COLUMBUS, Ohio -- There is no script.
In fact, the first time J.T. Barrett stood up in front of his teammates, fists punching the air and voice rising, there wasn't even a plan for him to speak at all.
He was just a redshirt freshman preparing to make his first start for Ohio State in a neutral-site game against Navy. Barrett had the starting job for less than two weeks, and there was no reason for the Buckeyes to change their pregame plans from the previous seasons or carve out any time for an untested quarterback.

"I don't remember what I said, but I remember standing up on a chair," said Barrett, now a redshirt junior. "Before that, it was always [then-Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom] Herman -- he would say something and then we left. I don't know what happened, I just felt like I had something to say.
"Come to find out, I've always got something to say."
Every game since then, whether he's injured or healthy, struggling or setting records, starting or coming off the bench, the Buckeyes have come to expect their final dose of motivation from Barrett's mouth.
And he's more than happy to oblige, as loud as he possibly can.

"We don't have enough juice, and what I don't understand is, we don't have another day. We don't have another second, we don't have another minute to waste. There's not going to be another 2016 team. There's not going to be another game against Rutgers. We don't get a do-over. We've got to find some juice, we've got to find something, because we're not going to do that to them. I'll be damned if we do that to our seniors. Not today. We're going to play like it's the last time -- every time." -- Oct. 1 speech vs. Rutgers

The word was spreading throughout the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, but Ohio State coach Urban Meyer was having a hard time buying it.
Barrett is one of the most soft-spoken players on his roster during the week, an introspective kid with a low voice that even to this day can be difficult to pick up on a microphone during his frequent media appearances.
But over and over, Meyer was hearing about the oratory skills of the first quarterback he recruited and signed after arriving at Ohio State and the leadership he was already providing even from his low perch on a crowded depth chart.
"That's what I heard, but I didn't see that much," Meyer said. "Coach Herman would tell me about it, his high school coach [Jim Garfield] would tell me about it, [strength coach] Mickey Marotti would tell me about it. And I said, 'Really?' He had the ACL injury when he got here, he was a nonfactor in 2013 and I really didn't know him very well. But I kept hearing about him, though.
"I would see this very introverted, quiet guy and just go, 'Really?' But I trust the people telling me, and I certainly see it now."
There's no way to avoid it at this point, and Meyer has seen it countless times since. But the legend was growing way back then as his staff whispered about a speech to fellow recruits during a campus visit. Marotti raved about the way Barrett attacked workouts and tried to motivate those around him, even at such an early point in his college career. And Garfield had numerous examples he could point to from his own experiences with Barrett at Rider High School in Wichita Falls, Texas.
"It was always the pregame speech," Garfield said. "We would always come in before warm-ups and J.T. would have free rein. Really, I can't focus on just one that stands out, because it was throughout his career, and he was doing that for us since his sophomore year.
"Everything he says was like gold."

"Listen up, listen up -- 2014 was not a mistake. It wasn't a mistake. That happened because we were real. We are Ohio State, that's what we do. We go to people's places, we lock that s--- up and then we leave. We lock it up and then we leave, every single time. That's what we do. We're going to hit them in the mouth, every single time." -- Oct. 15 speech at Wisconsin

There is no rehearsal during the week, no notecard to read off, and even in the final moments before Barrett takes his stage in front of the offense, no firm idea exactly what message he needs to deliver.
But he reads the room, trying to figure out exactly what the Buckeyes need to hear while also opening up about his own feelings. So when the time comes, the words spill out in a rapid-fire delivery as soon as offensive coordinator Ed Warinner barks, "What you got for us, J.T.?"
"The first time I did it, yeah, I was nervous," Barrett said. "You're sitting there -- especially when I was in high school -- sitting there like, 'J.T., what do you say?' You say you're going to speak up, but what exactly do you need to say? What are you going to say that is going to get the guys going or is really going to resonate with them?
"Honestly, I'm like, don't worry about what you're going to say. It's important just that you know there is something that needs to be said. That's what I think about. Something needs to be said right now, and I don't want to let the moment go by because the message is never going to be the same. I may have time to think about what I'm going to say, and maybe what I could say would be really good, but it's not the same if the moment passed when you needed to say it." ?
That leaves the emphasis on timing, emotion and a little bit of theatrics instead of perhaps prose that could be passed down through time for its sheer beauty.
The messages aren't complicated, and based on's film study, they often include straightforward references to running the ball offensively, stopping the rush on defense, and scoring a lot of touchdowns at some point. Barrett is also a ball of motion, stalking through the rows of teammates in front of him, punching his fist or swinging the towel he usually has in his right hand. And by the end, his screams can be hard to decipher as the intensity soars and the Buckeyes break a huddle to head to the field.
"I mean, the football side of him, he's intense," right guard Billy Price said. "When the moment is on and he's ready to go, it's go time. The best thing about him, though, is he hits home. He brings the juice. What matters in our program, our culture, that's what he brings and what he emphasizes.
"He's a person that when he talks, you have to stop and listen, no matter who you are. If you're just walking down High Street, you're going to want to listen. 'OK, I can dig what you're saying, let's go do it.' He's just dynamic."

"They want to talk. We 'bout that action. This is not what they want. I don't want you to talk to nobody in the stands. On the sideline. On the other team. Nothing. This is on us. This is us against everybody else." -- Sept. 17 speech at Oklahoma

The comparisons are inevitable for any leader in a Meyer program, let alone a record-setting quarterback in the power spread offense.
By this stage in his career, Barrett has officially earned the right to get the "Tebow-ish" tag from his coach, effectively the highest praise Meyer can bestow on somebody given Tim Tebow's track record at Florida both on and off the field.
Ryan Stamper has been in the locker-room audience for both QBs, first as a fellow captain with Tebow at Florida and now as a director of player development with Ohio State. And for all the similarities between the two, there are also some notable differences.
"Tebow, he was just a different animal," Stamper said. "There were a lot of things that he led by example on the field, but there were also things he just didn't do because of his beliefs, and there were a lot of things we wouldn't do. J.T. is a leader on the field, off the field, but when you hear him drop an F-bomb or getting crunk to the same music you're getting crunk to, that makes him more a part of the boys. That's why I think guys respect him so much.
"He is who he is, there's nothing fake about this kid ... [and] he's still one of the boys. To me, both messages are equally important and get guys going."
If anything, Barrett might get himself too worked up by the time his speech is over.
The speeches don't usually last long, and he needed only 23 seconds to make his point before leading the Buckeyes out to take on Northwestern last month. But after Barrett reaches the boiling point and his speech is done, he actually throws some headphones on with "low-key R&B music or some chill Drake" from his playlist to take it down a notch.
"I have to calm down, because I can't play like that," Barrett said. "As a quarterback, you can't go out and do your job with that kind emotion.
"But I definitely want to make sure the rest of my guys are jacked up."
Time after time, Barrett's speeches do the trick. And that's one thing Ohio State can officially script in the pregame routine as long as he's around.