When Yahoo’s Pete Thamel reported on Wednesday that Ohio State’s 2022 quarterback commit Quinn Ewers was leaning towards enrolling next month with the Buckeyes it did two things. First, it confirmed what had been speculated on our Ask The Insiders message board for the past three weeks. Second, it created all kinds of questions and concerns about what this means for the Buckeyes and the current and future quarterback room.

In an effort to try and sort things out myself, I thought I would ask and answer some of the more pressing questions. When the news broke on Wednesday, Tom Orr and myself recorded an emergency episode of the Buckeye Weekly Podcast where we tried to bring as much analysis as we could, but we often just drifted into head shaking and question asking.

Now with some time to reflect, I’m ready to look at this with a clearer eye and answer seven of the more urgent questions this situation has brought about.

1. What is happening and why is it happening now?

Currently in Texas, high school athletes are not permitted to profit from their name, image, and likeness. The problem with that is that Quinn Ewers has companies lining up to have him pitch their wares, and in one case a product has even offered him stake in the company. Ewers is one online English class short of graduating early and enrolling at Ohio State in the next week or so. The quarterback is still deciding what he’s going to do, but he did tell Thamel that he’s leaning toward enrolling at Ohio State, which would then free him up to capitalize on his NIL rights thanks to the rules passed earlier this month by the NCAA. The Buckeyes open camp on August 3, which is another reason why this is all coming to a head right now.

2. What does this mean for this year?

If Quinn Ewers decides to enroll at Ohio State, it will give head coach Ryan Day his desired number of four scholarship quarterbacks. Unfortunately, all four of them would enter the season with true freshman eligibility. CJ Stroud and Jack Miller were true freshmen last year, and both played sparingly, but with the free year granted by the NCAA, they both still have five years to play four. Kyle McCord is a true freshman who enrolled in the winter. Ewers would give Ohio State four freshmen quarterbacks on the same roster probably for the first time since scholarship restrictions came into being. There is every possibility that this won’t materially impact the quarterback competition as it currently stands.

3. Can Quinn Ewers win the job?

Continuing on from the answer in question two, it would be incredibly impressive if a high school senior could show up on campus one month before the Buckeyes play their first game and win the job outright. That’s some Willie Mays Hayes stuff right there and it just isn’t realistic. Can Quinn Ewers win the job at some point this year? Sure. Anything is possible. Will he win the job at some point this year? I don’t think so. In fact, it would take everyone else losing the job in order for him to win it. That’s not putting him down or anything like that, that’s just me talking about a high school senior being asked to run a Ryan Day offense that supposedly takes a year for a college quarterback to truly grasp.

4. What does this do to team chemistry?

I don’t really think this does anything to team chemistry. Some will wonder what this does to freshman quarterback Kyle McCord, but he’s more concerned about winning the starting job right now, and that’s not a place where Quinn Ewers is yet. The two would be operating at different planes. I would expect Ewers to be like every other true freshman his first few months on the job — a silent sponge. Take in everything you can, but do it silently. The quarterback room will recognize his attitude more than his ability. Ewers will need to earn his teammates’ respect and if he can do that, the chemistry will follow.

5. Is Quinn Ewers willing to sit for two years?

I can sit here and tell you that Quinn Ewers’ clock shouldn’t even be ticking yet, but that doesn’t stop said clock from doing what it does. For timing purposes, it would be best for Ohio State if Ewers returned to high school this year just so that his waiting doesn’t actually begin until he arrives in 2022. This year shouldn’t really count for Ewers in terms of his waiting, but try telling him that. It is very unlikely that Ewers is going to win the starting job this year. It’s also unlikely that whoever wins the job this year won’t also win it next year. If that’s CJ Stroud or Jack Miller, then it’s also quite possible they head off to the NFL after the 2022 season. Kyle McCord got a nice head start on Ewers this year, but by 2023 the two of them would be much more even.

6. Why waste a year of eligibility?

Quinn Ewers was never going to be here for five years, so him enrolling early and easing into his Buckeye career by redshirting doesn’t waste a year of eligibility. It basically gives him a five-month head start on what he would have gotten by enrolling next January. And all it cost him was a fifth year he was never going to use. The days of quarterbacks sticking around Ohio State for five years is gone for a while, so it’s probably time to make peace with some of the costs of OSU’s new branding as QBU. I do, however, find it somewhat funny that some people are worried about him wasting a year of eligibility while others are convinced that he won’t stick around for two years on the bench. It is too bad that his clock would get started a year early. Unless, of course, he pays his own way this semester and grayshirts. That’s an option that would allow him to remain a 2022 signee but also capitalize on his NIL. I think he would also then still be allowed to turn pro after the 2023 season — which would technically be his true sophomore year, but the grayshirt would be his actual measuring stick. Anyway, as you can see, there’s a lot to think about right now — even though none of this may end up coming to fruition.

7. Doesn’t this just create a mess?

There are worse messes that have been created. Do I need to go through past Ohio State rosters and list the quarterbacks the Buckeyes have had at their disposal over the years? (Emphasis on disposal.) In a crowded-quarterback-room sense of things, yes, this is a bit messy, but tis better to have messed and lost than never to have messed at all. Ryan Day will go and get as much quarterback talent as he can, knowing that more is better than less. Granted, less has worked out the past two years — unless you chalk up OSU’s losses in part to Justin Fields’ injuries, which isn’t outrageous. There have been some unprecedented years in college football of late, and this one will be another because of the ripples of rules from last year. There are several bizarre reasons for why things are so crowded for Buckeye quarterbacks and they will never be like this again, but it’s definitely something that will need to be handled. I think it’s going to be a while before we see another three-year starter at quarterback for the Buckeyes. They would have to win the job as a true freshman and Day’s recruiting is too good to allow that to happen. So, in summation, yeah, it’s messy. But so are ribs. I can still see a scenario where Kyle McCord and Quinn Ewers both get to start for a year, but it’s going to require somebody to sit for three years. That’s a tough ask nowadays, but with Day’s track record, maybe it’s not as tough as we think.

Bonus: So is this a good thing or a bad thing?

It’s a bit of both and just depends on who you ask. It starts Quinn Ewers’ clock faster, meaning Ohio State has to find a replacement a year earlier than they were planning on. But it also allows Ewers to get up to speed quicker and be more prepared when he finally does compete for the job. I think Ohio State would rather he stay home this year, but if it’s a matter of losing him or keeping him, then you’re going to find a way to get him in the fold as quickly as he would like.

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8 Comments

  1. When [URL=’https://twitter.com/PeteThamel/status/1420477218346737671′]Yahoo’s Pete Thamel reported[/URL] on Wednesday that Ohio State’s 2022 quarterback commit Quinn Ewers was leaning towards enrolling next month with the Buckeyes it did two things. First, it confirmed what had been speculated on [URL=’https://buckeyescoop.com/community/forums/ask-the-insiders.6/’]our Ask The Insiders message board[/URL] for the past three weeks. Second, it created all kinds of questions and concerns about what this means for the Buckeyes and the current and future quarterback room.

    In an effort to try and sort things out myself, I thought I would ask and answer some of the more pressing questions. When the news broke on Wednesday, Tom Orr and myself [URL=’https://buckeyescoop.com/buckeye-weekly-podcast-is-quinn-ewers-going-to-enroll-early-and-play-at-ohio-state-this-fall/’]recorded an emergency episode of the Buckeye Weekly Podcast[/URL] where we tried to bring as much analysis as we could, but we often just drifted into head shaking and question asking.

    Now with some time to reflect, I’m ready to look at this with a clearer eye and answer seven of the more urgent questions this situation has brought about.

    [HEADING=3]1. What is happening and why is it happening now?[/HEADING]
    Currently in Texas, high school athletes are not permitted to profit from their name, image, and likeness. The problem with that is that Quinn Ewers has companies lining up to have him pitch their wares, and in one case a product has even offered him stake in the company. Ewers is one online English class short of graduating early and enrolling at Ohio State in the next week or so. The quarterback is still deciding what he’s going to do, but he did tell Thamel that he’s leaning toward enrolling at Ohio State, which would then free him up to capitalize on his NIL rights thanks to the rules passed earlier this month by the NCAA. The Buckeyes open camp on August 3, which is another reason why this is all coming to a head right now.

    [HEADING=3]2. What does this mean for this year?[/HEADING]
    If Quinn Ewers decides to enroll at Ohio State, it will give head coach Ryan Day his desired number of four scholarship quarterbacks. Unfortunately, all four of them would enter the season with true freshman eligibility. CJ Stroud and Jack Miller were true freshmen last year, and both played sparingly, but with the free year granted by the NCAA, they both still have five years to play four. Kyle McCord is a true freshman who enrolled in the winter. Ewers would give Ohio State four freshmen quarterbacks on the same roster probably for the first time since scholarship restrictions came into being. There is every possibility that this won’t materially impact the quarterback competition as it currently stands.

    [HEADING=3]3. Can Quinn Ewers win the job?[/HEADING]
    Continuing on from the answer in question two, it would be incredibly impressive if a high school senior could show up on campus one month before the Buckeyes play their first game and win the job outright. That’s some Willie Mays Hayes stuff right there and it just isn’t realistic. Can Quinn Ewers win the job at some point this year? Sure. Anything is possible. Will he win the job at some point this year? I don’t think so. In fact, it would take everyone else [I]losing the job[/I] in order for him to win it. That’s not putting him down or anything like that, that’s just me talking about a high school senior being asked to run a Ryan Day offense that supposedly takes a year for a college quarterback to truly grasp.

    [HEADING=3]4. What does this do to team chemistry?[/HEADING]
    I don’t really think this does anything to team chemistry. Some will wonder what this does to freshman quarterback Kyle McCord, but he’s more concerned about winning the starting job right now, and that’s not a place where Quinn Ewers is yet. The two would be operating at different planes. I would expect Ewers to be like every other true freshman his first few months on the job — a silent sponge. Take in everything you can, but do it silently. The quarterback room will recognize his attitude more than his ability. Ewers will need to earn his teammates’ respect and if he can do that, the chemistry will follow.

    [HEADING=3]5. Is Quinn Ewers willing to sit for two years?[/HEADING]
    I can sit here and tell you that Quinn Ewers’ clock shouldn’t even be ticking yet, but that doesn’t stop said clock from doing what it does. For timing purposes, it would be best for Ohio State if Ewers returned to high school this year just so that his waiting doesn’t actually begin until he arrives in 2022. This year shouldn’t really count for Ewers in terms of his waiting, but try telling him that. It is very unlikely that Ewers is going to win the starting job this year. It’s also unlikely that whoever wins the job this year won’t also win it next year. If that’s CJ Stroud or Jack Miller, then it’s also quite possible they head off to the NFL after the 2022 season. Kyle McCord got a nice head start on Ewers this year, but by 2023 the two of them would be much more even.

    [HEADING=3]6. Why waste a year of eligibility?[/HEADING]
    Quinn Ewers was never going to be here for five years, so him enrolling early and easing into his Buckeye career by redshirting doesn’t waste a year of eligibility. It basically gives him a five-month head start on what he would have gotten by enrolling next January. And all it cost him was a fifth year he was never going to use. The days of quarterbacks sticking around Ohio State for five years is gone for a while, so it’s probably time to make peace with some of the costs of OSU’s new branding as QBU. I do, however, find it somewhat funny that some people are worried about him wasting a year of eligibility while others are convinced that he won’t stick around for two years on the bench. It is too bad that his clock would get started a year early. Unless, of course, he pays his own way this semester and grayshirts. That’s an option that would allow him to remain a 2022 signee but also capitalize on his NIL. I think he would also then still be allowed to turn pro after the 2023 season — which would technically be his true sophomore year, but the grayshirt would be his actual measuring stick. Anyway, as you can see, there’s a lot to think about right now — even though none of this may end up coming to fruition.

    [HEADING=3]7. Doesn’t this just create a mess?[/HEADING]
    There are worse messes that have been created. Do I need to go through past Ohio State rosters and list the quarterbacks the Buckeyes have had at their disposal over the years? (Emphasis on [I]disposal[/I].) In a crowded-quarterback-room sense of things, yes, this is a bit messy, but tis better to have messed and lost than never to have messed at all. Ryan Day will go and get as much quarterback talent as he can, knowing that more is better than less. Granted, less has worked out the past two years — unless you chalk up OSU’s losses in part to Justin Fields’ injuries, which isn’t outrageous. There have been some unprecedented years in college football of late, and this one will be another because of the ripples of rules from last year. There are several bizarre reasons for why things are so crowded for Buckeye quarterbacks and they will never be like this again, but it’s definitely something that will need to be handled. I think it’s going to be a while before we see another three-year starter at quarterback for the Buckeyes. They would have to win the job as a true freshman and Day’s recruiting is too good to allow that to happen. So, in summation, yeah, it’s messy. But so are ribs. I can still see a scenario where Kyle McCord and Quinn Ewers both get to start for a year, but it’s going to require somebody to sit for three years. That’s a tough ask nowadays, but with Day’s track record, maybe it’s not as tough as we think.

    [HEADING=3]Bonus: So is this a good thing or a bad thing?[/HEADING]
    It’s a bit of both and just depends on who you ask. It starts Quinn Ewers’ clock faster, meaning Ohio State has to find a replacement a year earlier than they were planning on. But it also allows Ewers to get up to speed quicker and be more prepared when he finally does compete for the job. I think Ohio State would rather he stay home this year, but if it’s a matter of losing him or keeping him, then you’re going to find a way to get him in the fold as quickly as he would like.

  2. [QUOTE=”OhioStateFan92, post: 225526, member: 719″]
    It’s time for Ohio State to start playing the best players no matter what.

    Look at Clemson, and Bama for example.

    Trevor Lawrence took Kelly Bryant’s job after he lead them to the NC game.

    Jalen Hurts was benched for Freshman Tua in the NC game.

    Same thing needs to happen with Ohio State.

    Urban even sat some more talented players for more experienced guys, but it ended up costing them.

    If a Freshman player is more talented, and ready then they should play.

    #GoBucks
    [/QUOTE]
    I agree, but if you think Quinn Ewers off the street with one month of preparation is better than what Ohio State already has, then the Buckeyes are in trouble this year.

  3. There was always a chance that Quinn Ewers never starts a game at Ohio State. Enrolling early increases those odds, unless you think he’s going to beat out Kyle McCord in 2023. The winner of the battle in 2023 could be one and done. The real question then becomes is the “loser” of the 2023 battle sticking around to start in 2024? The sad reality is that you’re probably only getting two years at most of starting out of Ewers and McCord combined. And there’s a chance you only get one year.

  4. [QUOTE=”Wayniac, post: 225582, member: 712″]
    Look at it this way. Quinn is a 2024 NFL draft guy. To assume he’s just going to change that mindset and expect to be a 2023 draft guy just because he’s changed his matriculation year doesn’t make a ton of sense to me be a the knows he’s not starting in 2021 and also always knew starting in 2022 was going to be an uphill battle.

    So to me, if he was truly hellbent on starting in ‘22, he’d be looking at schools other than OSU.

    Hence why I keep saying I think this move may have bought Osu 4 years if ewers.
    [/QUOTE]
    I’m leaning this way as well. That’s why redshirting this year or not doesn’t matter because he won’t be here in 2025 and probably wouldn’t have been had he enrolled in 2022. This is certainly an optimistic view tho.

  5. [QUOTE=”Fields2Wilson, post: 225605, member: 584″]
    I really really hope you’re right. Just don’t think it’s going to happen. Imagine if he lives up to all of the hype. It would be a great thing for us. But saying this buys us 4 years would be like saying Trevor Lawrence would give up the top pick contract to come back for this 2021 season. It’s not realistic at all.
    [/QUOTE]
    I just don’t think Trevor Lawrence is an apt comparison because he had no competition. Plus, this is more like if Lawrence had enrolled a year earlier and then changed nothing else.

  6. [QUOTE=”BuckeyeSwag85, post: 225631, member: 1487″]
    So a 3 year player coming a year early doesnt matter and him being here early with basically no chance of starting this year and having 3 total qbs as frosh lmao

    No a 4 or 5 year player coming early doesnt matter with a redshirt. Redshirt or no redshirt he is here 3 years. Ask ryan day and the staff if it matters a year early on a 3 year guy I bet you they say yes. You dont redshirt 3 year guys bc it doesnt matter if you do or dont hes gone in 3 like urbs always said. Starting the clock on a 3 year player with slim to no chance of starting 100% changes things and matters.
    [/QUOTE]
    I say in the piece that I think OSU would rather he return to school this year.

  7. [QUOTE=”BigBuck80, post: 225889, member: 354″]
    If Ewers did enroll for the 21 season, would he be draft eligible in 23 since he would “graduate” early or would it be 24? Just curious if he would be reclassifying as a 21 recruit instead of 22.
    [/QUOTE]
    If he graduates early, then that’s his graduating class, no? Not sure why he would be punished for graduating early.

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