Resetting The Summer: Quarterbacks In Competition

By June 10, 2023 (12:00 pm)June 11th, 2023Football

Every Saturday leading into the start of Ohio State’s fall camp, Buckeye Sports Bulletin will be giving an outlook on each of the team’s position groups. This week’s position is quarterback.

Any time there’s a quarterback battle going on within a team, it’s going to be the positional competition that dominates any offseason discussion. This year’s quarterback battle at Ohio State is no different.

The war waged between junior Kyle McCord and redshirt freshman Devin Brown to be the starting signal caller in Columbus aims to bring out the best in both, while Ryan Day’s track record of developing quarterbacks will again be tested. 

Projected starter: Kyle McCord (Jr.)

In competition for the starting spot: Devin Brown (r-Fr.)

Depth Pieces: Tristan Gebbia (Gr.), Lincoln Kienholz (Fr.)

Young player to watch: Kienholz

Breakdown: Can Day do it a fourth time? Three consecutive Ohio State starting quarterbacks have reached New York City as a Heisman Trophy Finalist at least once in their respective careers. All three were taken within the top 15 picks of their respective NFL Drafts. The four full, non-COVID-impacted seasons said quarterbacks are four of the top five in school history for passing yards.

McCord and Brown’s recruiting pedigrees are both that of a capable starter at Ohio State. McCord was a five-star at Philadelphia St. Joseph’s Prep per the 247Sports composite. He was the 28th overall prospect in the class of 2021 and the No. 6 quarterback. He played with junior Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., a Biletnikoff Award finalist and largely considered the nation’s best wideout in 2023, and the duo won three consecutive state championships.

Brown came on a year later in the class of 2022, and from the other side of the country in Draper, Utah, where he played for Corner Canyon High School. He also slotted in as the No. 6 quarterback in his class, but was a tick lower in the national rankings, a four-star prospect ranked 44th overall.

Both players showed flashes during spring practice but neither seized a clear lead for the starting job. With more practice time open for media viewing, it seemed as though McCord took more first-team reps and perhaps displayed more consistency. McCord also got a chance to display some of his athleticism, extending plays and scrambling when needed in practices, 

But the job is still very much up for grabs entering fall camp.

Brown missed the spring game with a finger injury. McCord completed 18 of 34 passes for 184 yards and one touchdown. It should be noted that returning star receivers Emeka Egbuka and Julian Fleming were both out for the spring and Harrison only played a few series in the spring game.

Graduate Oregon State transfer Tristan Gebbia, technically a seventh-year senior, provides veteran depth behind the duo. Looking to coach in the future, Gebbia showed some savvy in the spring game by completing 14 of 24 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown.

Freshman Lincoln Kienholz, who arrived on campus this summer, will look to learn behind all three players. Making his way to OSU from Pierre (S.D.) T.F. Riggs, the four-star prospect was ranked 189th overall in the composite, the 15th-best quarterback and No. 1 recruit out of South Dakota.

Kienholz was a multi-sport superstar in high school, an All-State selection in basketball averaging 19.9 points per game as a junior, while batting .472 with six home runs for the Governors’ baseball team. He pitched too, of course, dominating opposing hitters to the tune of a 1.24 ERA. All that on top of being the state’s 2022 MaxPreps Player of the Year for football with 3,422 passing yards, 1,436 rushing yards and 70 total touchdowns responsible for in just 12 games.

He’ll compete for jobs down the road. For now, all eyes are on McCord and Brown.

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