Justin Fields has been penciled in as Ohio State’s starting quarterback since arriving in Columbus in January. Head coach Ryan Day isn’t quite ready to make that official, though.
Thanks to the transfer portal, the Buckeyes landed for Kentucky quarterback Gunnar Hoak, giving the team some much-needed depth at the position. While it was assumed that Hoak would be the No. 2 guy behind fields, Day says the ex-Wildcat will get his opportunity to challenge for the starting job.
“He’s going to come in and get reps with the ones and compete for the starting job,” Day said during a Wednesday press conference, according to Eleven Warriors. He added that the competition will really heat up during camp.
Neither Fields nor Hoak bring much experience to the field in terms of live, in-game repetitions. Fields is the quarterback who is likely to make an immediate impact and seems game-ready, but Hoak certainly isn’t being written off by the staff just yet.
Fields arrived in Columbus having played in 12 games at Georgia and completing 27-of-39 pass attempts for 328 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 266 yards and four touchdowns in his lone season with the Bulldogs.
Hoak also played in a backup role at Kentucky last fall. The freshman played in five games and was 13-of-26 for 167 yards and two touchdowns.
Entering fall camp, Fields will still be the favorite to be the starting quarterback when the Buckeyes open the season on Aug. 31. But it’s still an open competition and Day will give Hoak every opportunity to earn the top spot on the depth chart.