Football Recruiting

Why Ohio State Had To Sign Two Quarterbacks In 2020

Jack Miller Ohio State Recruiting Buckeyes

It’s very unusual for a team to sign more than one quarterback in a recruiting class.

The Buckeyes haven’t signed two signal-callers in the same year since 2015, when Joe Burrow and Torrance Gibson both joined the program.

Gibson was forced to leave OSU for disciplinary reasons almost immediately, while Burrow graduated, transferred to LSU, and won this year’s Heisman trophy.

This year, the Buckeyes added four-star prospects C.J. Stroud and Jack Miller to their class.

They felt it was important to rebuild the quarterback room after a flood of transfers left things very thin earlier in the year.

Burrow, Tate Martell, and Matthew Baldwin all transferred, as did walk-on Kory Curtis. Dwan Mathis decommitted and flipped to Georgia on Early Signing Day 2019.

This year, OSU had only three scholarship quarterbacks, all transfers: Justin Fields, Chris Chugunov, and Gunnar Hoak.

Chugunov will be out of eligibility following the 2019 season, leaving only two returning players for 2020. This is turning into the reality for many teams in the age of the Transfer Portal, but Day wants more depth than that.

“The idea is to have four quarterbacks in that room, and that’s not easy to do,” he said.

The more pressing reason they had to bring in two guys this year is what happens after next season. Hoak will be out of eligibility, and Fields could leave early for the NFL.

That would leave only Stroud and Miller as returning players in that quarterback room.

“In order to go win championships, you have to have depth at that position,” Day said.

“What an opportunity for a couple guys to come in and compete against each other, get developed in what I think is the best offense in college football and get coached by some of the best coaches.”

The Buckeyes already have a top 2021 quarterback committed, in 4-star pro-style passer Kyle McCord from Philadelphia.

Adding the two quarterbacks this year means that they should have at least three for 2021. At that point, perhaps they can bring in another grad transfer like Chugunov or Hoak to bring that room back to four scholarship players. Or they can try to add a second quarterback in the 2021 class.

Either way, the addition of Miller and Stroud helps solidify what had been a very shaky situation for the Buckeyes.

“Jack and C.J. both bring different things to the table. Jack is somebody that has been committed all along. He was loyal from the get-go. I watched him throw when he was 16 years old, and I saw something in him, and he never wavered, either. And I think he’s got a chance to be a really good player. And then C.J. is somebody who came on the scene a little bit later, and I think he has a high ceiling, as well,” Day said.

“Both kind of different stories, but I think both are really excited to come in here and go fight for playing time. I think to say that they’re going to go compete with Justin to be the starter next year is a little bit unfair, but to fight for that backup spot next year is real. They’ll both be coming in here, and you never know how that works. Before you know it, you’re in it.”

6 Responses

  1. Is it time for teams to start recruiting guys like Kenny Guiton? Guys who will be happy being the backup, with enough talent to carry the team without having real star potential? If we bring in two guys with NFL potential, one of them has to transfer if both are to maximize their talents.

    I’ll never forget what a gift it was having Kenny on our roster.

  2. INasmuch as QB is the position where individual performance most affects team results, signing two top QB’s from Coach Day’s list… in the midst of today’s wild swings and changes in rules and distractions… is a victory every bit as significant, IMO, as hiring “the best coach in America” to bring his defensive staff up to his standard.

    He doesn’t know ‘how much time’ it will take… until he finds this ‘right man’ who expresses interest, and they vet each other.

    I’m impatient… and am thankful my feelings in this matter, do not matter one whit! However, of this ‘patience’… i may occasionally need… a ‘reminder’.


  3. Something I thought about during this season was that had Tate Martell stayed at OSU he would have had more playing time as a QB for 2019, than his entire collegiate career combined. He made a poor decision leaving.

    1. And the last I read Tater was AWOL from Miami and nobody knows where he is not even his mother.

      1. some who were once Buckeyes, left that behind when they left.

        others, keep that tie that binds… thus continuing “time and change will surely show…”.

    2. In hindsight, it was indeed a bad idea but at the time it looked like he had a better chance of starting at UM. It was just bad luck that Enos prefers to have the qb learn his system instead of designing based on their talents. What’s the use of recruiting a 4 star QB if you’re gonna make them learn a system they’re not used to?

      What made OSU Urban Mayer recruit Tate Martell? Mayer seems to have a good record in recognizing talent when you consider the recruits he had like Barrett, Haskins and Burrow. He might be even responsible for Day to recruit Fields which I would think a wise move for a replacement head coach to look at the previous coach’s notes.

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