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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, April 15, 2018 1:00 am

Buckeye QBs make case to start

MITCH STACY | Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Dwayne Haskins Jr. and Joe Burrow both showed flashes of big-play ability in a condensed spring game Saturday as each tried to make his case for being the next starting quarterback at Ohio State. The third guy, redshirt freshman Tate Martell, wasn't bad either, showing off his speed and slick moves in the Scarlet and Gray Game.

The intriguing derby will spill over into fall preseason between Haskins and Burrow, players who operated mostly in the shadow of four-year starter J.T. Barrett. If Burrow stays around that long. Haskins is the logical heir because he was Barrett's backup last season and engineered a stunning win over Michigan after Barrett went down with an injury.

The three quarterbacks rotated on squads with starters and inexperienced players Saturday. Haskins completed 9 of 19 passes for 120 yards and two long touchdown passes. Burrow, a redshirt junior who was Barrett's backup two seasons ago, countered with some decent numbers himself: 15 for 22 for 247 yards and two touchdowns.

“We're going to have to make some decisions,” coach Urban Meyer said. “The decisions have not been made.”

Burrow may make a move that will make the coach's decision easier.

On track to graduate in May, Burrow could go elsewhere as a graduate student with two years of eligibility remaining. Meyer has said he would give Burrow an honest assessment at the end of spring whether he had a reasonable chance to win the starting job.

“I came here to play,” Burrow said on Saturday. “I didn't come here to sit on the bench for four years. I know I'm a pretty darn good quarterback, I want to play somewhere.”

Burrow said he's been given ample opportunity and is happy with how he has competed with Haskins.

“It would be hard for me to leave,” he said. “I've put my heart and soul into it, and if I were to leave I'd be pretty devastated, and at the same time I'd understand how (the coaches made the decision).”

Haskins said he's done enough to be the starter.

“I feel like I should be the guy,” he said. “I'm going to keep doing what I have to do until it's no longer a question.”