Looking at Ohio State's 2020 Quarterback Options That Could Complement Jack Miller

By Andrew Ellis on July 28, 2019 at 8:30 am
Jack Miller
Jack Miller

Justin Fields' transfer to Ohio State was the news of the offseason as the former Georgia Bulldog is now battling with a former Kentucky Wildcat for the starting quarterback job in Columbus.

Regardless of whether or not you believe there's any real mystery there, there's still a bit of concern regarding Ryan Day's quarterback depth. 

The expectations are sky-high for Fields even though the sophomore is fairly inexperienced and still learning the new system. Gunnar Hoak's transfer from Kentucky was big news in itself following the departures of both Tate Martell and Matthew Baldwin. Graduate transfer Chris Chugunov, Texas A&M transfer Jagger LaRoe and preferred walk-on J.P. Andrade add some depth as deeper options as well. 

Looking down the road a bit, Day already has two talented signal-callers ready to enter the future fray. Four-star Jack Miller has been an integral part of the 2020 recruiting class and has done some serious work helping the staff out West; especially in his home state of Arizona. 2021 quarterback Kyle McCord is one of the nation's best at the powerhouse St. Joseph's program in Philadelphia.

Ohio State's 2020 recruiting class is getting low on space. Day and Co. already have 22 commitments and likely have room for 4-6 more before all is said and done. With the early signing period still five months away, the key remaining needs are at tailback, cornerback, and along the defensive line.

Jaylan Knighton and Bijan Robinson are both announcing this week, so Tony Alford's unit could be finished come Friday. That would give Day and his staff several months to focus on the remaining needs, which certainly could include adding another quarterback.

Perhaps the most difficult part in taking a second quarterback would be finding someone willing to – for lack of a better term – take a backseat to Jack Miller. The Buckeyes rarely take multiple quarterbacks in a class and that's at least partially because it can be a tricky thing to pull off. 

California's C.J. Stroud has been the hottest name of the summer as he put on a show at the Elite 11 and The Opening Finals. Ohio State is being tossed around as one of the programs of interest, and while no offer has been extended, it sounds as though the 6-foot-3, 194-pounder plans on making a trip to Columbus. 

The Rancho Cucamonga standout got a huge ratings bump with the latest 247Sports update, and there are plenty of teams out there who want the Elite 11 MVP to be the lone quarterback in their class. Baylor, Oregon, and Utah are among his current list of offers. He put in plenty of work with the Ohio State receiver commits at The Opening and has been in contact with Ryan Day. Landing Stroud is probably the best possible scenario for a two-quarterback class.

After that, the options really get limited and the Buckeyes' best move – if they do elect to pursue another – may be to look inside the state of Ohio. Cincinnati's Evan Prater is the top-ranked quarterback in the state, but there's no reason to think he's anything but solid on his commitment to the Bearcats. Miami and Michigan State both had extended offers before the 6-foot-5, 190-pounder made the decision to stay home. 

Pickerington Central's Demeatric Crenshaw is the state's second-best quarterback, and I think this one is worth watching over the next several months. A three-star in the composite rankings (and four-star according to Rivals), he seems to be slowing things down in his recruitment after originally planning on committing this summer.

Crenshaw is best friends with Buckeye commit Ty Hamilton and has yet to make his official visits. Could Ohio State elect to check him out this fall and potentially make a move at some point? It wouldn't be a shock, and programs like Louisville, Kentucky, and Boston College have already tossed their hats into the ring.

The majority of the country's top quarterbacks are already committed and the Buckeyes haven't been extending new offers. With Jack Miller in the fold and set to sign in December, Ohio State's in a bit of a tough spot. Miller's been the top priority all cycle, but the offseason transfers have put the staff in a position where adding a second quarterback could be a smart move.

If Ryan Day decides to pursue another quarterback, then Ohio State will obviously speak to Miller beforehand and lay out their plans. There's nothing wrong with competition and there's going to be other talented players regardless of where a prospect signs. Coaching staffs just have to be careful with how they handle these situations and there's no doubt the Buckeyes will do just that.

For now, we'll surely be watching to see if there's any movement on the offer front. However, that seems more likely to come during the season when more evaluations can be done and the staff can see which prospects have made a big leap between their junior and senior year. Official visits will also reconvene this fall as players head to campuses across the country.

Even with a pair of the nation's best already committed for the next two cycles – along with a bit of a numbers crunch for the 2020 class – the Buckeyes still have reason to consider bringing in another quarterback prior to the Feb. 5 national signing day.

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