One of the reasons Urban Meyer always tried to bring in one quarterback in every recruiting class is because that position ends up transferring more than any other.
To make matters worse, it is difficult to stockpile quarterback recruits by taking two in a class because they all know only one of them is going to play.
Sure, there is going to be competition anywhere a player goes, but why go where there is another guy his same age and eligibility if he doesn’t have to?
No amount of recruiting, however, would have allowed the Buckeyes to be in great standing following the loss of three quarterbacks to transfer and one to the NFL in the last 12 months.
Tom Orr has already laid out a suggestion that I whole-heartedly endorse, which is to bring in more Ohio quarterbacks because they are less likely to leave due to homesickness.
You’ll still have guys like Joe Burrow who leave for playing time, but if it’s been somebody’s dream to be a Buckeye, maybe they’ll at least stick around for three years living that dream like Burrow did.
As it stands currently, there are no Ohio high school quarterbacks out there holding OSU offers. There are two 2020 Ohio quarterbacks with major FBS offers, however.
Pickerington Central’s Demeatric Crenshaw is the top-ranked quarterback in Ohio and is the No. 11 dual-threat prospect in the 247Sports Composite. He holds offers from the likes of Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Cincinnati, and Boston College.
Cincinnati Wyoming’s Evan Prater is the brother of Ohio State walk-on receiver Garyn Prater, and is ranked the No. 13 dual-threat quarterback in the nation. He has offers from Miami (FL), Michigan State, Cincinnati, Purdue, Oklahoma State, Pitt, and others.
Of course, the real sticking point here is the fact that the Buckeyes already have a quarterback committed in 2020, in Arizona prospect Jack Miller. Miller has been committed since last summer and despite all of the changes that have gone on in Columbus since then, he has not wavered in his desire to be a Buckeye. Two months ago, Miller won the QB MVP at The Opening Regional combine in Los Angeles.
How receptive would Miller be now if Ryan Day said to him that they’re thinking about bringing in another quarterback in the 2020 class? Sure, it’s their prerogative, but he’s not bound to Ohio State’s every whim and wish. The conversation should probably still take place, however. And if he isn’t receptive, then you still have a decision to make.
Keep in mind that Day likely won’t want to lose one quarterback in the hand for one (or two) in the in-state bush.
The 2021 situation appears to be shaping up well as the Buckeyes are closing in on Philadelphia prospect Kyle McCord, who is the No. 8 pro-style passer in the nation. McCord has Ohio State out front and OSU will continue to build that relationship. Two weeks ago, he won the QB MVP at The Opening Regional in New Jersey.
There is still a 2019 possibility in California quarterback JP Andrade, who visited during Ohio State’s spring game. Andrade is ranked the No. 57 pro-style quarterback in the 2019 class. He holds offers from South Alabama, Fordham, and Morehead State. Both Ohio State and Florida have offered him a spot as a preferred walk-on.
Eventually, the situation with the numbers will fill itself out through recruiting, but it won’t be a quick fix. Each subsequent signee will already know who is on the roster and who they will be competing against. The problem Ohio State ran into this year was that they needed another quarterback and they just happened to go get the best one on the market.
Quarterbacks tend to look forward when examining a depth chart, so when somebody comes up from behind, it can be a bit jarring.
If all goes perfectly from here on out, OSU’s quarterback room this year will have sophomore Justin Fields, fifth-year senior Chris Chugunov, an as-of-yet-unnamed graduate transfer with two years to play instead of one (like Chugunov was), redshirt freshman walk-on Danny Vanatsky, and true freshman walk-on JP Andrade.
That’s not ideal, but damage control never is.
Things will be a bit better in 2020 when you have Fields and Jack Miller as the two main scholarship quarterbacks. If they are able to land a graduate transfer with two years of eligibility this spring, that would give them three guys they can rely on.
But even looking ahead to 2021, if Fields leaves early for the NFL after 2020, the Buckeyes are going to be taking the field with a second-year quarterback in Jack Miller and a true freshman. They will again look for a graduate transfer to boost their scholarship numbers.
Signing two quarterbacks in one or both of the next two classes would be the right move, but it may not be possible if they also want to land their top targets.
Top quality is generally better than top quantity, especially when you consider the Buckeyes haven’t needed a third quarterback since 2014.
Looking down the recruiting road, however, they’re going to hope that remains the case for the next few years as well.