Former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer offered his opinion on the lingering quarterback competition between Kyle McCord and Devin Brown on Wednesday, assuring Buckeye fans that Ryan Day and quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis will ultimately make the correct decision on who will lead the program under center in 2023.
Meyer, who coached Ohio State from 2012-2018 and secured the program’s most recent national championship in 2014, said on the On3 podcast “Urban’s Take on College Football With Tim May” that Day and Dennis’ impressive track records when it comes to choosing and developing quarterbacks should ease fans’ concerns regarding the battle. Since the 2020 season — Day’s second year as head coach and Dennis’ inaugural stint leading the quarterback room — the two helped mold Buckeye starting signal callers Justin Fields (2019-2020) and C.J. Stroud (2021-22) into first-round NFL draft selections following their prolific respective Ohio State careers.
“No, they shouldn’t be (concerned),” Meyer said. “Ryan Day and Corey Dennis, what they’ve done the last four years at quarterback, recruiting and development and play, I don’t know it’s been done before. Certainly not at Ohio State, certainly not in the Big Ten Conference. I was trying to go back and (see) if I remember anything (that compares). Lincoln Riley, he’s done a really good job. Jimbo Fisher had a nice run with Florida State. A guy named Jeff Tedford at Oregon. But nothing pales in comparison to what Ryan Day and Corey Dennis have done. So the last thing they need to worry about is the quarterback position at The Ohio State University.”
Meyer added that the team’s prolonged starting quarterback battle may serve as a positive for the program, as it can show both McCord and Brown that Day and his staff have full confidence the two to succeed if handed the starting job, deterring them from potentially transferring. The former Ohio State head coach has dealt with a similar situation in the past at Ohio State, as his decision to name Dwayne Haskins as the starting quarterback in 2018 compelled future Heisman Trophy Winner and National Champion Joe Burrow to transfer to LSU later that spring.
“Can you imagine if Joe Burrow would have stayed at Ohio State?” Meyer said. “And if I would’ve just said, ‘Ok, we’re not going to name a starter. Let’s keep them playing.’ And then Dwayne Haskins leaves the next year for the NFL, you know who our starter would be the next year? Joe Burrow. Can you imagine him taking over that team? The season he had at LSU, and also he does that for Ohio State?”
When a decision is ready to be made, however, Meyer expects Day to have the final say over Dennis, offensive coordinator Brian Hartline and his other assistants. This, according to the longtime collegiate head coach, will occur not only because of Day’s extensive knowledge of the position, but also due to the current landscape of the sport as a whole.
“He’s the only guy that can (make the decision),” Meyer said. “It’s the most important position in not just college football, but all of sport, and that’s his expertise. But even when it’s not, (Alabama head coach) Nick Saban is going to pick a quarterback, because that’s the way it is. That’s the way it’s always going to be in this sport. I used to laugh when someone (would say) the NFL is a quarterback league. Well so is Pop Warner, so is seventh grade football, so is high school and obviously college. So who you select to put behind the center, that’s the head coach’s call.”
No matter who — or when — Day will select as starting quarterback, Meyer has full faith that his former assistant will choose the right player to lead the Scarlet and Gray under center in 2023.
“It gives great conversation,” Meyer said. But the last thing Ohio State Buckeye fans need to worry about is how Ryan Day and Corey Dennis are going to handle the quarterback situation.”