After months of speculation, today it was confirmed that redshirt-junior quarterback Joe Burrow will exercise his rights as an Ohio State graduate and transfer to another school to continue his playing career.
After weeks of struggling with this decision, I have decided to leave Ohio State and explore other options. My teammates and coaches all know the love I feel for them. I will decide where I will play next year in the coming weeks.— Joey Burrow (@Joe_Burrow10) May 8, 2018
For more than a year, Burrow has been locked in a competition with Dwayne Haskins to be the heir-apparent to J.T. Barrett as the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback. Following the spring game in April 2017, Burrow appeared to have the lead over then-redshirt freshman Haskins. However, an injury less than a week before the start of the season stunted his progress, and Haskins thrived in the back-up role, especially against Michigan.
Since Burrow graduated at the end of the spring semester, he is immediately eligible to play for his new school, and will have a full two years to prove that he is ready to be a college football starting quarterback, and perhaps even that he deserves a look by NFL scouts. Neither of those things would have been guaranteed had he stayed in Columbus.
Now that Burrow’s decision is official, rumors have begun to circulate that he could be headed for Gainesville.
Ohio State insider @BillBankGreene says he's hearing QB Joe Burrow could be considering #Gators as grad transfer destination, goes in-depth on his current situation - https://t.co/aBu56xhR6c pic.twitter.com/5tjpNYUSjm— Thomas Goldkamp (@ThomasGoldkamp) May 7, 2018
Wherever Burrow ends up, his departure puts the OSU quarterback room in flux. This essentially guarantees that Haskins will be the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback in the fall, with redshirt-freshman Tate Martell and true-freshman Matthew Baldwin competing to be the backup. Second-year walk-on Kory Curtis rounds out the room.
It’s been quite a while since an OSU starting quarterback has gotten through a season unscathed, so if that trend continues this season, no matter whom is Haskins’ backup, he will have zero college snaps under his belt. The only silver lining to this is that Martell has long been expected to have his own package installed into the offense this fall, no matter who the starter is. Whether that happens with him as QB2 remains to be seen, but hopefully whomever is the backup will be able to get some experience in the normal course of the season just in case anything unexpected happens to Haskins.
Whether it is with the Gators, or somewhere else, we wish Burrow the best as he continues his college career.