a decade. John Cooper had taken over for Earl Bruce in 1988, but it wasn’t until Hoying began slinging the ball around that the Buckeyes began to contend for Big Ten and national titles again.
He ranks as the No. 3 passer in Ohio State history with 7,232 yards, and accounted for 57 TD passes through the air — good for a second place tie with Terrell Pryor all-time at OSU.
Hoying is still in second place at Ohio State for passing yards in a single season with 3,269 — just behind leader Joe Germain with 3,330.
Troy Smith (2004-2006)
Smith’s college career at Ohio State got off to a puzzling and underwhelming start. Recruited as an athlete, he split time his freshman year on special teams and as a backup running back.
Smith also had a rules violation he had to work through, but he finally took his spot as the unquestioned, full-time starter in 2005. That year set the table, for a special 2006 campaign that saw him win the Heisman trophy in a landslide.
Truth be known, had he been able to get off to a better start in Columbus, Smith would be much higher on the list of stats for an Ohio State quarterback. That, by no means, takes away from what the improvising Smith ended up being.
In that Heisman year of 2006, Smith threw for 2,542 yards and 44 TDs while completing 65.3% of his passes. Maybe most impressive was his career TD/INT ratio of 54-13.
J.T. Barrett (2014-2017)
No list of great OSU quarterbacks would be complete without Urban Meyer’s first QB recruit in Columbus. The ironic twist, is that the Texas native may have never gotten an opportunity had the incumbent and electrifying Braxton Miller not gone down with injury just prior to the start of the 2014 year.
In fact, just before the injury to Miller, Barrett had been named as the backup after an extremely close competition with Cardale Jones. If we’d only known that gravity of that moment.
In his time as the Ohio State quarterback, not only has Barrett re-written the OSU record-books, he has also re-set many of the Big Ten QB statistics. There are almost too many records to count, but he did finish his career as the Buckeyes’ leader in total yards, passing yards, TDs, single game TDs, single season TDs, rushing TDs by a QB, rushing yards by a QB, and more.
Despite walking off into the sunset this past season, many expected more from him because of some inconsistent performances. At the end of his storybook career however, he was an exceptional leader on and off the field, and a masterful general on it.
He never won a Heisman, but did orchestrate a lot of wins, and had his fingerprints all over one a memorable 2014 season that resulted in Ohio State winning the first ever College Football Playoff national championship.
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