“The Ohio State Buckeyes have been in search of a graduate transfer quarterback to add to their roster prior to the 2019 season kicking off ever since the off season began.”
Once the news became official that Justin Fields was heading to Ohio State, the transfer rumors started swirling around Columbus. Shortly after saying he would not transfer, Tate Martell decided to leave for Miami, leaving the Buckeyes with some depth issues they are not used to at the shot caller position. Then, after the unexpected transfer of Matthew Baldwin, the Buckeyes are left with serious concerns of depth at the quarterback position.
Many people remember 2014 when Ohio State won a national championship with their third string quarterback Cardale Jones, but that was a rare circumstance. Especially with the new NCAA transfer portal, a quarterback with the talent of Jones likely would transfer to a school where he would start instead of waiting it out.
So who will Ohio State add before the season gets going? It is not a huge list. For one, it has to be a transfer that is immediately eligible to play. Another thing is many graduate transfers will want to go to a place where they can start and play a full season in their final season. For Ohio State, Justin Fields is the sure-fire starter for Ryan Day and the Buckeyes.
In terms of who they can add, many people feel that Kentucky transfer Gunnar Hoak is the leading candidate for Ohio State. Some other options include Matt Fink and Tommy Stevens. These guys can be viable options, but Hoak looks to be the favorite to join Fields and Day in Columbus.
Hoak completed 13 of his 26 total passes for Kentucky for 167 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Stevens is an interesting option as he was likely to be Trace McSorley’s replacement in Happy Valley, but it is unlikely he will come to Columbus as he is searching for a place he can start immediately. He would not be able to take the starting job from Fields.
“Furthermore, the Buckeyes have only a 6 percent chance of reaching the Playoff this season, per ESPN’s FPI, which ranks third in the Big Ten (behind Michigan, Penn State) and 12th nationally.”
Over the past 15 years, Michigan is just 2-13 against Ohio State and have lost the past seven meetings. However, according to ESPN’s FPI, they will defeat Ohio State this season and are more likely to reach the College Football Playoff. Ohio State, who many people feel will compete for a Big Ten championship this season and have a solid chance to reach the playoff, are 12th in the ESPN FPI standings.
This is not all too surprising that they are being doubted due the lack of depth at important positions and the head coaching change, but to put them at No. 12 seems pretty insane. They still have many returning starters, a great head coach, and a possible Heisman candidate at quarterback. Michigan comes in third behind Alabama and Clemson. The FPI also believes Michigan will have the top offense in the conference and that will lead them into the playoff.
These metrics are to be taken with a grain of salt of course and by no means are a sure measure of success. Last season, the FPI predicted two of the teams that made it in Alabama and Clemson and had Notre Dame at six and Oklahoma at nine. Still, it is interesting to see the doubt that the FPI puts on Ohio State this season.
“People might’ve forgotten about him,” Holtmann said. “We certainly didn’t.”
This season there was a lot of attention on the Ohio State men’s basketball team. After a wildly successful first season under Chris Holtmann and players exceeding expectations, many fans were curious to see what is next for this program. While much of the attention is on the top recruiting class the Buckeyes have coming in next season, their best addition might be someone who has been with the team for a while now.
CJ Walker, a transfer from Florida State, has had to sit out for a season due to NCAA transfer rules. Walker has two years of eligibility left after sitting out one year and will immediately make an impact for the Buckeyes. With the loss of C.J. Jackson and Keyshawn Woods, there is a void at the guard position that they will likely look towards Walker and incoming freshman DJ Carton to fill.
In his two seasons with the Seminoles, Walker averaged 18 minutes per game and 6.5 ppg, 2 rpg and 1.9 apg. He was integral part of their rotation and was a solid piece on both offense and defense. He also did a good job of controlling the offense and taking care of the ball, which is something the Buckeyes struggled with throughout much of last season, even with veteran guards.
There is a lot of talent on this team next season and having Walker to control the tempo and offense is important.
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