Quinn Ewers' Ohio State career could be starting sooner than expected.
The five-star quarterback told Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel on Wednesday that he is “leaning toward” skipping his senior year of high school and enrolling at Ohio State this fall. According to Thamel, he's expected to make a decision this week.
“I don’t really know, I don’t have a final decision made quite yet,” Ewers told Thamel. “I’m leaning toward leaving and going up to Ohio, just so I don’t have to deal with UIL (University Interscholastic League) stuff and can get comfortable with Ohio and Columbus and start to learn.”
Per Thamel, “Ewers is in a position academically where he could take one core English class online, graduate from high school early, and enroll and be eligible at Ohio State for the 2021 season. The family expects that course to be completed in time for him to take part in preseason camp, which begins Aug. 3.”
Should Ewers end up reclassifying and enrolling at Ohio State next week, a three-way quarterback competition would become a four-man quarterback competition, as Ewers would join second-year quarterbacks C.J. Stroud and Jack Miller and freshman quarterback Kyle McCord on Ohio State's roster.
While Stroud has been viewed as the frontrunner to win the job this year, Ewers certainly could shake up the competition, given his status as the No. 1 overall quarterback prospect in the recruiting class of 2022. He'd have to get up to speed very quickly in preseason camp, given that Stroud, McCord and Miller already competed for the starting job this spring and the season begins Sept. 2 at Minnesota.
Adding Ewers to the roster would give Ryan Day the four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster that he desires and enable Ewers to begin his development as a collegiate quarterback right now, which could pay dividends even if Ewers starts his Ohio State career as a backup.
It would also enable Ewers to leave for the NFL after the 2024 season rather than the 2025 season, though, potentially decreasing how much Ewers would actually play for the Buckeyes while also increasing the importance of Ohio State adding another top quarterback prospect in the 2022 or 2023 recruiting class.
Ewers and his family told Thamel that his decision to enroll at Ohio State a year early is tied to NCAA athletes now being allowed to profit from their name, image and likeness. With a large social media following, Ewers has already been offered endorsement deals – including one from a company called Holy Kombucha, which is offering him not only cash but also equity in the company – but Texas state law does not allow high school athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness.
The Ewers family has indicated an appreciation of Ohio State coach Ryan Day’s handling of the situation, as Day’s perspective has been more grounded in that of being a parent than a coach. The family has been in conversation with Ohio State about this potentially happening for several weeks.
Quinn Ewers laid out his decision this way. “If I enroll at Ohio State, obviously I’d be able to make money off the deals, and I feel like it’d be a big advantage of learning the playbook and getting comfortable with the campus and all my teammates. But if I stay and don’t get paid, I may be able to win a state title.”