Finding the right fit for your college football program isn't just about what happens on the field, but off it as well. Today, Ohio State added a key piece. How will that commitment impact the Buckeyes?
California 2019 quarterback JP Andrade announced Friday evening that he is committing to Ohio State as a preferred walk-on. He told Eleven Warriors that he plans to get on campus in Columbus in early-June.
His Ohio State recruitment ramped up just before Matthew Baldwin announced that he was entering his name into the NCAA transfer portal. There is an obvious impact that Andrade’s commitment makes for the Ohio State quarterback position in that he becomes the fourth quarterback that Ryan Day has previously expressed a desire for, but there’s more too.
On The Field
As far as walk-on quarterbacks go, Ohio State got a good one in Andrade. At Bonita High School, he passed for just under 10,000 yards and 82 touchdowns, rewriting his high school’s record books in the process.
He stands tall in the pocket at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, and can throw at several different arm angles. He does have a history of throwing a few interceptions though, as he racked up as many as 15 in one season in 2017.
When it comes to experience, Andrade brings a lot of that too. He passed the ball nearly 400 times as a junior and then 449 times as a senior while starting for three seasons in a pass-heavy scheme at Bonita.
In The Class
The 2019 class has mostly already signed, and Ohio State has brought in sophomore transfer quarterback Justin Fields to assume the starting quarterbacking duties. It was initially sold as a quarterback competition and by the end of spring practices, Baldwin announced his intent to transfer.
That transfer left Day and the Buckeyes with just three quarterbacks and with grad transfer Chris Chugunov as second on the depth chart after playing in just three full games at West Virginia and appearing in some others. Andrade’s addition will add some depth to that room.
Ohio State will still likely look for a graduate transfer to come in and serve as the second quarterback, as a true freshman and a fairly inexperienced graduate transfer is still shaky if Fields goes down with an injury or cannot play.
As far as the future is concerned, Arizona four-star 2020 quarterback Jack Miller is still the focus for the future at the position after Fields. Miller will be a junior by the time Fields will graduate, and if Fields goes early to the NFL Draft after two seasons, Miller will be just a sophomore. Andrade will be a senior after Fields’ eligibility is up and will likely not surpass Miller by that time, but Ohio State has seen five quarterbacks come and go in the last year, so it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility.
Off The Field
Andrade told Eleven Warriors that he doesn't mind coming to Columbus to serve as a backup quarterback, especially in the beginning of his time with the program.
“Most definitely,” Andrade said about the willingness to wait. “To be great, it takes time. And I’m a young senior. I’m still only 17, so I need that time to grow and mature.”
He might be waiting a while before he plays any extended time for the Buckeyes, as it appears Jack Miller is the quarterback of the future, and Ohio State has great relationships going with the best 2021 quarterbacks in the country, Philadelphia No. 8 quarterback Kyle McCord in particular.
But Andrade has a high football IQ and is above average when it comes to learning playbooks, schemes and opposing defenses, though he has never played against a Big Ten defense. He was a late addition to the World Bowl in Mexico in December, and on the flight to the game, he memorized the 30-page playbook and threw his team’s only touchdown pass of the game.
The California product was in contact with Ohio State head coach Mike Yurcich – and also Ryan Day – and Yurcich showed him a lot of love, he said. Developing any kind of relationship with the quarterback coaches is crucial during a recruitment, and Andrade has a headstart on most walk-on quarterbacks, not only with having two high-level quarterback coaches at his school but also with having a continuously growing relationship with those coaches before he gets on campus.
“I’m not a Buckeye yet,” Andrade told Eleven Warriors on Friday. “I have to earn it. Once I get that stripe off, then I’ll be a Buckeye. Proud to be a part of such an amazing program.”