New Ohio State head coach Ryan Day has made it clear that he wants to have four scholarship quarterbacks on the Buckeyes’ roster this fall.
Right now, the team has three: Justin Fields, Matthew Baldwin, and Chris Chugunov. With the 2019 recruiting boards stripped almost to the studs, it’s likely they’ll have to bring in a transfer player to fill that fourth spot.
That’s what they did in 2018, adding Chugunov in August following the transfer of Joe Burrow to LSU.
Who could they bring in to get back to four this year?
Nick Starkel of Texas A&M is the likely front-runner right now. His name is already in the transfer portal, and he has publicly expressed an interest in being a Buckeye.
If Starkel heads to one of his other finalists, there are other options already in the Transfer Portal. And there are also other players who could be good fits who are graduating this spring, but who aren’t in the Portal yet.
Here are some of the options who have already put their names out there as potential transfers.
The Guys With Some Connections
Keondre Wudtee: Entering his redshirt junior season, Wudtee has played sparingly as a backup for Oklahoma State in 2017 and 2018. He has attempted a total of 15 passes in his career for 110 yards, and rushed for 33 yards.
A 3-star prospect coming out of high school in Louisiana in 2016, Wudtee played the last three seasons for Mike Yurcich, the Buckeyes’ new passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Ironically, Wudtee only committed to Oklahoma State after their previous QB commit in 2016 decommitted and flipped to Texas A&M. That recruit’s name was Nick Starkel.
And at the time Starkel committed to the Aggies, he was the second quarterback pledged to their 2016 class. The other was named Tate Martell.
So now that Martell decommitted from A&M, spent two seasons in Columbus and transferred, either Starkel and Wudtee could take his spot with the Buckeyes.
College football in general, and recruiting in particular are wonderfully absurd.
Quinton Maxwell: A redshirt senior from Ohio University, Maxwell started for much of his redshirt freshman season, throwing for 1,247 yards, eight touchdowns and four interceptions. He then lost the starting job and backed up Nathan Rourke the last two seasons.
His Ohio ties at least make this theoretically plausible, but he has only one year of eligibility left, which would leave the Buckeyes with only Fields and Baldwin for 2020.
Update: This doesn’t sound like it’s likely to happen. TheOzone contacted Maxwell Thursday about the possibility of transferring to be a Buckeye. He said, “Ohio State isn’t on my mind.”
Shane Buechele: One of the few guys on this list who most college football fans would immediately recognize, Buechele was an on-and-off starter at Texas.
He came to Austin as the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback in the 2016 class and was an immediate star. He threw for 2,958 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions as a true freshman in 2016 in the last season under Charlie Strong.
But he lost his job in November 2017, and never regained it. The first game he sat on the bench was against West Virginia and its first-time starter… Chris Chugunov. You couldn’t make this up if you tried.
Buechele only played in two games in 2018, so he still has two years left to play and would be a welcome addition in Columbus.
However, he’s likely going to be looking for a place where he can start, instead of walking into a program with quarterbacks the caliber of Fields and Baldwin.
Ty Storey: Entering his redshirt senior season, Storey threw for 1,584 yards, 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions for Arkansas in 2018. He went 25-for-39 for 230 yards, two touchdowns and one interception against Alabama, which isn’t too bad.
However, Razorbacks head coach Chad Morris said Storey told him, “he wants to go somewhere and play” in 2019. He’s also an Arkansas native with no apparent ties to Ohio. That would not make the Buckeyes a particularly good fit.
Ross Bowers: He threw for 3,039 yards as a redshirt sophomore at Cal, including 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
However, he suffered a thumb injury early in the 2018 season and then lost his job. He’s transferring to be a starter, which immediately makes the Buckeyes an unlikely choice.
Josh Jackson: He started for Virginia Tech in 2017, throwing for 2,991 yards, 20 touchdowns and just nine interceptions as a freshman. But Jackson broke his leg in the Hokies’ embarrassing loss to Old Dominion, and missed the rest of the 2018 season.
Tuesday evening, he announced on Twitter that he was transferring (below). With three years of eligibility left, he would seem to be a decent fit. As a grad transfer, he would be eligible to play this fall.
However, with starting experience in his past, he is likely looking for a chance to play immediately. As with a few of the other guys on this list, that may make the Buckeyes a longshot.
Thank you Virginia Tech. pic.twitter.com/1BUBc7kQpI
— Josh Jackson (@joshiejack17) January 24, 2019
[Header Photo Courtesy Oklahoma State Athletics]