Football Recruiting

Urban Meyer: ‘Not a Lot of Depth’ at Quarterback in 2019 Class

Ohio State Football Urban Meyer at Ohio State Buckeyes Practice

Ohio State does not yet have a quarterback committed in the 2019 recruiting class. It’s pretty rare of late for Urban Meyer to be this deep into the spring and not yet have a quarterback committed.

In fact, the last time the Buckeyes didn’t have a quarterback committed by this point in the year was 2014, but Joe Burrow jumped on board the last week of May to become OSU’s first 2015 QB commit.

The lack of a quarterback in the class so far has some wondering if Ohio State is just taking things slower this year.

“That’s a good question. We’re not on purpose taking it slower,” Meyer said. “There’s not a lot of depth at quarterback this year in the recruiting world. So other than we’re just working as hard as we can to get them here. We’ve had a bunch visit, so now we have to find the right marriage for them and us.”

The Buckeyes are waiting on Texas quarterback Grant Gunnell to make his decision likely next month. They are not waiting by the phone for his call, however, as they are still out and actively recruiting other quarterbacks.

Last week they offered Michigan State commit Dwan Mathis, and yesterday they reportedly hosted Wisconsin commit Graham Mertz, who was in town at a Rivals camp. Mertz has held an offer for a while.

Along with Grant Gunnell, the type of quarterback the Buckeyes are looking at this year tend to be more arm than legs.

Is this a new focus for the Buckeyes?

“Not on purpose,” Meyer said. “We’ve always looked at that, but that’s not in the top-five criteria we’ve evaluated at quarterback. We’ve had plenty of quarterbacks, around here — or not around here, but just in history that didn’t have the strongest arm, but they were a better player.

“It’s competitive, toughness, leadership, football IQ, and extend the play are the things we look for. Arm strength is nice, but it’s not in the top five.”

Like the timelines, the traits that the Buckeyes are recruiting are dependent upon the particular quarterbacks in each recruiting class. Meyer isn’t the only one who believes this just isn’t that deep of a quarterback class.

Currently, there is only one quarterback in the Top 50 of the 247Sports Composite for the 2019 recruiting cycle. Last year, six quarterbacks finished in the final Top 50, and there have been at least four in the Top 50 each of the three years before that.

So you can understand OSU’s need for patience in finding the right future leader, but they may also want to take things a bit slower than they have in the past for personal reasons.

Memory Lane

Remember when the Buckeyes landed a commitment from Tristen Wallace in April of 2015? He was going to be their 2016 quarterback. Then he decided he didn’t want to be a quarterback anymore and decommitted. The Buckeyes “had to settle” for Dwayne Haskins when he decommitted about two weeks before signing day in 2016.

Remember Danny Clark? He was going to be OSU’s 2017 quarterback signee. He committed in December of 2013. The Buckeyes then accepted a commitment from Tate Martell in June of 2016, which eventually led to Clark’s decommitment.

Then last year there was the Emory Jones drama. Jones had been committed to Ohio State since July of 2016. He would then decommit about 17 months later after the Buckeyes accepted a commitment from Matthew Baldwin in December of 2017.

So yes, the Ohio State search for a quarterback commitment is going a little slower than normal. Considering what has happened over the last few years, however, maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

[Grant Gunnell photo courtesy Grant Gunnell | Twitter]