COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State’s quarterback recruiting in the Class of 2018 featured plenty of late tumult, but the Buckeyes emerged from the chaos with a solid signee in Austin (Texas) Lake Travis 4-star Matthew Baldwin.
With that class wrapped up, the Buckeyes are on the hunt for their next signal caller. Whether intentional or not, this year’s quarterback recruitment has been far slower than the Class of 2018. The Buckeyes landed 4-star Emory Jones a year and a half before National Signing Day only to spend the final months of the cycle being held hostage as he took repeated visits to Alabama and Auburn and refused to reaffirm his commitment. Ultimately, he flipped to Florida on the first day of the early signing period.
With the early signing period just nine months away, there’s no clear frontrunner for the spot. Here’s a look at the primary candidates as Ohio State continues to sort through and add scholarship offers at that position.
4-star Jayden Daniels
- High school: San Bernardino (Calif.) Cajon
- QB rank: Dual-threat No. 2
- Overall rank: No. 92
Geography and time could be working against the Buckeyes here, with Jayden Daniels based in California and not receiving an offer until Feb. 22. But the fact that Ohio State is still adding players into the mix in late February also says something. Still, it would take a visit for this to go anywhere, so the Buckeyes will have to try to find a way to get Daniels on campus.
4-star Max Duggan
- High school: Council Bluffs (Iowa) Lewis Center
- QB rank: Dual-threat No. 7
- Overall rank: No. 292
The last Iowan to play for Ohio State was halfback Richard Haupt, who suited up for the Buckeyes in 1959 and 1960. But Max Duggan has a decent shot at breaking that decades-long drought between Ohio State and the Hawkeye State. Duggan is planning to visit Ohio State on March 8, and if the Buckeyes impress him, some good news could soon follow. Duggan said there isn’t a favorite right now, but he hopes to decide in April.
“A lot of the schools that have offered are even to me right now,” he told Land of 10. “I’m just going to see how these visits go and see where I’m at after that. I’ll most likely be making a decision this April.”
4-star Grant Gunnell
- High school: Houston (Texas) St. Pius
- QB rank: Pro-style No. 2
- Overall rank: No. 53
Grant Gunnell was offered by Ohio State on Feb. 13. That night, he de-committed from Texas A&M. The two events probably weren’t directly connected — it’s likely that the Buckeyes just happened to be the offer that broke the camel’s back. With that being said, Ohio State will get a chance to make its pitch. Just like Duggan, Gunnell is expected to visit Columbus on March 8.
That visit will be a good chance for Ohio State and Gunnell to get to know each other and figure out the interest level on both sides. Other schools in the mix for his commitment include Arkansas, LSU, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M.
4-star Sam Howell
- High school: Monroe (N.C.) Sun Valley
- QB rank: Pro-style No. 4
- Overall rank: No. 154
Sam Howell’s recruitment has blown up this calendar year. Since being offered by Ohio State on Jan. 12, Howell has also received offers from Georgia, Virginia Tech, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Miami (Fla.), Florida State, Alabama, Oregon and Arizona State. And one week before the Buckeyes offered, he received one from Clemson.
Howell was originally planning on visiting Ohio State in late March, but his family is looking for a new date because of a scheduling conflict.
4-star Grant Tisdale
- High school: Allen (Texas)
- QB rank: Dual-threat No. 8
- Overall rank: No. 315
Grant Tisdale, a 4-star from Allen, Texas, was the winner of a state championship duel against Baldwin’s Lake Travis team in December. He was also once considered a favorite to become Ohio State’s 2019 quarterback. That’s not to say that won’t still happen, but the longer this recruitment has gone without a commitment — especially with the recent offers the Buckeyes have issued — the more it’s seemed like the two sides aren’t in complete agreement.
However, that’s not to say that Tisdale can’t end up at Ohio State. He plans to take his official visits before his senior season and enroll early.
I will be taking my official visits this spring. Also, I will committing and enrolling early! #GodBless
— Grant Tisdale (@gmtizz) January 12, 2018