Today’s Topic: Who Can We Compare Justin Fields To?
At 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, running a 4.5, and with an arm like an Australian punter’s leg, there aren’t many apt comparisons for new Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields.
The first thought that comes to my mind is that Fields is the quarterback you created in NCAA Football and then tried to recruit. You gave him 99s in just about every category, and then you made him an in-state prospect so that you’d have a better shot of landing him.
For whatever reason, however, he opted to go out of state for college and you spent every last one of those 15 minutes for nothing.
But this is real life, even if Fields’ skill set seems make believe.
So who does he compare to?
If we’re just talking Ohio State quarterbacks, Fields is a combination of Dwayne Haskins and Braxton Miller.
Now, he’s not either of those quarterbacks, but he might be both.
Fields has Haskins’ frame and is arguably the most-talented passer the Buckeyes have had, other than Haskins. Fields was the Elite 11 MVP in 2017. After nearly a week’s worth of evaluations, it was Fields who got the nod over Trevor Lawrence, who has taken Clemson to the College Football Playoff Championship Game.
Fields displayed pinpoint passing throughout drills and 7-on-7 tournaments. No, it wasn’t 11-on-11 football, per se, but it was an arena that showcased Fields’ entire repertoire of throws.
Then there’s also his ability to pull the ball down and run.
Clocked at a 4.51 at a Nike combine, Fields isn’t quite as fast as Braxton Miller, but he also doesn’t need to be.
You know all of those open running lanes you saw in front of Haskins this season? Or the times the defense never respected the read option keeper? A 4.51 would have a field day with those kinds of looks (no punt intended)(pun intended).
Fields is a throw-first, run-second quarterback, but he does both equally well.
In terms of what kind of leader he is? Who knows? He’s only going to be a sophomore. He may not even get to play next year. His leadership will grow as he finds his place within the team. It may be as a starter, it may not be. Don’t expect JT Barrett right out of the gate, however.
Urban Meyer always wanted his quarterbacks to be fierce competitors and then they would work around their shortfalls. Ryan Day wants competitors as well, but when he evaluates quarterbacks, he looks for one extraordinary trait, and then he’ll build on the rest.
In Justin Fields, Day has a quarterback with several extraordinary traits.
The fun part for him will be picking and choosing which ones he wants to use at any given time.