Tuesday on the Ohio State campus was essentially media day for the Buckeye quarterbacks — or at least those who are currently enrolled.
Five quarterbacks met with reporters — redshirt freshmen CJ Stroud and Jack Miller, true freshmen Kyle McCord, and walk-ons JP Andrade and Jagger LaRoe. Ohio State head coach Ryan Day and quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis also met with the media to discuss a very congested quarterback room.
What follows are some thoughts and notes on what was said, what wasn’t, and other assorted interest-piquers.
Quinn Ewers Was a Topic, But There Wasn’t Much Conversation
Quinn Ewers, the 2022 five-star-prospect-turned-freshman-quarterback for the Buckeyes has not yet arrived on campus and because of that, it’s not all that easy to talk about him. Ryan Day spoke in generalities, as did Corey Dennis, since neither can actually say Ewers’ name since he’s not yet enrolled. Mostly, both coaches turned the subject toward those who were currently on campus. Jack Miller said the coaches haven’t really talked to them about Ewers coming in. I asked him how long it took him to feel like he had command of the offense. He said about a year. I then asked if it’s possible for a freshman quarterback to come in and learn the offense in about two weeks. His response? “I think it’s definitely a possibility, but you never know.”
Jack Miller Saying All the Right Things
This was only the second time in his career that Jack Miller sat down with reporters, with the first coming way back in January of 2020 after he enrolled. Ryan Day and Corey Dennis would have been thrilled with everything he said, especially since he never said anything controversial. What he did say always revolved around the team and what is best for the team. The fact that he’s saying those things in the midst of a quarterback competition is interesting and it makes it look like he’s got a mature perspective of the situation. He was even asked about not winning the job this year but still having the possibility to win it next year, which produced an answer that Buckeye fans might love. “You look at guys all across college football, everybody takes a different path to get to where they want and I think it’s super important to stick around and focus on the team and what’s next and getting better every single day.”
CJ Stroud Doesn’t See Himself As the Front-Runner
I will likely do a longer story about this at some point during camp, but I thought it was interesting — and telling — that when it was mentioned to CJ Stroud that people on the outside view him as the favorite in this quarterback race and then was asked if he saw himself the same way, he said he views himself as the guy in the back of the pack. That’s the proverbial shoulder chip that all players talk about. Every player uses that cliche, but some live it. Stroud is one of those guys who came on late in high school, so he understands winning a race while spending most of it at the back of the line. This is also a great way to never get complacent, which is exactly what you want from your starting quarterback. Or backup quarterback. Or scout quarterback. Or every other player on the roster.
And Don’t Start Thinking Kyle McCord Is Complacent
We’ll have a story on Kyle McCord and his quest to win the starting job and his mentality going into camp at some point this week. He is just so mature. This was our first chance to talk to him…ever…I believe. He said the addition of Quinn Ewers doesn’t change anything because the competition is going to continue. Players are going to have to work on getting better and showing the coaches they can handle the job no matter how many competitors there are. One of my favorite answers from McCord came when I asked him if he felt like he had complete control of the offense. His response? “I don’t know if I’ll ever be at 100%, you know, because I just want to continue to learn and I don’t think there’s a cap you can put on that. But I feel like I’m in a really good position mentally with the offense.” Earlier in the session he said he three years from now he’s still going to want to know more about the offense and how to make it better.
Ryan Day Is Happy With His Quarterback Room
Ryan Day is about to have a quarterback room with four scholarship quarterbacks who have never thrown a pass in a college game, but he also knows the wealth of talent the Buckeyes possess at the position. Having such a level of inexperience is never ideal, but Day has a pretty good grasp on what Ohio State has — though he’ll feel a bit better in about a month. “Yeah, no, I feel very good,” he said. “When you think about the talent that we have in that room and the work these guys have put in, where we’re at right now, I do feel… I’ll feel a lot better after we get done with the first game. But there’s a lot of work to be done until then, but I’m very, very excited about the talent level in that entire room and the work ethic that’s been shown. Yeah, I mean, who wouldn’t be excited to have such talented young men in the room competing together who care about Ohio State. And I think that’s a big part of these guys that you got to give a lot of credit for. There’s a lot of media out there talking about different things, but they’re ignoring the noise and just going to work and focusing on their development, and that’s not easy to do for an 18, 19, 20-year old kid, and so I’m very proud of their approach so far.”