Who will be OSU’s No. 1 QB on Sept. 2?

By Brandon Little - Contributing columnist

Ohio State will once again be a national championship contending team. You can look around any major outlet and they will have the Buckeyes as a contender.

One thing stands out as a question though. Who is going to be the quarterback when the Buckeyes take the field on Sept. 2 against Minnesota?

To still have the praise that Ohio State does, it just speaks volumes about the success that Ryan Day and his staff have had on the recruiting trail.

Gone is Justin Fields, a player who gave the Buckeyes two stellar seasons. Now a member of the Chicago Bears, Fields is on to bigger things.

Left behind in Columbus is an Ohio State coaching staff figuring out the quarterback room. Good thing for them is that there certainly is no lack of talent there.

C.J. Stroud is a 6-foot-2 inch pro-style quarterback who was a four-star recruit and the number two rated pro-style quarterback out of high school, according to 247 Sports. Stroud has been on the field for the Buckeyes in a very limited capacity. Stroud has a single run he took 48 yards for a touchdown, his only statical marking as a Buckeye.

Stroud has a strong arm, can hit the deep ball and make throws on the run. His high school tape shows it and they’re all things we should eventually see him do in scarlet and gray. Stroud has spent the most time with the ones dating back to spring camp.

In the spring game, Stroud looked like the guy when he went 16-for-22 passing with 185 yards and two touchdowns. If the early part of the offseason was any clue, Stroud is the leader heading into fall camp.

Ohio State signed two quarterbacks in the 2020 recruiting period, the second being Jack Miller out of Arizona. Early in his recruitment Miller looked to be a future five-star talent. Injuries happened, though, and he missed some time and fell to a lower four-star ranking, according to 247 Sports. Miller did see more snaps as a freshman than Stroud did, but Day said in the past not to read much into that fact. Miller had a rushing touchdown as a freshman.

In the spring game, Miller was 17-for-30 passing with 128 yards and one interception. The sophomore has seen time with the starters in camp, just not the same amount as Stroud. If Stroud is indeed the guy, it would be hard to see Miller sticking around. Staying around, he just wouldn’t play unless it was due to an injury or poor quarterback play. The lesser is unlikely if Coach Day truly believes Stroud is the guy.

The third guy in the race is the wild card. Kyle McCord is a true freshman that could redshirt if he does not win the battle, so winning it is not a must this season. McCord hasn’t been on campus too long, but he was maybe the most impressive quarterback in the spring game. The freshman finished his day connecting on 12-for-17 passing attempts to go along with 184 yards and a pair of touchdowns. McCord is a five star talent out of prep powerhouse St. Joseph’s in Pennsylvania, according to 247 Sports.

McCord has the physical build to be a very good quarterback in college and beyond, blessed with a strong 6-foot-3 inch frame and a big arm and accuracy. He’s also athletic enough to scramble and extend plays.

McCord played high school ball with fellow Ohio State teammate Marvin Harrison Jr., so there is some chemistry already in the works when they both do hit the field. McCord is in a great position to eventually have a major role in Columbus. Even if he does not win the battle this year, he could be one to watch a couple of years down the line.

Ohio State is in a unique position with three talented quarterbacks that are ready to play. Unfortunately, only one can be the guy. In the end, transfers may or may not happen — either way the Buckeyes will be fine with the way that Ryan Day has been able to recruit the position.

Ohio State Buckeyes 2021 Schedule

Thursday, Sept. 2 at Minnesota (B1G), 8 p.m. (TV: Fox)

Saturday, Sept. 11 vs. Oregon, 12 p.m. (TV: Fox)

Saturday, Sept. 18 vs. Tulsa, 3:30 p.m. (TV: FS1)

Saturday, Sept. 25 vs. Akron, TBA (TV: TBA)

Saturday, Oct. 2 at Rutgers (B1G), TBA (TV: TBA)

Saturday, Oct. 9 vs. Maryland (B1G), 12 p.m. (TV: TBA)

Saturday, Oct. 23 at Indiana (B1G), TBA (TV: TBA)

Saturday, Oct. 30 vs. Penn State (B1G), TBA (TV: TBA)

Saturday, Nov. 6 at Nebraska (B1G), TBA (TV: TBA)

Saturday, Nov. 13 vs. Purdue (B1G), TBA (TV: TBA)

Saturday, Nov. 20 vs. Michigan State (B1G), TBA (TV: TBA)

Saturday, Nov. 27 at Michigan (B1G), 12 p.m. (TV: Fox)

Saturday, Dec. 4 Big Ten Championship Game, 8 p.m. (TV: Fox)


By Brandon Little

Contributing columnist

Follow @BrandonLittleSI on Twitter. Follow @GalionInquirer on Twitter. Like The Galion Inquirer on Facebook.

Follow @BrandonLittleSI on Twitter. Follow @GalionInquirer on Twitter. Like The Galion Inquirer on Facebook.