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?
Philadelphia four-star quarterback Kyle McCord announced Tuesday morning that he has committed to Ohio State, joining the shifting landscape that is the Buckeyes’ quarterback room.
McCord is rated by 247Sports as the No. 113 prospect overall in the 2021 class, the No. 8 quarterback in the country and the No. 5 recruit coming out of Pennsylvania.
This is the impact his early commitment makes for the future of the Buckeyes’ 2021 class.
On The Field
McCord is one of the top talents in the 2021 class at his position and is rated by 247Sports as the No. 8 quarterback in the country.
Out of St. Joseph’s High School in Philadelphia, McCord hit 201 of his 302 passing attempts as a sophomore, recording 2,883 yards and 38 touchdowns along the way and taking St. Joseph’s to another state title. His teammate, four-star wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. represented just 50 of those completions and 725 yards.
The high school sophomore is already battle-tested, playing in one of the most competitive high school football areas of the country, and can make the throws one would come to expect out of a high school quarterback committing to a Big Ten program. He can maneuver out of the pocket and make throws on the run and shows a high football IQ as well.
At 6-foot-3, 204 pounds, his frame is similar to that of Ohio State 2020 quarterback commit Jack Miller, who is also one of the top quarterbacks in his class.
At the Elite 11 Regionals camp in New Jersey earlier this month, McCord was named the MVP and will likely compete in the national final.
In The Class
McCord’s commitment comes at a time when Ohio State has added two other quarterbacks to its roster – 2019 preferred walk-on JP Andrade and Kentucky graduate transfer Gunnar Hoak. While Hoak will be finished with his two remaining years of eligibility before McCord steps onto campus, Andrade and Miller will likely remain, Miller in particular.
Sophomore transfer Justin Fields would have one year of eligibility left when McCord arrives as a freshman, so McCord would have one year to sit behind Fields and Miller.
If all of the quarterbacks on the roster remain in Columbus for the remainder of their careers, which is unlikely, McCord would compete with Miller for the starting quarterback job in the 2022 season, when he is a sophomore and Miller is a junior. With that course being laid, Ohio State will likely look to add a lower-rated 2021 quarterback or land a promising 2022 quarterback for the future.
McCord and his teammate, Marvin Harrison Jr., are good friends. They visited Ohio State together on April 13 for the Scarlet and Gray Spring Game and Harrison has said that Ohio State is alone at the top of their lists. Harrison wants to visit Clemson yet and said it would be hard to figure a commitment anywhere until that visit is taken, but McCord’s commitment could potentially change that course.
While the commitment contains immediate shock factor to the position, it likely won’t change the intentions of Hoak and Andrade and certainly won’t affect Fields’ stranglehold on the starting job.
McCord’s commitment puts Ohio State at No. 3 for the 2021 recruiting class, as he joins five-star Pickerington defensive end Jack Sawyer as the only two prospects in the class committed to Ohio State.
Off The Field
McCord’s commitment to Ohio State represents the first quarterback to commit his four years of eligibility to new head coach Ryan Day, a former quarterback coach.
It could be said that Jack Miller committed his four years to Day by sticking with the Buckeyes after Urban Meyer’s departure – the Arizona quarterback committed to Ohio State in July 2018 – but with offers from Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina and Penn State and interest increasing from Clemson, who was expected to extend an offer this summer, McCord chose Day and Ohio State before taking that Clemson visit.
The past week, landing commitments from Andrade and Hoak and then gaining McCord’s commitment showed Day’s pull with national quarterbacks. After Matthew Baldwin’s transfer, the quarterback room, where Day is expected to be the expert, appeared to be in trouble, but Day shored it up for the short- and long-term future in just a week. That speaks volumes for the future of the new Ohio State head coach.
What McCord brings to Ohio state is somebody who Harrison Jr. said is a true leader and someone who has led his storied high school program to a state title as early as he possibly could, in his first year starting at quarterback.