J.T. Barrett is a Big Ten Player of the Year favorite and Heisman contender, but he's not the best Ohio State quarterback of recent vintage, according to Penn State's Evan Schwan.
The Nittany Lions' defensive end has played against Barrett, Cardale Jones, and Braxton Miller during his time at Penn State, and thinks Miller, who made the move to wide receiver last season, was the clear best Ohio State quarterback during that time.
“The best quarterback? Playing last year, Cardale [Jones] at Ohio State was impressive. The best I’ve ever played against, I’d say it was Braxton [Miller] a few years ago when he was solid at the quarterback position,” Schwan said. “He got hurt and then Cardale and J.T. battled to replace him. I’d say Braxton was the best.”
After redshirting in 2012, Schwan has faced each of the three Buckeye quarterbacks once. All picked up wins over the Nittany Lions. Jones and Barrett each contributed to the Buckeyes' 2015 win.
2013: Ohio State 63, Penn State 14; Braxton Miller: 18-for-24, 242 yards, three touchdowns, 11 carries, 68 yards, two touchdowns.
2014: Ohio State 31, Penn State 24 (2OT); J.T. Barrett: 12-for-19, 74 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, 20 carries, 75 yards, two touchdowns
2015: Ohio State 38, Penn State 10; Cardale Jones: 9-for-15, 84 yards. J.T. Barrett: 4-for-4, 30 yards, two touchdowns, 11 carries, 102 yards, two touchdowns.
Based on these performances, it is no surprise he would have Miller No. 1. Braxton absolutely torched Penn State in 2013. The Barrett vs. Jones breakdown is a big more interesting. Barrett struggled in the two-overtime game in 2014, but was pretty definitely better in 2015, and finished that game.
This weekend, it'll be all Barrett in Happy Valley. Schwan and his teammates are definitely hoping he's closer to the guy the Nittany Lions saw in 2014 than 2015.