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Spring Game A “Great Opportunity” For Kyle McCord, Tristan Gebbia

By April 13, 2023 (3:00 pm)Football

Some of the intrigue heading into Ohio State’s spring game on Saturday was dashed when the Buckeyes announced that quarterback Devin Brown will miss the annual event after undergoing a procedure on a finger on his throwing hand.

“Well, it’s changed a little bit in that Devin actually had a procedure done today on his throwing hand on his finger, so he’s not going to be available to play on Saturday,” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said Wednesday. “He will be throwing again real soon but he won’t be able to actually play in the game on Saturday.”

Even with Brown missing the game, though, it still remains an important exercise for the remaining quarterbacks on Ohio State’s roster – namely the two on scholarship in Kyle McCord and Tristan Gebbia. Both fill different roles for the Buckeyes, with McCord competing for the starting job along with Brown while Gebbia transferred to Ohio State to offer depth in the quarterback room, but Saturday remains a big opportunity for both signal callers.

“For Kyle and Tristan, a great opportunity on Saturday to put it on the field,” Day said. “Because ultimately you can say that it’s the same (in practice) – it’s not. It’s just not the same being here and practicing in front of just a small group as opposed to being in the stadium.”

While Day has preached an open competition – and has said that Brown’s injury has no bearing on that battle – a strong showing in the spring game by McCord would build off an already strong spring outing, according to his coaches, and could separate him from the pack.

“It’s another step in his progression,” Day said of what the spring game means for McCord. “I think he’s done some good things this spring. Again, brings three years of experience under his belt here, so he knows the offense. He does a great job in meetings, able to take concepts to the field. He’s made some really nice throws, he’s accurate, and he’s shown the ability to lead the team down the field to score.

“Again, another great opportunity for him to – and some of it has been with new receivers,” Day continued. “Talented receivers, but new receivers. And so a great opportunity for him to go out there and put that on the field and feel like, ‘OK, I’ve got a game in the Shoe under my belt,’ even though it’s a spring game.”

As for Gebbia, he has looked solid through the first few weeks of spring practice, and certainly has Ohio State feeling comfortable if he was needed to enter the game, with Day noting that Gebbia’s maturity entering his seventh year of college football has stood out. The rest of the quarterback room – which will add Lincoln Kienholz over the summer – has Day feeling good about Ohio State’s depth at the position.

“The cool thing is we get Lincoln coming in the summer, too, so he’s going to have to pick things up fast, but I don’t know remember the last time we had four guys where we feel like, ‘Okay, we’ve got some good depth in that room,'” Day said. “I’ve been impressed with (Gebbia’s) approach. You can tell that he’s played in games. The decisions are quick, the ball comes out quick, and he’s got a mature approach.”

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