Ohio State: How Buckeyes, graduate transfer QB can find perfect fit

Austin Wardover 2 years
Aritcle written by:Austin WardAustin Ward


Nick Starkel by Jim Dedmon

The speculation, debate and conversations about Ohio State never end, and Lettermen Row is always ready to dive into the discussions. All week long, senior writer Austin Ward will field topics on Ryan Day and the Buckeyes submitted by readers and break down anything that’s on the minds of the Best Damn Fans in the Land. Have a question that needs to be tackled, like the one today about possible transfer options at quarterback? Send it in right here — and check back daily for the answers.

One way or another, Ohio State is going to be adding another scholarship quarterback before the season. It’s certainly possible that the Buckeyes could move forward with three, but that’s not ideal either for the short term or for the long-run outlook at the most important position on the field.

With few options available to land on the recruiting trail right now, that’s almost certainly not going to be the answer. And in reality, bringing in another freshman arm wouldn’t provide the kind of solution Ryan Day is looking for at quarterback for a couple reasons.

First of all, if there was a passer still unsigned that fit the offense, Ohio State would have already been pursuing him. Secondly, the Buckeyes already feel good about the future with Justin Fields and Matthew Baldwin covering the next few seasons and commitment Jack Miller lined up behind them. Both of those factors point to the Buckeyes looking to add an experienced passer to provide depth and a security blanket if something goes haywire with the eligibility waiver for Fields or injuries pop up in the season.

So, that means Ohio State is going to be a factor in the graduate-transfer market yet again. And Nick Starkel is already an intriguing option mentioning the Buckeyes as a potential landing place, which could clear all of this up in a hurry. If Day can land somebody with Power-Five starts under his belt, two years of eligibility and a degree to make him instantly available to the roster in the fall, that would absolutely qualify as a no-brainer.

Matthew Baldwin-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football

Ohio State quarterback Matthew Baldwin is key for the future for the Buckeyes. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

One of the first responses to Starkel’s reported interest in Ohio State on Wednesday was how realistic of a shot the program had, and it’s a fair question. If he’s looking to be a starter, then the Buckeyes aren’t going to be a great fit thanks to Fields and the rise of Baldwin ahead of their battle for the top job in the spring. But not all graduate transfers are looking for that opportunity, as Ohio State found out a year ago when Chris Chugunov became available. The West Virginia transfer was more than happy to join a team that competes for national championships at a school with a strong academic reputation and program that sets athletes up after football through the thriving Real Life Wednesdays.

Now Ohio State has even more to offer as Day has enhanced his reputation nationally as a quarterback guru after helping build Dwayne Haskins into a Heisman Trophy finalist. And it’s possible that even just the chance to develop with Day and quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich, be a backup with a chance to contribute for a national-title threat and potentially land some high-profile internships could make Ohio State more appealing than starting at a lower level.

Maybe that will be Starkel, maybe it will be somebody else who earns a degree at the end of the semester. Ohio State doesn’t have to rush it, because the fourth scholarship quarterback isn’t likely to be taking part in spring practice with the program no matter what.

This process could take several months, but it’s eventually going to end with the Buckeyes finding another passer.

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