If it seems like the every single day that Ohio State is in the headlines, you’re not alone in thinking that. It’s now been just over a week since Ohio State won the Rose Bowl in Urban Meyer’s last game as the program’s head coach.
Since his first day on the job as head coach, Ryan Day has done nothing but go full speed, pedal to the metal with implementing his plan for the program. With yesterday’s latest drama in the quarterback saga, Day and his “new” staff may be on the hunt for one more signal-caller even though they just gained the best prospect they could probably ever dream of.
As said earlier though, for the Buckeyes, the news seemingly never stops.
They say three’s a crowd, but truthfully you need four
Yesterday, when the news broke out that Tate Martell was looking to transfer, it probably caught many by surprise after hearing his thoughts on the matter when asked directly before the Rose Bowl victory. That matter? The Justin Fields to Ohio State move and whether it would come to fruition or not. A snapshot of Tate’s comments basically hinted toward the notion that he wasn’t scared of competition and that he had done all that was asked of him and felt he would be up for the task if he were to have to battle Fields for the starting job in 2019.
Fast forward a week though. Justin Fields is now officially a Buckeye and it looks as if Tate’s words were just that, words. Realizing it hasn’t been cemented in stone that Martell is leaving, it’s pretty clear that when there’s smoke, there’s fire—and right now it’s pretty hazy in Columbus when considering Martell’s future with the Buckeyes. Now, not getting into his decision and giving an opinion on the situation, the more interesting thing of note is where the Buckeyes stand if he does decide to go. On one hand, it’s almost like they’re in the same boat they were before Fields transferred to Ohio State. Three scholarship quarterbacks and a need for some depth. It’s as if Tate sees the writing on the walls though for Fields being granted the waiver for immediate eligibility, but Ryan Day has said before that he wants four quarterbacks on the roster because that’s what it takes. If Tate goes, Day doesn’t have that. The question now is where would he look?
Ohio State may need to once again take a look in the 2019 class for nothing more than depth insurance. That along with the potential JUCO or even grad-transfer options, there’s simply that. Options. Which one however will only be seen with time. Guys such as Louisiana's Lance LeGendre, the highest rated uncommitted QB, are still available, but this late in the game it’s hard to build that strong of a relationship to bring a prospect into the fold. Knowing Florida State is the real threat and clear front-runner for his services doesn’t make it any easier. David Baldwin, an IMG signal-caller is the second highest rated uncommitted QB in the class, but as it stands now he doesn’t even hold an Ohio State offer.
As you can see, the options are somewhat slim if Day wants to look solely in the 2019 class. If he were to go through the JUCO or grad-transfer ranks though, the depth would certainly be more experienced. Stay tuned, the outcome for Fields’ eligibility is coming near and that will certainly help shape where this staff goes when it comes to finding a fourth scholarship quarterback.
Buckeyes closing in on another 2019 addition?
Ohio State’s 2019 early signing day saw quality over quantity. A smaller class in overall numbers, the Buckeyes are pretty much squared away and know who they’ll have in the fold after February. However, there’s still a couple of open spots.
On the offensive side of the ball, the trenches are where the depth is needed most. With the early departure of Michael Jordan, Ohio State’s center/guard combo, the Buckeyes will have to replace four starters on their line. A tough task, the Buckeyes have recruited well enough to have a plan set in place for the next in line, literally, but adding depth is still a key to being successful due to unseen incidents such as injuries that are likely to occur over the course of a season.
Yesterday, the Buckeyes may have taken a step closer to adding offensive line depth when Director of Recruiting for 247sports, Steve Wiltfong, pegged a crystal ball prediction in favor of Ohio State for Indianapolis, Indiana, native Dawand Jones. Jones is a 6-foot-8, 360-pound monster-sized prospect that is raw in his technique, but if there’s one thing you can’t teach, it’s size and athleticism. Jones not only has the size to be a dominant force in the trenches, but he also has the skills and, more specifically, the footwork.
The crystal ball is not always 100-percent accurate, but when the Director of Recruiting makes a prediction, it’s one to pay attention to. The Buckeyes need numbers, and while they will try their very best to hold onto Doug Nester in their 2019 class, adding the size and potential of Dawand Jones is certainly something they’d like to do.