Ohio State Quarterback Situation Clear Cut For 2019 Season

With the 2018 college football season over, it’s time for some quick recaps of where various teams are in 2019, starting with the quarterback situation of conference champions Ohio State.

Unlike Ohio State’s quarterback situation last year, there won’t be too many question marks before the season begins. Last season, there was a nominal race between Tate Martell and Dwayne Haskins Jr., but the race could be described as nominal for a reason. Haskins was the favorite coming into the season after serving as J.T. Barrett’s backup, and took the starting job easily once spring football proved who was the better player.

Martell is now with the Miami Hurricanes, jumping from the Big Ten to the ACC despite the player that had started in front of him being gone going into the 2019 season. That doesn’t mean that the Buckeyes are without a quarterback for 2019 and it does make things a lot more interesting when you consider the fact that Georgia transfer Justin Fields has been granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA.

Fields lost out in the starting quarterback battle long ago to Jake Fromm, but that doesn’t say as much about Fields being bad as it does about Fromm being one of the top NFL draft prospects in next year’s class of quarterbacks. In fact, there’s some oddmakers who think that Fields can even compete for the Heisman Trophy.

Fields was listed by BetOnline as having 12/1 odds to win the trophy. Fields was the top ranked recruit in his class according to ESPN and 247Sports, but only had 39 passing attempts during his 2018 season, when he was a freshman. Despite the small amount of throws, Fields still made appearances in 12 games and looked good, throwing four touchdowns during that time and completing 69.2% of his passes.

Is Fields going to be as good as Dwayne Haskins was? That’s a very tall task, as Haskins is currently the top quarterback prospect in the NFL Draft, and Fields is only a sophomore. But Ohio State is perhaps getting more of a sure thing than they were with Haskins, who entered the season as one of the team’s question marks. Things turned out well for Haskins and Ohio State, but the narrative at the end of the season was very different from the one at the start of it.

Fields has a bit more hype entering the season but it remains to be seen whether or not that hype means that Fields is more of a sure thing than the player that came before him. It is sure, though, that things are a lot more clear cut for Ohio State going into this season than they were before.

Ohio State: “Something Isn’t Quite Right” According To Eddie George

Ohio State is a fringe contender for the College Football Playoff at this point in the season, but school legend and Heisman winner Eddie George isn’t the happiest with the way things are going for the Buckeyes. Not just on the field this season, but for the program as a whole. Ohio State might be a powerhouse on the field, but events before this season have shown that they aren’t the most stable blue blood program in the country.

That may be where some of George’s criticisms of the school come from. “There’s something going on there that we the public don’t know. I feel like, my personal opinion, there’s a level of dysfunction there within the walls of Ohio State. Whether it’s with the coach, the administration, the coaching staff… Something is not right.”

It seems to be an allusion to the preseason troubles that Ohio State and head coach Urban Meyer dealt with earlier this year, which is the type of thing that usually rarely happens at a program like Ohio State.

While Meyer retained his job and nothing came of it in the long run, the team hasn’t been playing the best since his return and their scares caught up with them when they finally lost to Purdue, dropping them down in the division and making it much harder for them to gain easy entry into the playoffs.

“Something isn’t quite right there, especially when you’re jumping into November football. “This is when you make your claim, you know, ‘hey, we’re going to be one of the four teams in the Playoff.’ I definitely think Ohio State has regressed a lot since the beginning of the year,” George said about the team’s current play.

It’s fairly accurate. Ohio State struggled heavily against Penn State and needed a defensive collapse from their opponents to win, they lost to Purdue in a game that wasn’t very close and allowed 49 points, and they struggled and won by less than a touchdown against a Nebraska team that only had two wins going into the game.

The Buckeyes take on Michigan State tomorrow, but there’s no guarantee that they win. Considering the early phase of the season and how Michigan State struggled and Ohio State dominating, that’s not something most thought would be true at this point, in November.

But there’s only three games left for the entire season, and if Ohio State can defeat old rivals Michigan, there’s no telling whether or not they can recover to make it into the playoff at the end of the year.

Ohio State Football: Training Camp Insights From Ryan Day

Off the field, the Ohio State football team has been surrounded in drama. On the field, however, progress is being made in the preparation for this season, which will begin in less than two weeks. At least, that’s what acting head coach Ryan Day’s latest training camp update would indicate.

While a head coach isn’t going to tell everyone the weaknesses of their team going into the season, it’s still interesting to see what the staff have said about their players at this point in the offseason. The update goes through all of the team’s position groups, starting with the one that everyone pays the most attention to, quarterback.

“In our entire room, we have zero collegiate starts,” Day began, referencing the graduation of multi-year starter J.T. Barrett. Replacing Barrett, of course, won’t be an easy task considering the fact that he threw for just short of 9,500 yards across his four year career with the Buckeyes.

“That being said, Dwayne Haskins and Tate Martell have been putting in work on and off the field to get themselves prepared for an excellent season. They have both been taking the majority of reps in practice… We can see improvement in each of the QBs on a daily basis.”

Haskins, who was the backup to J.T. Barrett last season, received some game time but has zero starts. He’s believed to be the favorite for the starting job, and was the number seven pro-style quarterback coming out of high school in the 2016 class. The younger Tate Martell, on the other hand, was the second ranked dual threat QB in the class of 2017.

The quarterback competition isn’t the only one going on right now. “Thayer Munford and Josh Alabi have been competing for the starting left tackle spot while Brady Taylor, Michael Jordan, and Josh Myers have all been taking snaps at center,” Day wrote.

There’s some more interesting position battles in the secondary. “Damon Arnette and Kendall Sheffield are poised to continue the tradition of great Buckeye CB play… [Safety] Jordan Fuller in particular has established himself as a leader and as a playmaker on our defense. There has been excellent competition to determine who will be the starter opposite Fuller, between Isaiah Pryor and Jahsen Wint. Brendon White and Amir Riep are fueling the competition by showing up on film and making plays.”

The positive report from training camp comes at a time when many are doubting the Buckeyes, because of the ongoing investigation involving Urban Meyer. Still, they take a very talented roster into the season, whether or not Meyer makes it to their first game in September.

Ohio State: Nick Bosa Leads The Way For Big Ten In ESPN Player Rankings

College football has always been more of a team sport than an individual one, but that doesn’t mean player rankings aren’t one of the most debated subjects for fans. ESPN released their list of the top 50 players heading into the 2018 season, and interestingly, there’s no Big Ten players in the top five. Leading the list is Houston’s star defensive tackle, Ed Oliver. Then there’s Bryce Love, Will Grier, and two separate members of Clemson’s talented defensive line.

Where does Ohio States’ Nick Bosa rank?

The first Big Ten player, Nick Bosa, comes in at number six. A junior with big potential ahead of him, Ohio State fans will gladly tell you that Bosa isn’t just on the team because of his last name. He has the talent to stand alone, and would probably be at the same spot on this list even without the famous brother.

That’s not to say that it doesn’t help to have some name recognition. His play style definitely reminds people of Joey Bosa, who also starred at Ohio State during his college football days. With Ohio State losing some talent to the draft, most notably defensive end Sam Hubbard, Bosa will get more snaps and more chances to back up his ranking this season.

While he was the first Big Ten player to show up in the top ten, he wasn’t the only one. Wisconsin’s top running back, Jonathan Taylor, is next on the list. There’s no surprise there, as one could make an argument that Taylor, who is only a sophomore, is the best back in the country. During his freshman season, he rushed for almost 2,000 yards and scored 13 touchdowns, while averaging 6.6 yards per carry. The entire nation will be watching to see if he can improve on that in 2018.

There’s two more Big Ten players in the top 20: Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary, and Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley. One of the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy this year, McSorley is the second highest rated QB on the list behind West Virginia’s gunslinger Will Grier. Of course, these are just preseason picks. One of the interesting parts of college football is looking back each season and seeing which seemingly safe predictions turned out to be wildly wrong.

With most college football teams opening their seasons during the first week of September, we’ll soon get to see which players rise and which ones just can’t keep up with the expectations.