With Head Coach Urban Meyer stepping down, and Assistant Coach Ryan Day stepping in, the future of the Ohio State Football roster and foundation is unknown. Following the Buckeyes’ Rose Bowl win over Washington(23-28), Meyer was officially no longer the Head Coach.
Many people were expecting a slight downfall in recruitment but this all changed when five-star, nationally second-ranked, former Georgia Quarterback Justin Fields declared his transfer to Ohio State on January 5, 2019. In the 12 games Fields played with Georgia (behind Jake Fromm), he was 27-39(69%) passing for 328 yards and 4 touchdowns. According to the college football enthusiast and SB Nation writer, Ian Boyd, Fields has “a cannon arm, with superior physique and athleticism,” and will be “an obvious nightmare to contend”.
Just three days after Field’s transfer, the Buckeye’s Quarterback and Heisman finalist candidate, Dwayne Haskins posted a picture on Twitter, along with a caption that included, “After many thoughts and prayers with family and close friends, I have decided to declare for the 2019 NFL draft.” This was a much-expected move from Haskins, especially after the arrival of Fields, but at the same time, Ohio State is losing a crucial part to their offense. Haskins, a sophomore this year and Big 10 Offensive Player of the Year, finished the season with a 70% completion rate with 4831 yards and 50 touchdowns, surpassing current NFL Quarterback Drew Brees for touchdowns
thrown in a single season.
With Fields in and Haskins out, people began to ponder the fate of the Buckeye’s backup Quarterback, Tate Martell. Martell was red-shirted his first year at Ohio State (2017-2018) and then spent nearly all of the 2018-19 season sitting behind Haskins. He didn’t see the field very often, only playing in 6 out of 14 games, throwing only 28 passes. Martell has always been seen as a warrior, continuously fighting for his chance to see the field, but has fallen short this past season. All Buckeye fans were expecting a showdown for the starting QB spot between Mar
tell and Fields, but Martell decided on January 10th that he was going to drop out of the fight. Martell, who is most likely afraid of not winning the position outright, opened his transfer portal to other NCAA schools. This new database from the NCAA gives college athletes interested in transferring the power to control their future without asking permission from their current coach first. It’s one way for athletes to be more hands-on in the whole process, but it’s simultaneously a risk because schools are allowed to revoke scholarships of players that have expressed interest in transferring. On January 16th, Tate Martell ended his search and chose to transfer to Miami University in Florida and reunite with a couple of his former teammates from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas.
There are many questions that have risen in light of all these events. Can new head coach Ryan Day keep Ohio State at or near the top of the recruiting game as Meyer did? Will Ohio State fall to crumbles like the Florida Gators did following Meyer’s departure?
Will Ohio State stay on top of college football rankings? Despite all the turmoil coming from the media, Buckeye fans are hopeful for another successful season, no matter what the roster and depth charts end up showing when the 2019-20 season comes around.