COLUMBUS — As soon as Ohio State head coach Ryan Day stepped to the podium to face a room of reporters on Wednesday, he was asked if he was ready to name his starting quarterback.
“Didn’t take long,” was Day’s reply.
He was referring to the timing of the question rather than his decision-making regarding the process.
That process, however, may be winding down.
Originally, Day and quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich said they would really begin to evaluate the starting quarterback situation after the second scrimmage, which takes place this coming Saturday.
Following last Saturday’s scrimmage, Day said he wasn’t any closer to naming a starting quarterback, which was discouraging for him.
With Justin Fields, Chris Chugunov, and Gunnar Hoak all receiving reps, Day wasn’t happy that nobody had yet taken hold of the opportunity.
After Wednesday’s practice, however, it is clear that he is starting to see what he needs. And more importantly, he expects it to continue.
“Yeah, you know, again, second week in, I think probably what we’re going to do is get through the weekend and then on Monday probably make a final decision,” he said. “But the guys are competing really, really well. I think, you know, Justin is practicing at a high level now and had a nice couple really good days here.
“So we’ll get through the weekend. We’ve got to name captains here in the next couple days, as well. And we’ll get back here on Monday and probably have an update for you. But like to make the decision and make the announcement on Monday.”
With Justin Fields receiving all of the first-team reps while the media has been allowed to watch, the assumption is that the job is currently Fields’ to lose.
Day didn’t confirm those assumptions, but when asked how he felt about the quarterback situation as a whole, he said he felt good, and then went on to talk about the improvements Fields had made over the last week.
“I feel good. I feel better than I did last week at this time,” he said. “I think the guys are getting more and more reps under their belt. I do think Justin has taken a stride in the last couple days and the last week. He’s moving the team nicely. Taking care of the ball better the last couple days. Throwing the ball on time. Improvement’s there and leadership is improving.
“So you know, we’ve got a padded practice tomorrow, a padded practice on Saturday, and then we’ll regroup and then go ahead on Monday.”