Ohio State just lost arguably the greatest quarterback in program history to the NFL when Dwayne Haskins entered the 2019 Draft. But with the addition of Justin Fields, they may have brought in a comparable replacement this week, too.
Fields is 6-foot-3, 205 lbs, and considered by many evaluators to be one of the top quarterbacks to come out of high school this century.
He rated as the No. 8 prospect all-time by 247, going back to the start of the ratings in 2000. That’s the highest-ranked player to ever come to Ohio State. Terrelle Pryor and Ted Ginn are the only two Buckeye signees in the top-50.
Fields was the second-ranked player in the 2018 class, just 0.0001 behind Trevor Lawrence, who just led Clemson to a national title as a true freshman.
He spent much of his true freshman season sitting behind Georgia starter Jake Fromm, but looked very good in his limited action. He went 27-for-39 for 328 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions as a freshman. He also rushed 42 times for 266 yards and four touchdowns.
It’s fair to downplay those stats as a product of weak competition – he piled up most of his yardage in garbage time against Austin Peay, Middle Tennessee State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and UMass. It’s also reasonable to point to other highly-ranked players on that all-time list like Ronald Powell or Brock Berlin who never turned into superstars.
But a quarterback coach who has worked with Fields, as well as Lawrence and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, says the Buckeyes’ new addition is a unique talent.
“What you’re going to see from him is someone who is really and truly an elite passer,” Quincy Avery said on the Bull and Fox radio show.
Avery got a chance to watch Fields at The Opening, a camp for highly-ranked high school prospects to go and compete head-to-head prior to their senior seasons. Even among that level of competition, Avery said that Fields stood out.
“The display that Justin Fields put on was better than any quarterback that I’ve ever seen over those four days that he was out there,” Avery said. “This was all throwing. That doesn’t even incorporate his tremendous athletic ability.”
Avery said that the Buckeyes’ newest quarterback brings a well-rounded game to Columbus.
He’s someone who’s going to be a 4.5 (40-yard dash) guy, super quick, super twitchy. And he’s just explosive. The things he can do at the quarterback position, it’s really unreal. You’re going to see not just a dynamic athlete, but a dynamic quarterback.”
You can listen to the complete interview with Avery from Cleveland’s 92.3 FM below.