Quinn Ewers is beginning his Ohio State career early.
The five-star quarterback is reclassifying to the recruiting class of 2021 and will play for the Buckeyes this season, he announced Monday.
Ewers, who had originally planned to arrive at Ohio State in January, will now enroll in August and begin his Buckeye career one season earlier than expected after completing the necessary coursework to graduate from Southlake Carroll High School.
In a statement released on social media, Ewers said his preference was to play his senior season at Southlake Carroll, but that he decided it was in his best interest to enroll at Ohio State early so that he could begin profiting off his name, image and likeness and begin his college career.
“This is not just a financial decision; this is about what is best for my football career,” Ewers said. “At 18, and with one final class about to be completed to earn my high-school degree, I feel it's time to get the jump on my college career that is available to me. I am eager to start learning from Coach Day and the rest of the coaching staff.”
Riley Dodge, who was Ewers' head coach at Southlake Carroll, wished his now-former quarterback well in a statement on Twitter.
“The entire Dragon community will greatly miss Quinn on and off the field,” Dodge wrote. “He is an incredible young man who exemplifies what it means to be a Dragon – inspiring excellence in his teammates and modeling what excellence looks like in the classroom and on the field.”
With Ewers' early arrival, Ohio State will now have four scholarship quarterbacks on its 2021 roster, all of whom were highly touted recruits but none of whom have ever thrown a collegiate pass: C.J. Stroud, Jack Miller, Kyle McCord and Ewers.
Since Ewers will only be on campus for a few weeks before the start of the 2021 season, he'll have to make up significant ground to make a run at the starting job this year. According to Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel, Ewers will join the Buckeyes this month but it is not yet certain when he will be able to participate in his first practice with the team.
Ewers is expected to join the Ohio State program for summer training camp at some point in August. He is completing his coursework to graduate, which he has already begun taking online. Some ambiguity remains about precisely when he’ll be able to start practicing, as officially joining by the start of camp on Tuesday will be highly unlikely as he navigates the bureaucracy inherent to collegiate admissions and NCAA clearance. The expectation remains he’ll be able to get eligible at some point during camp.
Even so, he can't be ruled out as a contender to play as a freshman given the position group's collective inexperience and his status as the highest-rated recruit in Ohio State history.
Even if Ewers doesn't play much this year, he can benefit in several ways from starting his Ohio State career early. On the field, he'll have the opportunity to start working with Ryan Day right now and begin his development as a collegiate quarterback within Ohio State's offense. Off the field, Ewers will be able to make money off his name, image and likeness, which would not have been allowed to as a high school athlete in Texas. He'll also now be eligible to enter the NFL draft in 2024 instead of 2025.
Whether Ewers' early arrival will actually benefit Ohio State is more questionable. Although it undeniably improves the depth of the quarterback room for 2021 and could increase its ceiling, it also creates more questions about Ohio State's future at the position. With Ewers now being able to go to the NFL after the 2023 season, and the possibility of quarterbacks transferring elsewhere rather than waiting their turn, it will now be more important for Ohio State to land top quarterbacks in the 2023 and 2024 recruiting classes, while the Buckeyes are also now without a quarterback in the 2022 class.
Perhaps most importantly, though, Ewers is now officially a Buckeye. Rather than having to worry about the possibility of Texas or any other schools trying to flip Ewers this fall, Day and Corey Dennis and the rest of Ohio State's coaching staff will be coaching Ewers, and with the four-game redshirt rule, he'll likely have the opportunity to make his Ohio State debut this season even if only as a backup.
He becomes the second five-star quarterback and seventh overall five-star prospect in Ohio State's recruiting class of 2021, joining McCord, J.T. Tuimoloau, Jack Sawyer, Emeka Egbuka, Donovan Jackson and TreVeyon Henderson.