Ohio State football: Future QB situation becoming more interesting for Buckeyes
All week long, our Land of 10 reporters following the Buckeyes will address pressing questions on the minds of the Ohio State fan base with our new daily feature. To ask Austin Ward a question, follow along on Twitter and suggest a topic right here. Check back Monday through Friday as we dive into the Ohio State Question of the Day. Go here to see all of our previous answers.
Can I mention a problem. If Baldwin is seriously hurt and Burrows transfers (a strong possibility), that leaves the #Buckeyes with only 2 scholarship QBs next season. That is not good.
— Bob Goldwin (@rudybux) December 25, 2017
The projected roster in the Ohio State quarterback room for the next few years has changed significantly even in the course of a month. It’s true there is the potential for that situation to get a bit tenuous, based on a few factors with a crucial offseason looming. But just as quickly as a potential worst-case scenario presented itself, it’s also possible that things could improve just as rapidly at the most important position on the field.
Start with the obvious: Joe Burrow has a decision to make after spring practice, and the safe bet still would seem to be on him becoming a graduate transfer. That would be a blow for the Buckeyes in terms of depth, particularly given his knowledge of the system, flashes of his ability to deliver off the bench in the past and his maturity. Would that change the starting situation? Probably not, given the rise of Dwayne Haskins. And it also might not impact the chances of Tate Martell contributing in some capacity next fall, either.
As for the second key question: The right knee injury sustained by Lake Travis (Austin, Texas) passer Matthew Baldwin during the state playoffs isn’t believed at this point to be serious enough to keep him out long, although he will be evaluated by Ohio State team doctors once he enrolls with the program in January. Baldwin wasn’t expected to be needed as a freshman, of course, although Burrow’s potential departure could change that timetable — especially since the Buckeyes have been known to need a third quarterback to get through a season before.
Ohio State doesn’t appear likely to try to address that potential issue during the rest of the recruiting period for the 2018 class, particularly since most quarterbacks who might interest Urban Meyer are off the board at this point and Emory Jones flipped to Florida to open up the early signing period. There’s always a chance Burrow could stick around, and it seems likely that Baldwin will be ready by next fall, so maybe the depth could suddenly be back to the usual level for the Buckeyes.
But there is at least some reason to look at that depth chart and have a bit of concern. And J.T. Barrett won’t be around to provide stability at the top.