What Quarterback Kyle McCord’s Transfer Means For Ohio State

The first day of the open transfer portal delivered some shocking news for Ohio State, as junior quarterback Kyle McCord announced that he will enter the portal after three seasons with the Buckeyes.

McCord was in his first season as a starter for Ohio State, completing 65.8 percent of his passes for 3,170 yards and 24 touchdowns to just six interceptions, though two of those turnovers came in the Buckeyes’ 30-24 loss to Michigan to end the regular season. He arrived in Columbus as head coach Ryan Day’s hand-picked signal caller in the 2021 class, but now McCord and Ohio State will part ways.

So, where does this leave Ohio State for the Cotton Bowl and beyond?

As it relates to the Buckeyes’ postseason destination, three scholarship quarterbacks – redshirt freshman Devin Brown, true freshman Lincoln Kienholz and seventh-year Tristan Gebbia – remain on the roster. Bowl practice is always important for younger players on the roster, but it will take on increased importance this time around with a chance for Brown or Kienholz to make their case to compete for the starting job next season, with Brown as the presumed starter for the Buckeyes against Missouri.

Brown is unlikely to have a full complement of offensive talent due to some opt outs, however, even with Day adding on Sunday that he expects the Buckeyes to be at full strength in the Cotton Bowl. This could present a tougher audition for Brown – or whichever quarterback takes the field – against a motivated Missouri team that is looking for its first bowl win since 2014.

The largest concern for Ohio State, though, is around what happens into the offseason and as next season begins approaching. The Buckeyes will soon sign Fairburn (Ga.) Langston Hughes five-star quarterback Air Noland (6-3, 195), who is expected to be an early enrollee and arrive in January, which will make for three scholarship quarterbacks entering next season.

But the expectation is that Day and the Buckeyes – just like McCord did – will utilize the portal to explore potential options. Several high-profile quarterbacks have already entered the portal, including Oklahoma’s Dillon Gabriel, Kansas State’s Will Howard, Duke’s Riley Leonard, UCLA’s Dante Moore and Washington State’s Cam Ward, and all could be under consideration for Ohio State.

“When you come up short, the bottom line is you got to look at everything, because you didn’t get it done,” Day said on Sunday prior to McCord’s announcement. “That’s the thing that is just sobering here. At 11-1, you come up short on the last possession, it’s just not good enough. You’ve got to look at everything, and we will look at everything.”