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Too Many Quality QBs for Ohio State Buckeyes?

Ohio State Buckeyes
© Doral Chenoweth / USA TODAY NETWORK

Ohio State will enter the 2024 campaign with a lot of depth in the quarterback room, at least until the spring portal window opens. The Buckeyes were the winners of the portal season by landing Kansas State transfer QB Will Howard for his final season of college football eligibility, but the Buckeyes did not stop there. Once the news broke that Nick Saban was retiring from Alabama, Ohio State landed five-star incoming freshman quarterback Julian Sayin from Carlsbad, California. Sayin will join a class with incoming freshman quarterback Air Noland, from Fairburn, Georgia. Noland and Sayin are both leaders of the 2024 class in recruiting and were competing at Elite 11's all over the country for the top spot in the class. According to the composite rankings at 247 Sports, Julian Sayin finished as the number three overall QB prospect for the class of 2024 and Air Noland finished at number 7 overall.

The talent does not stop there in the QB room, with Ohio State already having Devin Brown and Lincoln Kleinholz. Buckeye fans saw a glimpse of the two in the Cotton Bowl this past season against Missouri but that was not the performance Ohio State fans want to see moving forward. With an injury to Devin Brown early in the game and Kleinholz having to come into the game for his first real snaps of the season, there was not much to judge or to hang hope on moving forward into the 2024 season.

Moving forward to the Spring 2024 season, Ohio State has a battle in the QB room even with Will Howard transferring in from Kansas State. One can speculate that Howard will not have transferred into Ohio State with only one year remaining of eligibility without a guarantee of being the Buckeye signal caller but with new play caller Chip Kelly entering Ohio State late into the new year one would have to consider Kelly loves the options he has at QB. Chip Kelly-style offense is a spread offense with a dual-threat QB who can throw when called upon. Howard presents all of those threats for Kelly as he enters Ohio State coming off a season where he threw for 2,643 yards and 24 touchdowns. On the ground, Howard ran the ball 81 times for 351 yards and 9 touchdowns. Putting Howard at QB with a backfield that will consist of Treveyon Henderson and Quinshon Judkins will provide Chip Kelly with almost exactly what he needs for his style of offense.

As much as Howard provides the experience needed to play QB and the threat of a runner and a passer for Kelly, one could consider playing the young guy in a close competition. Devin Brown, Lincoln Kleinholz, Air Noland, and Julian Sayin all provide a dual-threat presence to the QB position and a high ceiling. Also if one of these guys were chosen, they would walk into a situation where the talent around them is second to none. At running back Ohio State will have Treveyon Henderson, Quinshon Judkins, and Dallan Hayden. This three-headed monster is considered to be the deepest and best running back room in the country. At wide receiver, Ohio State returns Emeka Egbuka who was all to be considered a first-round pick in the NFL but chose to return to Ohio State. Along with Egbuka, the Buckeyes bring in the number one overall recruit in the class of 2024, Jeremiah Smith who will likely be starting alongside Egbuka. To top it off, the Buckeyes return Brandon Innis, Carnell Tate, and Jayden Ballard who all contributed to the field this past season.

All in all, the competition leading into Spring should primarily be focused on Howard and Devin Brown due to their experience brought in. Brown played for Ohio State the last two seasons and was in the mix of being the Buckeye starter last year going into the season. Although he lost the job to McCord, a lot of talks were that Brown was lighting up camp and was well on his way to being named starter, but the experience of McCord played into the decision of him being named starter. Brown's competitive spirit and the experience he brings from being a part of Ohio State over the last two seasons will be a positive as well, but Will Howard's play and what he was able to do at Kansas State will bring a style of play the Buckeyes have not seen for a long time in Columbus. With talent surrounding the QB position, whoever is chosen to be the signal caller will be given the keys to a well-oiled machine to drive this season.

Ohio State Buckeyes
© Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Prediction: The QB battle will continue into summer camp season to keep the roster intact in the QB room. Day will not want to lose anybody after the Spring season due to the Spring portal window opening and will not name a starter moving forward.

Spring Game for 2024 will be a show and you will not want to miss it!


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