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The Ohio State Buckeyes play in five days to open the 2023 season against the Indiana Hoosiers, and we have no idea who the starting quarterback will be.
Now, no need to panic. I know everyone reading this will have nightmares about J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones in 2015 and how hard it was to watch when no one on the coaching staff would commit to either quarterback, and neither of them could ever find a rhythm.
Even though it is almost definite that both Kyle McCord and Devin Brown will play in the opener, you can bet head coach Ryan Day will make a choice on the starter at the very latest before the Notre Dame game on Sept. 23 and will stay committed to that guy throughout the season.
But, as of right now, we do not know who that will be. Will it be McCord or Brown? Or could it be Tristian Gebbia!? (It won’t be Gebbia).
Brown has only taken one snap as a Buckeye, but he came in as a highly touted recruit in the 2022 class. Brown was listed as a four-star prospect by 247Sports from Corner Canyon High School in Draper, Utah. He was the No. 44 recruit overall in the 2022 class, the No. 5 quarterback, and the No. 2 player in the state of Utah.
This is what Blair Angulo, the Mountain Region Recruiting Analyst for 247Sports, had to say about Brown as he exited high school:
“Long, wiry frame with room to add muscle mass. Carries 190 lbs. well and continues to fill out. He is a dynamic quarterback with a basketball background. Shows very good arm strength and zip on his passes. Flashes ability to make off-platform throws without losing velocity. Distributes to all levels of the field and looks extremely comfortable rolling out to space. Displays good timing and anticipation over the middle. Mechanically sound and quick to release the football. He is athletic and tough enough to plant his foot and gain yards with his legs...”
McCord and Brown have battled it out all spring, with neither quarterback seemingly gaining an advantage one way or the other. Back to the point I made above, ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported last week that he expects McCord and Brown to both play against Indiana.
“I actually talked to Ryan Day this morning and this will be a battle right through the Indiana game,” Thamel told College Football Live host Kelsey Riggs. “He said as of right now, he expects to play both quarterbacks in that game. There’s a big scrimmage for Ohio State on Saturday. That could maybe determine who does become the starter, eventually. Interesting battle. Kyle McCord, a little more veteran, a little more polished. He’s kind of a more drop-back guy. Devin Brown’s got a little more wiggle to him and a little more of a dual-threat.”
“What they want is to find a quarterback because they have to build an identity,” Thamel continued.” They go to Notre Dame on Sept. 23. By then, they certainly want to have that battle set.”
So it seems confirmed that we will see both quarterbacks against Indiana. The other two games before the Notre Dame showdown are against Youngstown State and Western Kentucky, so we likely would not learn too much about either player in those games.
Whether Brown starts all year or not, all signs are pointing to him being a contributor at least early in the season, and then being the guy next in line to McCord — as McCord was to C.J. Stroud.