Quarterback competition could be coming to Ohio State in 2015

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Sam Cooper
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Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett throws a pass during the second quarter against Michigan State, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett throws a pass during the second quarter against Michigan State, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

When All-Big quarterback Braxton Miller went down with a shoulder injury in preseason camp, no one – even Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer – knew what to expect from redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett.

He had his growing pains, including a three-interception performance in a week two loss to Virginia Tech, but since then, Barrett has led the Buckeyes to seven straight wins and now Meyer may have a quarterback controversy on his hands heading into the 2015 season.

Of course, that’s not an issue right now with Miller out for the year, but Meyer used the word “competition” on Monday when alluding to his quarterback situation next season.

“Competition brings out the best and I’m really excited to have two really good quarterbacks next year, if that’s the plan,” Meyer said. “I think they’re both excellent quarterbacks and we’ll worry about that day when it comes.”

That’s a change of tune from what Meyer said in late September after Barrett threw for 330 yards and four touchdowns in a win over Cincinnati.

“Braxton is our quarterback,” Meyer said. “To be fair to Braxton, the Big Ten Player of the Year. But it’s good to know we’ve got both of them.”

Barrett’s improvement has been drastic over the course of the season. His best performance yet came Saturday night when the Buckeyes knocked off defending Big Ten champions Michigan State on the road to take over sole possession of first place in the Big Ten east. In the win, Barrett threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns while also running for 86 yards and two more scores.

Frankly, he’s looked like the best quarterback in the Big Ten and one of the best in the country.

“J.T.'s made incredible jumps as far as how he handles his business and accuracy of passing last week was fantastic,” Meyer said. “His biggest jump is just being the manager. He does a good job getting us in the right play. He understands defenses really well now. And his accuracy, when he's accurate, that's a tough one to stop. He's a very intellectual quarterback.”

Even with Barrett’s rapid rise, Miller has made every indication that he’ll return to the team for his fifth year. This situation is certainly a long way off, but when preseason camp rolls around in 2015, the Ohio State coaches could have a difficult decision on their hands.

For now, Barrett will lead the Buckeyes through their final three regular season games and a likely berth in the conference title game.

For more Ohio State news, visit BuckeyeGrove.com.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!