It’s still very early for Ohio State’s search for a quarterback in the 2019 recruiting class. The Buckeyes are still in the midst of offering new quarterbacks and finding out which offered prospects are realistic options moving forward. That process involves both Ohio State evaluating the quarterbacks they’ve offered and had on campus and those prospects evaluating Ohio State in return and seeing how the Buckeyes stack up to their other offers.
There isn’t a comprehensive plan yet for the Buckeyes on which quarterbacks could commit and which players may have to wait their turn in line, but we’re seeing a board beginning to shape. Some quarterbacks have fallen off Ohio State’s radar and other developments have occurred. Let’s take a look at Ohio State’s robust quarterback offer list and check in to see what’s up with the Buckeyes and each prospects.
Grant Gunnell – Texas – No. 2 Pro-style QB
Houston St. Pius X quarterback Grant Gunnell took a two-day unofficial visit to Ohio State beginning on March 7, his first unofficial visit to the school. Gunnell is a former Texas A&M commit who de-committed following the coaching switch from Kevin Sumlin to Jimbo Fisher. While on campus at Ohio State, he was treated to a first-hand look at Ohio State’s spring practice and how the offense could evolve to a more developed passing attack under either Dwayne Haskins or Joe Burrow, an attack more suited to Gunnell’s skill set.
Ohio State appears to be in the very top group for Gunnell, battling primarily with LSU, but also Oregon, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Stanford, and Cal. The Buckeyes are also seriously involved with Gunnell’s teammate and fellow top 100 prospect nationally, star wide receiver Jalen Curry. Curry will make his first visit to Columbus for Ohio State’s spring game.
It’s still tough for Ohio State to go into Texas and win battles for top prospects with regularity, especially fighting against regional powerhouses like LSU and Texas A&M, among others. Gunnell is seriously talented and Ohio State will be in the thick of the skirmish for his services. He’ll commit sometime before his senior season at St. Pius X.
Sam Howell – North Carolina – No. 4 Pro-style QB
Sam Howell, a pro-style quarterback out of Monroe (N.C.) Sun Valley, just made his second unofficial visit to Ohio State and first since being offered by the Buckeyes on Jan. 12. The trip was a two-day visit beginning on March 18. He previously visited in June to camp with the Buckeyes as an unoffered prospect. Since then, major programs like Ohio State, Clemson, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, and Georgia have offered Howell.
Howell told me following the visit that Ohio State is on the shortlist of programs that recruits him most aggressively and that he has the best relationships with. He doesn’t plan to publicly cut his list before making a commitment — that decision will come “sometime within the next couple months” — but Ohio State would certainly make any cut that he makes. Clemson, North Carolina, Florida, Florida State, and Tennessee would also likely make any shortlist of his.
Ohio State has their work cut out for them to rise to the top of Howell’s list, but his relationships with co-offensive coordinators Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson are strong. The Buckeyes are in business here, but they’ll need to continue fighting hard to rise to the top.
Jalon Jones – Maryland – No. 10 Dual-threat QB
Baltimore (Md.) St. Frances quarterback Jalon Jones visited Ohio State for the first time on the first weekend of March, when he landed his offer from the Buckeyes, and has promptly set a return visit for March 29. Jones grew up as a big fan of Urban Meyer and his Florida teams and he’s highly considered both the Gators and Buckeyes, as well as N.C. State and some other programs.
Jones is a quarterback that I feel Ohio State could absolutely land if they pushed for his commitment, although Florida is a team to watch. Jones’ reciprocated interest in Ohio State with two unofficial visits — and likely an official visit down the road — is a strong point in the Buckeyes’ favors. Ohio State will have received the only two unofficial visits from Jones in the last nine months.
Max Duggan – Iowa – No. 7 Dual-threat QB
Iowa quarterback Max Duggan is fresh off of a March 7 unofficial visit to Ohio State, his first since being offered by the Buckeyes in December. Duggan is also heavily involved with Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Notre Dame, Iowa State, and other programs around the Midwest and the country. Ohio State seemed to hit it off with Duggan on the visit, but his plans to commit in April seem to be at odds with Ohio State’s desire to keep evaluating and pursuing other quarterbacks.
I’m not sure that they’ll push for Duggan’s commitment in April or that he’d jump in the class if they did. If Duggan were to push back his time frame, I could see Ohio State landing the Iowa native if they pushed for his commitment at a later date, but there are several hypotheticals involved in that scenario. Let’s wait and see on Duggan.
Jayden Daniels – California – No. 2 Dual-threat QB
California quarterback Jayden Daniels seems to be the great wildcard in Ohio State’s recruiting efforts. He has yet to visit Ohio State, but has expressed interest in doing so and has discussed the fact that he views Ohio State as a high-level, championship program. It’s hard to put Daniels higher on this list until he schedules or takes a visit — official or unofficial — but he’s a very talented player. Ohio State would probably like to have him on campus as well before making any decisions on where he sits on their board.
Michael Johnson Jr. – Oregon – No. 4 Dual-threat QB
Eugene (Ore.) Sheldon quarterback Michael Johnson Jr. still seems unlikely to end up at Ohio State. With his father on staff for the Oregon Ducks and contact falling off between Johnson and Ohio State, this one doesn’t seem destined to happen. He’s a talented prospect and things could change, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
Grant Tisdale – Texas – No. 8 Dual-threat QB
Ohio State has been dropping off in contacting Allen (Texas) quarterback Grant Tisdale and it seems unlikely that he’ll end up in Columbus despite his heavy early interest in the Buckeyes. Ohio State has seemingly prioritized other options, but Tisdale has plenty of options with Texas A&M, Baylor, Nebraska and others programs pursuing.
Graham Mertz – Kansas – No. 10 Pro-style QB
Kansas City area native Graham Mertz has been committed to Wisconsin since October and despite receiving a dozen major offers — Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, Michigan and others — since his commitment, he continues to say all of the right things about remaining committed and not visiting other programs. We’ll see if that will change as time goes on, but he seems solid to the Badgers.
Ta’quan Roberson – New Jersey – No. 11 Dual-threat QB
It’s highly unlikely that Ta’quan Roberson, a Wayne (N.J.) DePaul Catholic product, will back off of his Penn State commitment. Ohio State offered after his commitment to the Nittany Lions, but he’s shown no interest in visiting other programs to date.
Roschon Johnson – Texas – No. 5 Dual-threat QB
Roschon Johnson has been committed to Texas for eight months and shows no signs of looking around or considering other programs. He can be crossed off the board.
Bo Nix – Alabama – No. 1 Dual-threat QB
Bo Nix, an Alabama native and Auburn legacy, has committed to Auburn and it’s highly unlikely that he’ll waiver. He can be crossed off the board.