Today is the day that we all knew would come eventually, as Ohio State Buckeyes head football coach Ryan Day has officially named sophomore transfer quarterback Justin Fields as the starting quarterback for at least the first game of the season against Florida Atlantic on Aug. 31.
The former Georgia Bulldogs backup, Fields won the job over fellow transfers — both of the graduate variety — Gunnar Hoak (previously of Kentucky) and Chris Chugunov (previously of West Virginia).
Day had publicly stated that the competition was ongoing, and following a reported rash of turnovers at the first scrimmage of fall camp on Aug. 10, said that he wasn’t ready to declare the starter. However, in subsequent news conferences, the first-time head coach stated that Fields had made tremendous progress, and that he had been taking the bulk of the first-team reps.
It now appears that the former second-rated recruit in the country has done enough to earn the starting position for the Buckeyes as they open up the 2019 season.
With being named QB1, the expectations come with the territory. Dwayne Haskins had a record-setting season in 2018, and the likes of J.T. Barrett, Cardale Jones and Braxton Miller all had illustrious careers while wearing the Scarlet and Gray.
Quarterback battles haven’t been a staple of the Buckeye program in recent years. However, one of the most notable battles came after the 2015 National Championship win. Heading into Week 1 against Virginia Tech that season, there was who shot J.R. levels of water cooler talk about who would be the starter: J.T. or Cardale. Unlike the naming of Fields as starter, Jones was unveiled as the starter on the first offensive play of the game.
Also announced on Monday was the entire slate of 2019 Buckeye captains. The group of seven players leading the squad this season will be Jordan Fuller, Jonathon Cooper, J.K. Dobbins, Tuf Borland, K.J. Hill, C.J. Saunders, and Chase Young.