Last Thursday evening, we debated whether Ohio State should consider offering another 2017 quarterback, which–depending on your viewpoint–is a good take, or a bad take.
Recruiting, as we've learned, is a fickle beast and the notion that the Buckeyes aren't (at the very least) evaluating other players at quarterback is silly. Last March, with four-star quarterback Tristen Wallace in the committed column, there was no need to consider any other quarterbacks, right?
Wallace changed his mind about playing position entirely in December and if the Buckeyes had decided to not continue searching and evaluating they may have been caught flat-footed. That, of course, isn't what happened. Urban Meyer and his staff quickly adapted and began a late-cycle search, one that ultimately was aided by unrest in College Park and a deep-seated love of Ohio State by eventual signee Dwayne Haskins, Jr. Those factors eased what could have been a disastrous turn of events otherwise.
“We started searching the ones that were not committed,” Urban Meyer, speaking on Wallace's decision, said on signing day. “To be quite honest, it wasn’t a very — what’s the word I am looking for? — very attractive pool of players for our expectation at quarterback.”
Akron Archbishop Hoban's Danny Clark has been committed to the Buckeyes since December of 2013, so there's not a pressing need to aggressively chase another quarterback right now. Still, there are a number of talented quarterbacks around the nation worth looking at and developing a relationship with in the event that anything unexpected happens, whether it be something as out of the blue as a position change or God forbid a serious injury.
Here are a handful of the names across the country that are worth watching at quarterback, even if the Buckeyes don't ever need another one.
Consider this as: "In Case of a QB Emergency, Break Glass."
TATE MARTELL • LAS VEGAS (BISHOP GORMAN) • COMPOSITE RANKING: NO. 21
The country's top-ranked dual-threat quarterback, Martell hails from powerhouse Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas and his electric style of play makes him a perfect complementary option to Clark. He's small at 5-foot-11, but there's nothing small about his game or his arm strength, the kid can flat out sling it.
Martell is committed to Texas A&M and the Aggies are certainly not going to let their "next Johnny Manziel" go without a fight, but if the Buckeyes did come calling, Martell's family roots in Ohio may make things at least a little bit interesting.
Another potential bonus for Ohio State? They've got a commitment from Gaels' teammate Haskell Garrett and are at the top of the list for Martell's "brother" and former teammate, five-star wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey.
SHAWN ROBINSON • DENTON, TX (GUYTON) • COMPOSITE RANKING: NO. 48
If there's a player out there right now that looks most like what Buckeye fans have grown accustomed to in recent years, it's Shawn Robinson. Basically, if there's a "box," Robinson checks it. He's got the size (6-foot-3, 207 pounds) that is ideal, the speed (reportedly under 4.50 in the 40-yard-dash), and the arm strength to make any throw.
Committed to TCU, Robinson was recruited by Ohio State's Tim Beck before Beck was hired by the Buckeyes and the pair have a good relationship that lasts a few years. Barring a major change at TCU, it's hard to imagine Robinson being swayed by any situation, but he'd be an excellent fit in Columbus.
KELLEN MOND • SAN ANTONIO, TX (IMG ACADEMY) • COMPOSITE RANKING: NO. 139
If the first two names on the list are at least familiar, the next may not be.
Kellen Mond, originally from San Antonio and now the quarterback at the IMG Academy in Florida, is a big-bodied potential star. As a junior at Reagan High in San Antonio, Mond threw for just under 2000 yards and ran for 800, accounting for 33 total touchdowns.
At IMG, Mond–who is committed to Baylor–will get a chance to prove his lofty rankings against the best competition in the country and to do so with college coaches seeing him up-close-and-personal regularly. The Buckeyes, with two commitments at IMG, will get a good look to see if he's capable of fitting into their offense, though he says he's 100-percent committed to Baylor.
DAVIS MILLS • NORCROSS, GA (GREATER ATLANTA CHRISTIAN) • COMPOSITE RANKING: NO. 98
The only "pro-style" quarterback on the list, Davis Mills from Norcross, Georgia is an interesting prospect. At nearly 6-foot-4 and 200-pounds, Mills reminds me a bit physically of Joe Burrow because he's got a quick release and is a touch more deft on his feet than he gets credit for. A first team All-State selection in 2015, Mills threw for over 2800 yards and 25 touchdowns and also recorded almost 600 yards and 14 scores on the ground.
With a completely open recruitment, Mills is a player to watch as the spring evaluation period comes around and national recruiting camps/competitions get underway. He holds 24 offers, including scholarships from Stanford, Michigan, Michigan State, UCLA and others.
TUA TAGOVAILOA • HONOLULU, HI (ST. LOUIS) • COMPOSITE RANKING: NO. 65
The 65th-ranked overall player in the country is a guy that–if Ohio State can justify the expense of traveling to Hawai'i for recruiting–is worth a long look. 6-foot-1 and 190-pounds, Tagovailoa is an exciting left-hander who tallied 3200 total yards and 41 touchdowns as a junior at Honolulu's St. Louis High School.
The third-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the country, Tagovailoa may be the least polished passer of this initial group but there are a lot of tools to work with. He holds 12 offers with USC, Texas A&M, Arizona State, Ole Miss and Louisville among them.
OTHER NAMES TO CONSIDER
Here are some other potential candidates that could emerge down the road if another quarterback is sought:
- SEAN CLIFFORD • CINCINNATI (ST. XAVIER) • RANKING: NO. 246 • HIGHLIGHTS
- BAILEY HOCKMAN • POWDER SPRINGS (GA) MCEACHERN • RANKING: NO. 124 • HIGHLIGHTS
- LOWELL NARCISSE • ST. JAMES (LA) • RANKING: NO. 75 • HIGHLIGHTS
- BRAXTON BURMEISTER • LA JOLLA (CA) COUNTRY DAY • RANKING: NO. 221 • HIGHLIGHTS
- JASON SHELLEY • FRISCO (TX) LONE STAR • RANKING: NO. 456 • HIGHLIGHTS