Ohio State’s 2019 recruiting class is once again one of the best in the nation, but at the moment it is missing a quarterback.
Dwan Mathis, who was committed to Ohio State all the way until Wednesday’s Early Signing Day, flipped his commitment and signed with Georgia instead.
— Gradick Sports (@GradickSports) December 19, 2018
These last-minute flips happen all the time in recruiting, but to lose a quarterback this late in the cycle without another one to take his place could be an issue.
Last year, quarterback Emory Jones was committed to OSU until close to Signing Day, but wavered enough that the Buckeyes moved on and signed Matthew Baldwin instead. Jones ended up at Florida.
This year, ironically Mathis committed to Ohio State after another flip. He was originally committed to Michigan State, but changed his pledge following OSU’s Friday Night Lights recruiting event.
At the time, it looked like the Buckeyes might be in trouble at the quarterback position. A number of their targets at the position, including Grant Gunnell, Ryan Hilinski, and Graham Mertz had committed elsewhere.
With Dwayne Haskins a threat to turn pro after the 2018 season, and Martell and Baldwin the only other quarterbacks on scholarship at the time, adding a legitimate 2019 passer was a must.
Mathis filled that role for about six months, but now the Buckeyes are right back in that same situation.
Heading into next year, the Buckeyes could have as many as four scholarship quarterbacks: Haskins (if he doesn’t turn pro), Martell, Baldwin, and Chris Chugunov, a grad transfer from West Virginia who played in one game this fall.
The Buckeyes already have 4-star prospect Jack Miller committed for 2020. And in the near-term, the answer could basically turn into a trade with the Bulldogs. The Buckeyes are expected to be involved in the chase for Georgia quarterback Justin Fields if the reports of his transfer are true. If he transferred to OSU, he could fill the gap until Miller is ready.
However, there isn’t an obvious 2019 quarterback target for the Buckeyes to go after now.
They may have to hold tight, pursue Fields once he becomes available, and then look at the graduate transfer market for short-term depth if needed.
It’s not ideal, but losing your quarterback on Signing Day doesn’t leave you with a lot of options.