Ohio State 2022 quarterback commit Quinn Ewers reclassified as a college freshman earlier this week, a move which allowed him to forego his senior season in high school and begin playing for the Buckeyes immediately. According to reports, the Dallas native made the decision in large part because Texas does not allow high school athletes to cash in on their name, image, and likeness. Ewers is the highest-ranked quarterback prospect since Vince Young, and in this era of viral fame and fortune, his reputation may be more lucrative than his production at the moment.
He certainly looks the part: standing at 6’3” and 260 pounds, Ewers won’t have to worry about being outed as a high school imposter. And in a nod to Bryce Harper’s early raw talent and subsequent meteoric rise past the minors, Ewers hopes that his ridiculous high school stats (including 73 touchdowns in two seasons) get him noticed early by Ryan Day and the coaching staff. But does he have any chance to play right away in Columbus?
After multi-year starters exit programs like Justin Fields did this past year, competitions for playing time certainly heat up, so Ewers has that going for him. Unsurprisingly though, Ohio State’s quarterback room is nothing if not extremely deep, so all of the players have their work cut out for them. There’s a lot of youth, though, too: C.J. Stroud, the presumptive favorite to start, is only a redshirt freshman, and his competitors, Kyle McCord and Jack Miller, are 2021 and 2020 recruits, respectively. Plus, they’re all highly-coveted former four and five star players. Quinn Ewers makes a deep room even deeper, which Coach Day certainly loves, but standing out won’t be easy. Conversely, though, since everyone is rather young, multiple years of playing time may be on the line, so perhaps Ewers recognized that his best chance at starting would be to get in early and disrupt the status quo.
However the unprecedented move shakes out, one thing is clear: the Buckeyes are stacked at quarterback, and whoever wins the job will certainly have earned it. Don’t be surprised, either, to see some of them transfer next season. Ewers has tons of hype behind him at the moment, but that mystique fizzles out fast without production to match, whether because of poor play or riding the bench. Ewers clearly wanted to take a crack at playing for an elite program, so much so that he showed up early just to get the reps in. If it works out well for him, then we’ll likely see other top recruits move on early, as well, to get ahead of the curve.