Ohio State Quarterbacks: A Breakdown

Ohio State Quarterbacks

There are a few Ohio State quarterbacks competing for the starting role this offseason.

Now that Justin Fields is in the NFL draft, Ryan Day will have to name the Buckeyes’ third starter in four years.

Ohio State has three talented quarterbacks in the program already.

C.J. Stroud was a four-star recruit, and according to 247Sports, was the second-highest rated pro-style quarterback in the 2020 class. Stroud was the backup to Fields in 2020, so he is the frontrunner for the job in 2021.

Jack Miller is another four-star pro-style quarterback from the 2020 class. He had some playing time for the Buckeyes last year, but has some ground to make up.

Finally, there’s incoming freshman Kyle McCord. Though he only stepped on campus a few weeks ago, he has garnered award after award for his play in high school.

Any of these three could be the starting quarterback for Ohio State on September 2nd.

Here’s a breakdown of what each brings to the competition, and what they will need to fix in order to win it.

C.J. Stroud

247Sports listed Stroud as a pro-style quarterback, but he is still an athlete. He only had one play from scrimmage last year, and that was a 48-yard rushing touchdown against Michigan State.

Time and time again, he demonstrated his ability to escape the pocket and either tuck the ball, or throw on the run. He has a devastating spin move that he likes to use when he’s one-on-one against linebackers or defensive linemen. This either gives him an extra second to throw, or clears up green space down field.

But his arm is the most impressive part of his game. First of all, he likes to zip the ball into tight windows. He has the accuracy and the power to get the ball in before the window closes.

Stroud also has a good deep ball and has enough touch to get it over top of linebackers and safeties.

He is going to remind a lot of Buckeye fans of Fields.

No matter how well Miller and McCord perform in the spring, it will be difficult to unseat Stroud. He is a talented thrower and has a year in the system already.

The only area where he needs to improve is in his downfield progressions. Sometimes, Stroud is quick to take off running, and in high school he had the legs to do it. At that level, he was the fastest player on the field, but he won’t be able to get away with leaning on his legs in the Big Ten. But this is something that all young quarterbacks go through, and can only be fixed with time.

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Jack Miller

Stroud’s classmate, Miller also has a good chance of earning the starting role.

Miller has a very similar arm to Stroud, and might even be more accurate. His deep ball is beautiful, and he routinely completed passes against tight coverage.

He also uses his ability to roll out as a way to buy time and wait for his receivers to get open.

Unlike Stroud, Miller is only an average athlete, so his legs won’t be able to bail him out as much.

While Stroud is a better all-around athlete and has a higher ceiling, Miller is a more refined passer. If either Stroud wins the competition, Miller will probably be the number two who comes off the bench. He already looks like a veteran, and could be more useful as a backup while McCord learns, as talented as McCord is.

Kyle McCord

If you picture a prototypical pro-style quarterback, he would look a lot like McCord. He is the biggest of the three, and looks like an old school pocket passer. McCord has a good arm and doesn’t loose much power or accuracy when he throws off base. He is not as quick as Stroud or Miller, so he has learned to navigate the pocket. McCord is the only one of the three who throws in the face of pressure or steps up when the pocket closes in around him.

Other than his athleticism, McCord still has developing to do in other areas before he can be a starter. In high school, he rarely looked away from his first read, and threw it there whether the receiver was open or not. He got away with it in at St. Joseph’s, but won’t get away with it in the Big Ten.

The likely depth chart at quarterback on September 2nd against Minnesota will be Stroud starting, Miller at number two, and McCord either third or redshirting.

Then, the Buckeyes will open up the battle all over again when Quinn Ewers arrives in Columbus in 2022.

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