Each year, the East-West Shrine Game presents the Pat Tillman Award to recognize the player who best exemplifies intelligence, sportsmanship, and service. The award celebrates a student athlete’s achievements and conduct on and off the football field. The 2018 recipient is Ohio State quarterback, J.T. Barrett.
A Texas native, Barrett capped an outstanding four-year career with the Buckeyes by leading the team to its second Big Ten title in his four years as a starting quarterback in 2017 and to a Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic victory over USC. The only three-time captain in school history, Barrett started 44 games in his Ohio State career and set the school record with 38 victories, set a total of 39 Ohio State (34) or Big Ten Conference (five) records, including some of the most prestigious for a quarterback. He was responsible for 147 passing and rushing touchdowns to rank fourth in NCAA history in that category, and was a Top 10 vote-getter in the Heisman Trophy race twice, including finishing fifth in 2014.
“J.T. Barrett is one of the great young leaders I have ever been around,” said Ohio State coach Urban Meyer. “On behalf of the entire Ohio State football program, I want to congratulate J.T. on this tremendous honor of being named the East-West Shrine Game’s Pat Tillman Award winner.”
Barrett started his Shrine Game experience with a visit to Shriners Hospitals for Children-Tampa where he played with patients on the basketball court, pushing them on swings, taking photos and signing autographs. He spent the week practicing with his teammates under East head coach Jonathan Hayes, tight ends coach of the Cincinnati Bengals.
“It is an honor to receive this award that holds Pat Tillman's name," said Barrett. “The people that he impacted during his career and the sacrifice he made says a lot about the kind of man he was.”
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