Nine practices into his first spring, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day seems to be getting closer to naming his starting quarterback for the fall.
He said Monday that, based on the amount of playing time he has seen from redshirt freshman Matthew Baldwin and sophomore Justin Fields behind center, he wants to start looking at their respective completion percentages and who is moving the ball down the field more through the first practices of the spring.
“Later today, actually, I kind of want to see the numbers and kind of see where we are at with that,” Day said. “We are starting to get to the point where I think there is enough snaps of film where we can start to get an idea of where guys are at.”
This past Monday, Fields, a transfer from Georgia, lost his black stripe, representing his official initiation into the Ohio State football program.
Day said that with this ceremony, Fields has come out with a good understanding of what it takes to be a quarterback in terms of preparing and making plays.
“He’s only been in the offense I guess for eight practices, nine practices and has picked it up pretty quickly overall,” Day said. “The fact that he is able to run the offense right now with not a lot of reps under his belt is pretty significant.”
In terms of which quarterback is in the lead for the job currently, Day said he has no timeline to determine who will be the starter out of spring, saying “we will see how it shakes out.”
On the offensive line, Day seems satisfied with the way redshirt sophomore Josh Myers has adjusted to the center position.
The head coach said Myers, through the first few practices, has picked up where he left off from Rose Bowl practices this past season.
“This is where guys really make moves,” Day said. “Middle of spring, we have seen the same plays, they’ve seen the same defense, and now guys get a real edge on each other. Interested to see how this week goes for him, but he’s done a good job when he’s been in there so far.”
But Day still doesn’t have a full idea of who will be on the starting line next season. With the acquisition of four-star guard Enokk Vimahi, three-star tackle Dawand Jones and five-star center Harry Miller in the 2019 recruiting class, each of whom has not arrived yet, Day said Ohio State has worked with the concept of “two lines” with the amount of guys set to arrive.
Ohio State also is waiting for Jonah Jackson, who will finish his career with the Buckeyes as a graduate transfer from Rutgers.
Jackson brings a level of flexibility similar to what Michael Jordan, who declared for the NFL Draft, brought a season ago.
“He can do both; he can play guard and play center, which gives us a lot of flexibility there moving him,” Day said. “Not really sure, coming in, where exactly where we are going to start him, based on where things start this spring and who wins the positions inside. We will kind of move from there.”