Ohio State offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson says quarterback J.T. Barrett is “very much” underappreciated.
“It comes with the territory of the position he plays. It also comes with the territory of the position of where he plays,” Wilson said on Wednesday.
But that doesn’t mean he isn’t trying to change a few things about the three-year starter, who is just 200 yards away from matching Art Schlichter’s OSU career passing yards record going into Saturday night’s game at Rutgers.
“Coach Day (quarterbacks coach Ryan Day) are getting through to him to quit worrying so much, quit trying to be perfect and trust yourself, trust your teammates,” Wilson said. “Don’t be foolish and careless, but live on the edge and start anticipating and cutting loose a little bit.
“He’s a great kid. He’s a pleaser but he has to be a winner. He can get us beat but we have to keep pushing him to be on the edge of playing smart football in an aggressive style,” he said.
Ohio State’s passing game has struggled at throwing the deep ball but Wilson said that is not all about Barrett and the receivers.
“We’ve worked to get it downfield. If that (offensive) line plays well, the running game gets going, the protection gets firm and all the pieces work together, we can be good. The passing game has a lot of work to do but I still think we have so much to work on up front, at tight end, in the running game and in protection,” he said.
NO THANKS, I’M FULL: Defensive end Sam Hubbard arrived at Ohio State as a safety who weighed a little over 200 pounds before it was decided he was going to be a defensive end.
That position switch involved gaining 60 pounds in a year. One of the ways he added weight was to eat as many as six meals a day, which he found wasn’t as enjoyable as some people might think it would be.
“Shakes, PB and J’s, stuff like that. Five, six meals a day. I hated it. It was terrible. Try to eat six meals a day,” Hubbard said on Wednesday.
“My natural body weight is probably 225, 230. When I’m done playing, I’m sure I will drop down to around 230,” he said.
GROWING UP WITH URBAN: Even at Ohio State’s men’s basketball media day on Wednesday there was time to talk a little football.
Graduate transfer guard Andrew Dakich, son of former Bowling Green State University men’s basketball coach Dan Dakich, remembered his elementary school days when Urban Meyer was BG’s football coach and a neighbor.
Meyer was at Bowling Green in 2001 and 2002. Dan Dakich was the Falcons’ coach from 1997 to 2007.
“I was in first grade and Gigi Meyer, his daughter, was in third grade and we were best friends. They lived literally right behind us. We had a back yard and we played wiffle ball every single day. Gigi and I were like best friends, we’d do everything together,” he said.
“I just remember Coach Meyer being very intense, even with me as a first grader he was always challenging me to think. It doesn’t surprise me at all, the success he’s had.”
SCHIANO NOT SENTIMENTAL: Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano was Rutgers’ head coach from 2001 to 2011 and rebuilt a program that had only two winning seasons in the 21 years before he took over.
Schiano described himself as “not a big sentimentalist” earlier this week and said it will be “weird” to be back at Rutgers coaching against the team he was in charge of for more than a decade.
“Being from New Jersey, it was really neat to go there and do what we did. It will always have a special place in my heart. But now it’s all eyes forward. I think Chris (Rutgers coach Chris Ash) is going to get it where it needs to be. I want that to happen – just not this weekend,” Schiano said.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414 or on Twitter at @Lima_Naveau.