What's been widely assumed for months is now confirmed: Justin Fields will begin the season as Ohio State's starting quarterback, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day announced on Monday.
The announcement comes 12 days before the Buckeyes' season opener against Florida Atlantic on Aug. 31, and after Fields competed with Gunnar Hoak and Chris Chugunov for the starting quarterback job in fall camp, which concluded on Monday.
A five-star recruit who transferred to Ohio State in January after spending one year at Georgia, Fields was the frontrunner to be the Buckeyes' starting quarterback this season from the time he was granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA in early February. Day wasn't simply going to hand the job to Fields, though, without making him earn it.
“One of our core philosophies is that you don't just get given a starting position,” Fields said at Big Ten media days. “You earn everything you get around here.”
After Tate Martell's transfer from Ohio State to Miami, Fields competed with Matthew Baldwin for the starting quarterback spot this spring. Baldwin announced his own transfer to TCU shortly after the team's spring game, but Hoak announced he would transfer from Kentucky to Ohio State in April, giving Fields another quarterback to compete with this summer.
Fields took the majority of reps with the first-team offense in both the spring and the fall, though, signaling that the starting job was always his to lose, and now that the Buckeyes are beginning to focus in on preparing for their first game, Day decided it was time to bring the competition to an end. After Fields demonstrated the improvement that Day felt he needed to see from him during camp, the Buckeyes are now ready to proceed forward with the true sophomore as their starting quarterback.
In his lone season at Georgia, Fields completed 27 of 39 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions and also ran for 266 yards and four touchdowns. He'll be making his first start at the collegiate level, though, when the Buckeyes host FAU at Ohio Stadium at noon two Saturdays from now.