The lead signal-callers from the 2014 National Championship-winning Ohio State Buckeyes — J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones — made a visit to their former offensive coordinators, Tom Herman and Tim Beck, at the Longhorns spring practice yesterday. The former Buckeye quarterbacks gave some insight on their development and spoke highly of their former coach.
As the offensive coordinator of that championship-winning team, Herman led the Buckeyes to a historical season offensively. This included being among the top 10 nationally in rushing offense, scoring offense, and total offense, all while going through three quarterback transitions throughout the season.
A preseason injury to Braxton Miller was followed up by the emergence of freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett, who led the Buckeyes to a 10-1 start. After Barrett suffered an injury against Michigan in their final regular season game, Jones finished what they started and led the Buckeyes to their first National Championship in over a decade. The Herman-led offense averaged 43.5 points against Alabama and Oregon in the CFP that year.
Known for his elite preparation for his players in big games, the CFP hero himself — Cardale Jones — further credited Herman for that.
“Really what he was able to do for me was to help me take that next step in my development, as far as developing the mind to prepare for a game,” Jones said. “Those are things I really appreciate him for.”
The ties between the two quarterbacks and Herman runs deeper than football, though.
“My relationship runs deeper than coach-player,” Jones said. “He’s a guy that I look up to and still mentors me to this day. I love him and trust him. He’s a better man for not just my career, but my life.”
Barrett echoed Jones’ remarks.
“He’s like family to me. He really meant a lot to my development, especially early on,” Barrett said. “He treated me like one of his kids and I think that was really important for my growth and development from where I was at.”
Barrett’s most efficient statistical season at Ohio State came as a freshman under the play-calling of Herman.
After the practice concluded, the two even got together for a quick picture with Tim Beck repping some Longhorns gear.