“There are parts of it that I completely understand. There are other parts that make me very, very nervous about where the future of college football is going with it. But there’s not an easy answer.”
New Ohio State head coach Ryan Day is doing some serious work on the recruiting trail during his short time as Buckeye head coach, but his first season as the man in charge in Columbus will be defined by transfers. Coming into the Ohio State program are Georgia transfer quarterback Justin Fields and offensive lineman Jonah Jackson, who previously played at Rutgers.
Fields and Jackson will have an instant impact for Ohio State, but a number of Buckeye players who have transferred out of the program will test Day when it comes to depth for the next couple of seasons. Quarterbacks Tate Martell and Matthew Baldwin both decided Ohio State wasn’t the place for them during the offseason and have moved on, leaving the Buckeyes with a serious lack of depth at quarterback. The loss of Baldwin especially hurts Ohio State, since he was seen as someone who would test Fields, as well as take the reins from the former five-star recruit when he left the program. The Buckeyes turned to Kentucky transfer quarterback Gunnar Hoak to give them another scholarship quarterback on the roster.
Even though Day has benefitted with some of the big names he has brought to Ohio State via transfer, the whole transfer system still has him nervous. Ohio State has seen a number of players transfer out of the program over the last few years, especially at quarterback. Day knows the trend of increased transfers means he’ll have to be even clearer with communication with recruits.
Even though a number of transfers have put Ohio State in the headlines during the offseason, in reality the Buckeyes have done a great job at keeping talent in Columbus considering the retirement of head coach Urban Meyer and a number of changes on the coaching staff. With the honesty and poise that Day has displayed so far as Ohio State head coach, it’s hard to imagine transfers will become a big problem in the program.
“A golfer golfs, fishermen fish. A coach looks at film. I don’t fish and I don’t golf. I watch film.”
New Ohio State quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Mike Yurcich really enjoys his job. Some coaches might try and get away from the game a little bit during their time off, but Yurcich finds enjoyment in watching film. The dedication to his craft has helped Yurcich rise up the coaching ranks. A decade ago, Yurcich was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania, and now he is one of the minds in charge of creating the game plan for one of the most prestigious college football programs in the country.
Now that Yurcich has joined Ryan Day’s staff at Ohio State, he is even more passionate about his work. With being at such a high-level program, Yurcich knows he has to be on the cutting edge to help Ohio State’s offense continue to excel. Working with strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti and some of the other experienced Ohio State assistants has also driven Yurcich to put forth his best work.
With the regular season still over two months away, Yurcich has plenty on his plate to keep him busy. Even though Ohio State has quarterback recruits in the fold in the 2020 and 2021 recruiting classes, Yurcich will be scouring summer camps to try and find some more talented recruits that could come to Ohio State in the future. With all the film Yurcich will have to look at trying to not only prepare for Ohio State’s 2019 season, but also beyond, the new Buckeye assistant should be in heaven with the amount of film he’ll be tasked with breaking down.
“I think whoever was going to get him, when he was deciding, was going to get a really good football player and a really good person.”
Tim McFarlin, high school football coach of Ohio State running back Steele Chambers via John Brice, Letterman Row
If his career at Blessed Trinity Catholic high school in Georgia is any indication, expect to hear Steele Chambers’ name early and often at Ohio State. The running back started what is believed to be a Georgia High School Association record 58 games during his high school career, and he didn’t just excel at running back. Not only did Chambers run for 244 yards and three touchdowns in the Georgia 4A state title game, but he also threw for a touchdown pass. Chambers also took over at middle linebacker after JD Bertrand, who signed with Notre Dame, was injured in the semifinals.
Luckily for Chambers, Ohio State will only expect him to focus on excelling at running back, since the Buckeyes are loaded with talent at linebacker. Even though Chambers won’t be expected to be out there making tackles for Ohio State, his performance in the state title game not only showed his will to win, but also displayed just how talented he is. The fact that Chambers could step in on the other side of the football and excel in his team’s most important game of the year shows how special of a talent Ohio State has in the fold.
Running back J.K. Dobbins will get the bulk of the carries in the backfield for Ohio State this year, but it’s going to be hard to keep Chambers off the field in 2019. Chambers was a workhorse in high school, running the football 30 times in four of his last six games in his senior season. While Ohio State won’t need him to tote the rock that many times, it’s reassuring to know they are getting a durable, physical running back who will likely play a major role in the Buckeye offense in the future.
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