The Buckeyes' quarterback depth is taking another hit as Matthew Baldwin has entered the NCAA transfer portal, Ohio State confirmed on Thursday.
Baldwin confirmed on Thursday night that he is planning to leave the program.
"My family and I have prayed and talked a lot about where I belong and what is best for me," Baldwin said in his statement. "In the end, we feel like it'd be better for me to step away from Ohio State."
Baldwin had been competing with Georgia transfer Justin Fields this spring for Ohio State's starting quarterback spot – a battle which was expected to continue into the team's preseason camp.
The news of Baldwin's transfer was first reported by Austin Ward of Lettermen Row.
Ward reports that those close to the situation believe Baldwin's decision is "more to a desire to be closer to home rather than a concern about future playing time or any issues with the coaching staff."
Baldwin has not yet appeared in an official game for the Buckeyes, sitting his entire true freshman season behind Dwayne Haskins and Tate Martell after a knee injury his senior season of high school slowed his transition to Ohio State.
With Baldwin's departure, the path is now clear for Fields to become the Buckeyes' starting quarterback. The former five-star quarterback transferred from Georgia to Ohio State in early January and was granted a waiver for immediate eligibility just over a month later.
While Fields was the presumed favorite to win the starting spot anyway, Baldwin's transfer is another blow to Ohio State's depth at the quarterback position.
Baldwin is the fifth quarterback Ohio State has lost since the start of 2019. Dwayne Haskins chose to forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft, Martell transferred to Miami, four-star quarterback prospect Dwan Mathis flipped his commitment from Ohio State to Georgia on signing day and walk-on quarterback Kory Curtis announced a transfer to Bryant University in January.
Baldwin's transfer leaves the Buckeyes with just two scholarship quarterbacks and three total quarterbacks on the roster: Fields, West Virginia graduate transfer Chris Chugunov and walk-on Danny Vanatsky.
Ohio State will look to add depth to the position via a graduate transfer, Clay Hall of ABC 6 reports.