Ryan Day

Ohio State coach Ryan Day hopes a starter emerges from QB pair, but he isn’t ruling out playing both

Ohio State’s coach, Ryan Day, is looking to determine his starting quarterback within the first few weeks of preseason camp but is not dismissing the possibility of playing both QBs if a clear choice does not manifest by the opener against Indiana on September 2nd.

“An individual must eventually become the starter,” Day commented on Wednesday, just before the Buckeyes commenced practice. “If uncertainty remains, persistence is key. Although I desire someone to take charge, unpredictabilities occur.”

The competition for succeeding two-time Heisman Trophy finalist C.J. Stroud is between Kyle McCord and Devin Brown. Both McCord, a third-year player who was Stroud’s backup for two seasons, and Brown, a second-year player, are right-handed NFL-style passers known for their precision. They are also comparably built at 6-foot-3 and roughly 215 pounds.

McCord, 20, holds an advantage in experience, having completed 58 passes for 606 yards and three touchdowns over two seasons. In 2021, he started once for Stroud.

Brown, 19 and seen as somewhat more athletic, had limited time last season without attempting a pass. His development was hindered in the spring due to surgery on his throwing hand’s broken pinkie finger.

Day, in his fifth year as head coach, has navigated such quarterback situations before. As an assistant to Urban Meyer, he guided Dwayne Haskins Jr. to become a Heisman finalist in 2018, and Justin Fields to stardom for two seasons after recruiting him in 2019. He named C.J. Stroud as the starter in 2021, leading him to Heisman finalist status in both starting seasons, despite Stroud failing to defeat Michigan.

“The standards and expectations here are towering,” Day asserted. “Predecessors have set an extraordinary benchmark. Aiming for a national championship, Heisman Trophy finalist status, and first-round draft pick has been the norm, and this must continue.”

Day concedes that neither McCord nor Brown is fully prepared at the moment.

“It is advantageous to have multiple dependable players,” he remarked, “but we have yet to reach that stage, and the outcome remains uncertain.”

Both QBs, who are close friends, remained reticent on Wednesday about their competition.

Feeling more prepared than ever for camp, McCord stated, “I am now concentrating more on myself and am confident in presenting the best version of myself.”

Brown’s concerns are more centered around competing against Ohio State’s defensive starters rather than watching McCord. “Every day is consistent,” he expressed, coming from his background as a high school standout in Utah. “Our focus is improving each other, determining who can contribute to victory, and preparing for the first game against Indiana.”

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