Almost immediately once taking over the program, Ryan Day started getting just about every quarterback he wanted.
It immediately began with Justin Fields announcing his transfer within the first month of his reign as head coach, and it has continued with No. 1 overall 2022 recruit Quinn Ewers committing to Ohio State a month ago. On Wednesday, Day reached another milestone by inking the first five-star quarterback out of high school to a National Letter of Intent when Kyle McCord made his decision to become a Buckeye official.
The McCord File
- Class: 2021
- Size: 6-foot-3/215 lbs.
- Pos: QB
- School: St. Joseph's (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★★
- Composite Rank: 25 (3 Pro-Style QB)
The St. Joe's Prep product out of Philadelphia is the first five-star quarterback to sign with Ohio State out of high school since Braxton Miller in 2011.
“Obviously, it’s a dream come true, signing and playing Division I football, especially at a school like Ohio State,” McCord recently told Eleven Warriors. “But at the same time, getting ready to move out and start the next chapter of my life. I’m excited for it. It’s something I’ve been waiting on for a long time and the fact that it’s finally here is pretty surreal.”
McCord, the 25th-ranked overall prospect and third-rated pro-style quarterback in his class, sat atop Day’s board and made up his mind on which college to attend before even wrapping up his sophomore year of high school. He locked in his spot on April 30, 2019 following a campus visit, doing so before Michigan signee J.J. McCarthy or anything else could, believing that the Buckeyes could develop him better than anybody else in the country.
Since then, even with C.J. Stroud committing to join Jack Miller in the 2020 class and Ewers following him in the 2022 class, McCord has remained steadfast in his pledge. Confident in his abilities to eventually win the starting job and lead a Day-led offense at what he believes has a strong case to be viewed as QBU, he remains a Buckeye. Signing the papers on Wednesday ensured that as the case.
McCord, along with at least 13 others signing this week, plans to enroll early and get to Columbus in a few weeks.
“The last time I was on campus officially, other than the Buckeye Bash, was October 2019,” McCord said. “So just to finally be back for good and be around the guys. We talk every day on social media, but it’s gonna be nice to get around them and spend time with them.”
- April 11, 2019: McCord previews Ohio State visit
- April 30, 2019: McCord commits to Ohio State
- April 30, 2019: What McCord's commitment means
- May 1, 2019: McCord explains his Ohio State commitment
- Feb. 6, 2020: Film study on McCord
- April 29, 2020: Q+A with McCord
- July 2, 2020: McCord named an Elite 11 top performer
- July 2, 2020: McCord discusses his Elite 11 performance
- Sept. 5, 2020: McCord says he plans to enroll early no matter what
- Dec. 11, 2020: McCord previews his Ohio State career
Once he arrives, he’ll immediately get tossed into the post-Justin Fields quarterback competition. That’s just an inevitability.
Fields will soon declare for the 2021 NFL Draft and the three-man race to replace him will be on. Stroud and Miller have spent a year in the program, but because of the shortened regular season neither of them has thrown a pass yet. As an incoming freshman, McCord will have spent less time around Day and quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis. However, he won’t have a notable lack of in-game experience compared to the two signal-callers nearing the end of their first year in Columbus.
To overtake them, McCord will look to pair up the deft touch, strong arm and prototypical quarterback build with Day’s lessons this spring and summer. Sure, some might view him as the underdog given his youth.
But he’s a five-star quarterback for a reason, and the Buckeyes are doing just fine with one of those behind center right now.