Two-time Heisman Trophy winner and former Ohio State star Archie Griffin spoke with College Football 24/7 recently, as he continues his promotional efforts for the Wendy's High School Heisman Award. The 22nd annual Wendy's High School Heisman Award honors a male and a female high school senior for academic, athletic and community service achievements. Griffin touched on a variety of subjects during our conversation, including the NFL draft, Ohio State's push for a second consecutive national title and this year's Heisman race.
CFB 24/7: How well do you think Ohio State has handled its quarterback situation?
Griffin: I think it's a wonderful thing to have that many options at quarterback. Certainly Cardale (Jones) and J.T. (Barrett) are truly outstanding and could play on a lot of teams in this country, no question about it. I like it. Both those young men deserve some playing time, and I think Urban is going to make sure they'll both get a lot of playing time. Cardale started Monday night against Virginia Tech and I think he did a fine job and J.T. came in and did extremely well. Braxton took some snaps from the quarterback spot and did some good (rushing) things as well. It's a great situation, I think. It's unusual, but from our standpoint, it's a great position to be in.
CFB 24/7: Has the competition at the position been difficult on the players?
Griffin:Cardale, J.T., Braxton (Miller), they like each other. They're good friends and get along well with each other. In a year like last year, when we had a lot of adversity, they watched each other come through for the team and I think that made them even closer. It does call for people caring for each other, caring for the team and wanting what's best for the team.
Griffin: I think it was a good move for him. He seems to like it, and he's played extremely well in that position. It really is a situation where it's best for him, in the sense that (receiver) is probably the position where he'll play at the next level. People now have an opportunity to see him run pass patterns, run sweeps, and do all those things at that H-back position.
CFB 24/7: How much will he still have to learn at the position going into next year's draft?
Griffin: He can learn a whole heck of a lot this year. I've seen basketball players come in and play tight end or receiver in football, so he can make the adjustments. He's a terrific athlete.
CFB 24/7: Who on this Ohio State team has a chance at the Heisman Trophy?
Griffin: I think we do have more than one candidate. I certainly think Ezekiel Elliott will be a candidate and he showed what he could do (against Virginia Tech) and especially what he did in those last three games last year. Whoever is in the quarterback position will also get a good look. J.T. finished fifth (for the Heisman) last year, so he certainly can be a candidate. I think people are intrigued with what Braxton did (against Virginia Tech), so he'll be watched closely as well. But there are a lot of candidates, very deserving candidates, (Alabama's) Derrick Henry, Trevone Boykin at TCU, and a lot of people who can have a Heisman season -- it's just very early.
Griffin: I think when someone in a position like a running back can come up with a really fabulous season, I don't think people have a problem voting for a running back or even a receiver. We had a receiver finalist last year, and a running back as well. It does seem the quarterbacks win the trophy the most, and that's not surprising, because the quarterbacks are generally the leaders of the team and responsible for a whole heck of a lot that's going on.
CFB 24/7: Can Ohio State repeat as national champions?
Griffin: It's early in the season. We certainly were the best team in the country last year because we proved it at the end of the year. We certainly have a lot of people returning. There is a lot of talent and we're very deep. This team has every chance to do it again. It's very difficult to do, but this team has the talent, if they can keep their heads on straight and focus on the job at hand, they can certainly be in that final four and have a chance to win a national championship again.
CFB 24/7: How much harder is it to win a national title now that it requires 15 games?
Griffin: It's tougher now because you've got to play for it. You used to depend on the polls to vote you No. 1, but now you've got to play for it. Last year's championship, it was something everybody had been looking forward to for a long time. To have that play out the way it did for Ohio State -- it was very special.