No Clarity On Quarterback Competition Exiting Spring Practice

By April 14, 2024 (12:24 pm)Football

Ohio State had yet to settle on a starting quarterback for this upcoming season through the first 14 spring practices, and following the spring game on Saturday, it appears the Buckeyes are no closer to making a decision.

Will Howard and Devin Brown, the presumed frontrunners, played only a half, with Howard finishing 9 of 13 for 77 yards and Brown going 5 of 7 for 66 yards and the team’s lone passing touchdown of the game. Neither signal caller particularly stood out amongst the competition in the exhibition, though, with head coach Ryan Day adding after the game that he is not ready to make any decision.

“I wouldn’t say that I’m going to make any declarations right now,” he said. “But we’ll look at the film and see what it looks like and then decide where to go from there. But I don’t have much to say about it right now.”

In addition to Howard and Brown, Ohio State’s three other scholarship quarterbacks – Lincoln Kienholz, Julian Sayin and Air Noland – got into the contest. Kienholz had the worst day among the passers, going 10 of 17 for 71 yards and two interceptions, while Sayin led the Buckeyes with 85 passing yards and also threw an interception. Noland finished 5 of 7 for 47 yards and a pick, though he did have 42 rushing yards.

While the coaching staff is not ready to name a starter coming out of the spring game, offensive coordinator Chip Kelly said the team will make it clear to all the quarterbacks where they stand heading into the longest stretch of the offseason.

“We’ll give them our assessment,” Kelly said. “But we do it after every day. They know where they stood after practice one, after two, after three, after four. We grade everything. They’re getting constant feedback in terms of where we are. And then after 15, which we had today. But we can’t do it unless you watch the film.”

Last season’s competition last well into the season, and Kelly said there’s no predetermined date when the staff wants to have a starter in place. But he feels the team will know once that person has stepped up and is ready to lead.

“You always want to do it earlier. But I also believe every time I’ve been involved in this is that it kind of happens organically and authentically,” he said. “Because the players know. If you say, ‘Hey, we decided we’re going to be with Joe,’ and they all think it’s Tim, they know. They’re in the locker room with them every day. Players understand who they feel is the guy, and most of the time, the decision is very obvious. And you just say, ‘Hey, this is where we are with it.’”

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