As confetti rained down on Ohio State (on three separate occasions) in 2014-15, quarterback J.T. Barrett was forced to celebrate from the confines of a scooter as he recovered from a broken ankle suffered during the fourth quarter of a win over Michigan.
The Buckeyes rattled off wins over Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon to win the national championship behind backup quarterback Cardale Jones as Barrett, who finished fifth in the Heisman voting that season, watched from the sidelines.
Two years later, Ohio State is back in the College Football Playoff and Barrett has the chance to be a part of the Buckeyes run at a national title, something he said he is grateful for.
"It's truly a blessing. It's one of the things when I first came here, wrote down my goals. One of them was to win a national championship. We won one, but I didn't get to play in it because I broke my ankle," Barrett said. "I mean, now that we're in the mix for it all, I have a healthy body, just thankful for the blessing God has given me."
Barrett's head coach Urban Meyer said during the Fiesta Bowl teleconference that having Barrett available for Ohio State's run this season has meant a lot to him as his coach.
"He was an incredible contributor to our playoff run two years ago, even when he wasn't playing," Meyer said of Barrett's injury two years ago. "Obviously he had a great year as a redshirt freshman. His leadership skills, once again, his ability to help Cardale for those big games was remarkable.
"J.T. is like a son to me. I love him. He knows it. We're very close. I'm anxious to watch him prepare for this big-time game."
While there have been some ups and downs, Barrett has still put together a solid season for the Buckeyes in 2016. The redshirt-junior has thrown for 2,428 yards and 24 touchdown passes to just five interceptions, and has rushed for 847 yards and nine scores on the ground.
Those stats, along with second half comeback wins over Wisconsin and Michigan have made him a finalist along with teammate Curtis Samuel for the Big Ten's Silver Football Award, given to the conferences' most valuable player.
"It's a tremendous honor. Curt, he's been balling out for us this whole year. Obviously a big part of our offense, what we do," Barrett said. "It's one of the things you don't take time out to think about it during the course of the season. You go out there to win games, play your best. I think it says a lot saying the Big Ten Conference was the best this year, being up for that award."
Already with so many awards and accolades to his name, Barrett said he thinks that one day, he will reflect on his accomplishments at Ohio State but that now, his focus is on beating Clemson for the right to play for a national title.
"Right now the main thing is to win this game against Clemson. I think that's what I'm about. I think at the end of the day that's all that really matters, is are you able to win football games," Barrett said. "I feel like, you know, there's players that may have put up a lot of points, but at the end of the day, the team, they don't win."
Barrett and the Buckeyes are set to try and get that win against Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 31 in Glendale, Ariz. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.