One of the top personal trainers for quarterbacks is Quincy Avery, who is based out of Atlanta, Georgia, and works with some of the best high school, college, and professional signal callers in America.
Ohio State quarterback Justin Field has been working with Avery for a few years now, and the two have spent a lot of time together recently. Once the country started to shut down due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Woody Hayes Athletic Center was closed and all organized athletic-related activity was cancelled, leading Fields to return home to Georgia and stay in shape by training with his personal quarterback coach.
“Justin and I were working out together like two or three days per week during the quarantine,” Avery told Buckeye Scoop. “We were able to work out continuously for a lot longer than we normally do, so we got to add more to the things we have always been doing. It wasn’t much different, but I would say it would be similar to what I would be doing with a NFL quarterback during their off-season. It was good to have a lot of one-on-one time though.”
The opportunity to spend extended time together, when Fields otherwise would have been only able to work with the strength and conditioning staff or coaches on a limited basis weekly, could certainly be a benefit as he heads into his junior season.
“I’m not doing anything more beneficial than the coaches can do,” Avery explained. “I think Coach Day and Coach Dennis do a fantastic job, it’s just that they’d be limited in how much they could do with him after spring ball was over because there’s a limit on the hours. I was able to bounce stuff off Coach Dennis, focus on the things he wanted Justin to work on, stuff like that. It was helpful to be in constant communication with him. I think anytime you get to spend that many days and hours with someone, you can get very critical of your form and technique to work on it, and that can be very beneficial. He was basically just spending his day taking care of his online classes and then coming to work out, so, unlike any other time, I think that will pay tremendous dividends in being able to do that. Of course, it doesn’t help not being able to work with his receivers, so that is the downside. You may see his fundamentals and technique improved, but he did miss the time to work with his receivers on timing and rhythm.”
Fields had a tremendous sophomore campaign for Ohio State, throwing for nearly 3,300 yards with 41 touchdowns (against just 3 INTs), and rushing for another 484 yards with 10 scores. It’s hard to improve much on those numbers, but that is the expectation from everyone for Fields in 2020. Has the talented quarterback made the necessary jump in his development year over year to do so?
“I think Justin is one of the more talented people in the country,” Avery said. “With people like him you’re not going to see huge jumps, just because he’s so talented. I just think he continues to become more consistent and that is what is going to allow him to take the next step.
“I think that he’s going to play great. Everybody saw what he did last year at Ohio State and that was just him getting his feet wet, just starting to understand the offense and the things they are doing. He’s got an opportunity now to take a master’s class in that. Justin is as smart as anyone I’ve ever been around. He’s going to pair the execution from the mental side along with the tremendous physical talent he has. He’s just going to take off and put himself in a position to either come back and be a Heisman finalist three straight years or go really early in the draft and make a bunch of money.”
One difference for Fields in 2020 versus 2019 is his position coach, as Corey Dennis takes over for Mike Yurcich as the man in charge of the quarterback room. How does Avery feel about Dennis now mentoring one of his star pupils?
“I think he’s ready for the job,” he responded when asked. “He’s been in the quarterback room with Coach Day for like three years, so it’s not like he’s starting from scratch. He knows exactly what they want to get across. He knows the information those guys need to know when they step on to the field. I think that Coach Dennis is going to quickly become one of the best quarterback coaches in the country. Having the opportunity to know the system the way he does, understand the things that they do, and having the talent that they have at all the skill positions, it’s putting him in a really good position to be successful and help the quarterbacks to be great.”
Finally, one thing everyone can agree on is that the match made between Fields and the Scarlet and Gray has been a great one. A year later, Avery looks back on the two sides coming together and shares thoughts on what it has meant to both the program and player.
“I think it was obviously a critical decision for both parties,” he shared. “Without Justin, I don’t see Ohio State making the College Football Playoffs last year. We’d be having a lot of different discussions about them and their team if Justin Fields wasn’t their quarterback. But then Justin also benefitted a ton. He got to get on the field, take a bunch of snaps. He was the guy out there. He got to lead one of the most illustrious programs in all of college football. To be able to do that and be very successful was huge for him.”