Rich get richer: What Quinn Ewers' early arrival means for Ohio State's QB situation
Ohio State is already reaping the benefits of changes to the NCAA’s name, image and likeness policies.
It comes as an unintended consequence, but top-ranked 2022 prospect Quinn Ewers is leapfrogging his senior year of high school and heading to Columbus. The 5-star quarterback is expecting to be immediately eligible.
Monday, On3 reported that Ewers will skip his final year at Southlake Carroll (TX) and begin his journey with the Buckeyes. The reason behind his decision is the nearly $1 million he’s projected to receive from potential endorsement deals.
The NCAA relaxed its NIL policies in July, but Ewers isn’t eligible to receive money while playing high school football in Texas.
Rather than allow those opportunities to slip through his fingers, the 5-star quarterback and his bleach-blond mullet are traveling to the Midwest earlier than expected. There are still some hoops to jump through, most notably finishing high school coursework online and receiving clearance from the NCAA. He’s not expected to endure any hiccups in terms of his eligibility status, though.
When it’s all settled, Ewers will have a shot to compete for Ohio State’s starting job.
The quarterback competition is wide open in Columbus entering fall camp. Although C.J. Stroud has been the favorite to win the job, Kyle McCord and Jack Miller III have been relentless in their pursuit for the No. 1 spot. It’s been such an even battle, Ryan Day was reluctant to name a favorite during B1G Media Days.
“I mean, it’s even to me. We’ll see how these guys have changed over the last few months,” Day said. “I think they’ve all done a really good job.”
Although none of the three competing for the job have ever thrown a collegiate pass, Ohio State still has an embarrassment of riches at the position. With Ewers hopping into the mix, the quarterback room in Columbus is transforming into a football version of Scrooge McDuck’s vault.
Let’s not forget the three quarterbacks currently in the battle possess quite a bit of talent. Stroud and Miller were 4-star prospects in Ohio State’s 2020 class. McCord was a 5-star product of the 2021 cycle. Add to the mix the nation’s top-rated prospect and a quarterback 247Sports grades as the highest-ranking recruit in Buckeye history.
Remember when everyone was concerned about Justin Fields’ replacement?
Ewers has already drawn comparisons to 9-time NFL Pro Bowl quarterback Philip Rivers and No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick Trevor Lawrence. He threw for 6,445 yards and 73 touchdowns with 8 interceptions the past two seasons at Southlake Carroll.
The moment he’s done unpacking his car in Columbus, Ewers is going to factor into the quarterback battle. Whether or not his talent supersedes his inexperience is the biggest question.
Stroud, McCord and Miller all went through spring ball with the Buckeyes. All are expected to be on the field when training camp kicks off Tuesday. According to Letterman Row, Ewers won’t be on Ohio State’s campus until next week at the earliest.
Ewers is going to have to speed read through the playbook to make up for lost time. To his advantage, he’ll be learning from the best quarterback developer in college football to get caught up.
Day has a proven track record of developing quarterbacks quickly.
Dwayne Haskins was a Heisman Trophy finalist as a first-time starter in 2018. Justin Fields was a Heisman Trophy finalist as a first-time starter in 2019. Don’t rule out Day’s ability to get Ewers up to speed, even on an abbreviated timeline.
Regardless of who takes the first snap against Minnesota next month, Ohio State’s quarterback situation is a good one. Day is working with four players who could walk into almost any B1G locker room and win the starting job by buckling a chinstrap. It’s arguably the best situation in the country.
Ohio State was always expected to be one of the greatest beneficiaries of the NIL changes. Ewers’ decision to leave high school and join the Buckeyes a year early is another example of the rich getting richer.
Figuratively and literally.