When former Oregon State quarterback Tristan Gebbia entered the transfer portal, the seventh-year quarterback eyed the best opportunity to begin his coaching career.
That desire to coach led Gebbia to Ohio State, a place he feels that he can best maximize his time and pick up key lessons that he can apply to his future in coaching. As Gebbia slots into a quarterback room rife with competition between Kyle McCord and Devin Brown, he noted that he’s looking forward to learning under Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day and quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis.
“Obviously Coach Day and Coach Dennis are great coaches and learning under them is obviously a great opportunity,” Gebbia said. “This is an offense that is always rated super highly in the country and I think that’s because of the things they’re able to do and the way they teach.”
Ohio State is Gebbia’s third and final stop in his playing career, as the signal caller spent his true freshman season at Nebraska in 2017 before transferring to Oregon State, where he spent the next five seasons of his career. While with the Beavers, Gebbia appeared in 12 games — including five starts — completing 64.0 percent of passes for 1,250 yards and five touchdowns before joining the Scarlet and Gray this offseason.
While Gebbia isn’t considered to be in the race for the starting job — competition solely belonging to McCord and Brown — Day noted that his presence in the quarterbacks room will be significant due to his nature as a guy that the younger players can lean on for advice and coaching.
“Tristan Gebbia comes in a unique situation. We always want to have four quarterbacks on the roster, that’s not easy to do in today’s day and age,” Day said. “Tristan has played in rivalry games out there, Oregon vs. Oregon State, and did a nice job there. He shared with us that he wants to be a GA and coach and felt like coming here was an opportunity to build his network but also provide some depth and be able to possibly help in that room.
“He’s coming in with the mindset that if he gets on the field, he’s ready to go,” he continued. “We thought he was a great addition to the room and can help mentor some of those young guys in there.”
As Gebbia will serve as almost a player-coach for the Buckeyes, while operating in a room that will endure an offseason-long battle for the starting quarterback spot, he offered his own feelings on the competition between McCord and Brown.
“They’re both very talented players,” Gebbia said. “They both have a good understanding of the offense and it’s going to be really interesting to see how it all plays out. Obviously, they have physical talent — both of them — and they have a lot of things they’re really good at. I think that’s going to be a great competition moving forward.”
While Gebbia gears up for his lone season in the scarlet and gray, it’s clear that Day will be looking beyond what he can do on the field in regard to his value to the Buckeyes this season.
“Tristan made it clear that he wants to be a coach and this is an opportunity to almost be a graduate assistant this year and help mentor that room,” Day said. “With that being said, he’s played football and he’s been in rivalry games. He’s played more football than anybody in that room, so I thought it was a unique situation, I thought Corey did a good job identifying him and I think that’s important.
“When you look at some of those NFL teams and those guys that are in the backup roles, the guys that are supporting the starter, that really helps with the culture and I’m hoping he can provide that for us.”