Where have all the QBs gone?

posted by Bruce Hooley -

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is always doing one of two things.

He's either coaching, or he's recruiting.

Sometimes, he's doing both at the same time, like when he posted a short hype video on his Twitter timeline this week.

Meyer captioned the Tweet, "A long line of great quarterbacks continues in 2017."

It begins with a look back at some, but not all, the distinguished quarterbacks in OSU history.

Heisman Trophy winners Les Horvath and Troy Smith are in the video. So are national championship quarterbacks Craig Krenzel and Cardale Jones. There are also major bowl winners, like Joe Germaine.

But not all the major bowl winners are in there.

Terrelle Pryor, who won a Sugar Bowl and a Rose Bowl, is not in there.

Now you might say, "Of course, Terrelle Pryor isn't going to be in there. He got Ohio State on probation, got Jim Tressel fired and stained the program with the Tattoo-Gate scandal."

But if bringing disrepute on OSU is grounds for removal from Meyer's quarterback video, Art Schlichter surely wouldn't be in there after all his gambling problems over the years.

But Schlichter is on the video, no doubt because he's the highest-drafted quarterback in OSU history, going No. 4 overall in 1983.

Schlichter’s career never got off the ground, which you could pretty much say is true of almost the entire list of guys who've ever played quarterback at Ohio State.

It's always been a curiosity to me that for as many games as Ohio State has won over the years, it's never had an elite starting quarterback in the National Football League.

Bobby Hoying had one good year with the Eagles before his arm blew up. Germaine won a Super Bowl ring with the Rams as Kurt Warner's backup. And it's still too early to tell what Jones will be as he waits his turn in Buffalo.

The most distinguished OSU NFL quarterback is Mike Tomczak, who had a 15-year career, mostly as a backup, although he did start for the majority of three seasons.

That's a really lousy track record at quarterback for a school that's as elite in football as OSU. Is there any other big-time program that hasn't had at least one great NFL quarterback?

Alabama had Joe Namath and Ken Stabler, USC has Carson Palmer, Texas had Bobby Lane, Notre Dame had Joe Theisman and Michigan, of course, has Tom Brady.

Tomczak, by the way, didn't make the cut in Meyer's video. So the OSU coach must not have released it for recruiting reasons, because most recruits want to know that they're going somewhere that can get them to the NFL.

That's hasn't been true at Ohio State, and Meyer's system isn't really conducive to creating a top-ranked NFL prospect at quarterback, either.

Sure, he had Alex Smith at Utah, but other than a cup of coffee in the NFL for Tim Tebow and Jones, who Meyer inherited when he came to OSU, Urban's guys are more like running backs who can throw than they are pocket-passers.

After showing some of OSU's quarterbacks from the past, Meyer's Twitter video highlighted the two guys who've had the most success under him in Columbus: Braxton Miller, now a wide receiver in the NFL, and J.T. Barrett, who's back for a fourth season as the Buckeyes' starter.

That's where the coaching element of Meyer's video became apparent. After listing all of Barrett's accomplishments so far, you got to see new quarterbacks coach Ryan Day working with three younger players who will be fighting for the spot as Barrett's backup this spring.

You have to be a real Ohio State geek to know Joe Burrow, Dwayne Haskins and Tate Martell when you see them, but they were in there with the question, "Who's Next?"

I don't know if that was added more to challenge Barrett, reminding him there's competition coming for his job, or whether it was added to tweak the new guys so they'll know that what they do or don't do this spring will set them up for either success or failure down the road.

What I do know is that this Meyer Twitter video was all about coaching the guys he has, because job one for him right now is making sure that nothing like that 31-0 loss to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl ever happens again.

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