Ohio State and quarterback Justin Fields received some great news today when the NCAA declared Fields immediately eligible to play for OSU this coming 2019 season.
“I am happy for Justin and his family,” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said. “I also want to express my appreciation to the NCAA for its assistance in getting this matter resolved efficiently and with such a positive outcome for Justin.”
Fields also released a statement through Ohio State.
I thank God for His guidance during this time of uncertainty. I would like to thank the NCAA for its approval of the waiver allowing me to be eligible to play football this fall. I also want to thank all those who supported and encouraged my family and me during this process. While my case was pending before the NCAA, my family and I did not feel that it was appropriate to publicly speak about the circumstances leading to my transfer. In my silence, people began to speculate, and the story took on a life of its own.
Now that this matter is concluded, I would like to clarify some facts. I have no regrets about my time at UGA and have no hard feelings for the school or football program. My overall experience at UGA was fully consistent with UGA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. My sister is a softball player at UGA. I am still close friends with many of my UGA teammates. A part of me will always be a Georgia Bulldogs fan.
To Buckeye Nation: thank you for your warm welcome. I will work hard to represent you and The Ohio State University in a professional and respectful manner. My dad always tells me that “you can’t get to where you are going by looking in the ‘rear view mirror.’” I’m ready to move forward and embrace the next season of my life.
I will not be speaking about my transfer again. Instead, I will focus all of my attention on getting to work in the classroom and on the field – and doing whatever else I can to help my teammates as we prepare for the 2019 season.
Fields transferred from Georgia last month and sought a waiver from the NCAA to be eligible immediately.
Now that he is eligible to play in 2019, the Buckeyes can move ahead with a full-fledged quarterback battle between Fields and Matthew Baldwin. Both players are in their second years, but Fields will be a true sophomore and Baldwin a redshirt freshman.
As a true freshman last season, Baldwin was recovering from a torn ACL that he suffered in high school. He wasn’t healthy enough to play until midway through the season, but due to the lack of blowouts in October and November, he never saw action.
Fields, meanwhile, played in 12 games as a true freshman. He completed 27-of-39 passes (69.2%) for 328 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran the ball 42 times for 266 yards (6.3 ypc) and four touchdowns. His long rush was 47 yards and his two carries of 30 or more yards were twice as many as Ohio State running back JK Dobbins had in 2018.
Fields completed two passes of 50+ yards, which was the same number as Alabama backup quarterback Jalen Hurts and Texas A&M starting quarterback Kellen Mond. Hurts needed 70 pass attempts to get to his number and Mond needed 415.
Ranked the No. 2 overall prospect in the 2018 class and the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback, Fields is the highest-ranked recruit to play for Ohio State since Terrelle Pryor in 2008. Pryor was also the No. 2 overall prospect and the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback.
Pryor led Ohio State to BCS bowls in each of his first three seasons before the NCAA ruled him immediately ineligible.