Taking a Look at Early Names Emerging at Quarterback for 2018

By Jeremy Birmingham on April 12, 2016 at 2:15 pm
Mentor, Ohio 2018 quarterback Tadas Tatarunas
Tadas Tatarunas

Since December 13th of 2013, the day that 2017 commitment Danny Clark was offered by the Buckeyes and immediately committed, Ohio State has received commitments from five quarterbacks (Stephen Collier, Joe Burrow, Torrance Gibson, Tristen Wallace and Dwayne Haskins), each of whom would–with the exception of Wallace–arrive in Columbus before Clark would be able to.

Finally, years later, the Scarlet and Gray are able to start seriously considering what happens after Clark and this spring has presented them their first look at a few potential 2018 quarterbacks. A handful, including the country's top-ranked quarterback, have been to campus in recent weeks, and the chase for a class-leader in 2018 has begun in earnest. 

Who are some of the names to watch as the spring evaluation period rolls around?

Let's dig in.


If there is, right now, one quarterback that the Buckeyes might take a commitment from in the 2018 class, it'd be the 6-foot-5, 190-pound Jurkovec. He's got the frame, and a combination of quicks and arm strength, that every coach in the country covets and he's recently ramped up his interest in Urban Meyer's program. 

Jurkovec visited Ohio State with his father at the end of March and made a second, albeit quick, stop to see the Buckeyes this past Saturday after finishing up his work at the Rivals Camp Series. It's never easy to get a player from Western Pennsylvania and the Buckeyes are going to fight Pitt, Notre Dame and a host of others to land Jurkovec, but right now they're firmly in the mix for this top-ranked 2018 quarterback.


Ohio State has only offered three 2018 quarterbacks: Jurkovec, Auburn commitment Joey Gatewood and Texas standout Jalen Mayden, whose brother Jared was very high on the Buckeyes at one point in the 2016 cycle, though he ultimately signed with Alabama. The youngest Mayden (his brother James, older than Jared, is a junior at Rice) has rounded out his game and has become one of the nation's most complete junior-to-be quarterbacks.

As a sophomore, Mayden–a 6-foot-2, 205-pounder–accounted for 30 touchdowns and just under 2700 total yards. Ohio State is one of his earliest offers and when you're dealing with a soon-to-be national prospect from college-heavy Texas, that early relationship-building is key. Tim Beck is well-known and respected in East Texas, but he'll be up against Texas Tom Herman and a host of major recruiters for Mayden.


Bishop Gorman's Dorian Thompson-Robinson may be the most talented 2018 quarterback in the entire country, but he's got his work cut out for him as he looks to turn the heads of college programs from coast-to-coast. Why?

He is the backup at Gorman –– to Tate Martell, the country's top-ranked 2017 quarterback. Thompson-Robinson played mostly in mop up duty as a sophomore and will likely follow that pattern as a junior before taking over for one year as the Gaels' starter.

Thompson-Robinson calls Ohio State his "dream school," his mother attended the University of Michigan, a former head coach is now in charge at UNLV and his favorite, according to those in the know, is UCLA, so this recruitment could go all over the place. He is one player that the Buckeyes will absolutely take a look at this spring as they try evaluate him as a passer since tape is limited and travel to Ohio for a Buckeye camp this summer is unlikely.


As measurables go, it's hard to find many high school athletes who check as many boxes as John Foreback. He's 6-foot-3, he's 205-pounds who stands tall in the pocket and delivers the ball accurately and with touch. He can throw the deep ball and he moves well enough to keep a defense honest. Right now, he's waiting on his first offer–he grew up a big Tennessee fan–and spent his spring break at Ohio State and Michigan State before taking trips to Tennessee and North Carolina the following week.

Foreback will get a visit this spring from Tim Beck and, like Thompson-Robinson, Ohio State will evaluate him up close and personal as they decide whether or not he'll be a player they pursue further. 


One of Ohio's best quarterbacks, Tadas Tatarunas, will make his first visit to Ohio State as a recruit this weekend, a few days after trips to Indiana and Notre Dame. Tatarunas is a big-bodied gunslinger at Mentor who threw for almost 3000 yards as a sophomore, including 523 yards against Cleveland St. Ignatius.

If there's a player in Ohio who could see his recruiting star rapidly ascend, it's Tatarunas. He's 6-foot-4, 200-pounder and has a big arm, though he'll need to work on his consistency if he wants to turn into a big-time prospect.

There are no offers yet for Tatarunas, but this spring will be a big one for the Mentor star. He's going to camp at Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State among others and the lifelong Buckeye fan will work for the chance to prove himself worthy of being the next Ohio quarterback to line up under center for the Scarlet and Gray.


One of Ohio's premier overall athletes, Brennan Armstrong, was on-hand last summer at Ohio State for Friday Night Lights and got a lot of individual work with Tim Beck and the Buckeyes. A 6-foot-2 southpaw, Armstrong has two scholarship offers currently (from Toledo and Iowa State) and as he continues to focus on his craft he's a guy that may work himself back into forefront of these quarterback conversations.

If you watch Armstrong on tape, he appears to be playing the game at a different speed than most of his competition and it will be necessary for him to show a complete game against elite competition when the Buckeyes get another chance to see him this summer.

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