[This is the 10th in a series where The-Ozone looks back on each member of the 2018 signing class and the impact they had this past season, as well as the impact they could have this coming season.]
Matthew Baldwin came to Ohio State from football powerhouse Lake Travis High School in Austin, Texas. Baldwin was a 4-star prospect and ranked the No. 12 pro-style quarterback in the nation and the No. 331 player in the 2019 class overall. He only started as a senior and was previously committed to Colorado State before his senior season. He eventually landed on Ryan Day’s radar and the rest is history which has yet to be written. Baldwin signed with Ohio State over offers from Colorado State, North Carolina, Abilene Christian, Dartmouth, Brown, Iowa, and Houston Baptist.
Matthew Baldwin tore an ACL at the end of his senior season in high school, so when he enrolled early in January, his early Buckeye career was spent rehabbing.
He took part in some aspects of spring camp, mainly throwing and no physical contact. Things were taken slowly in fall camp as well, but that was going to happen anyway as the Buckeyes had to get Tate Martell ready to be Dwayne Haskins’ backup.
Baldwin was healthy enough to throw the ball during the summer, and he impressed a few teammates along the way.
“Nah, nah, nah. He’s not a Plan B at all. I can tell you that for sure,” senior wide receiver Parris Campbell said at last year’s Big Ten Media Days. “You can just see the way he carries himself. You can tell he just looks like a natural leader, he looks like a natural winner. Obviously he has the talent. The way he throws the ball is just incredible.
“He can absolutely sling it. Last week I was throwing routes with him and he’s going to be elite. I love him. He’s a kid that doesn’t say much. He works, puts his head down and grinds. He has incredible talent.”
He wasn’t healthy enough to play until the middle part of the season, but never saw action for the Buckeyes.
So Now What
Despite no career snaps to his credit, Matthew Baldwin will be competing with Justin Fields this spring to win the starting quarterback job at Ohio State.
At the Rose Bowl, even before Dwayne Haskins had announced he would be leaving for the NFL, Baldwin’s intention was to compete for the spot regardless.
“I’m going to compete as hard as I can, whether Dwayne comes back or not,” he said at the time. “Who knows. He’s had such a great season. That will be all up to him. I’m going to compete as if I’m the starter. I’m going to prepare as if I’m the starter. Hopefully I can win the job.”
Haskins, however, is gone. So is Tate Martell. That leaves Baldwin and Fields, and it should be a fun battle to watch this spring, summer, and fall.
“Competition isn’t something that I’m afraid of,” Baldwin said. “If you come to Ohio State and think there’s not going to be a competition, you don’t know what you’re doing. Like I said, I’m not afraid of it. I’ll just take on spring with a good mindset.”