Former Georgia quarterback Justin Fields had options. He might have been doomed from the start with the Bulldogs in Athens, but the former prized prospect could have transferred anywhere. Everyone in the country would have loved to have his talents on their team, but now he is expected to enroll at the school that clearly doesn’t need him: Ohio State.
Despite a crazy year surrounded by scandal, Ohio State was definitely one of the best teams in the country. Star quarterback Dwayne Haskins was a Heisman Trophy finalist, and the Buckeyes closed out the season, and the Urban Meyer era, with a great win over the Washington Huskies in the 2019 Rose Bowl.
Now, with former offensive coordinator Ryan Day taking over for the retired Meyer, OSU’s quarterback room is going to be stacked with another blue-chip player to push for a College Football Playoff berth. Fields, a 6-foot-3 dual-threat signal caller, is reportedly on Ohio State’s campus and is expected enroll for the spring semester, according to Lettermen Row’s Jeremy Birmingham.
What’s crazy is this: Haskins has yet to decide on his NFL future (although Field’s decision pretty much gives it away), third-year sophomore Tate Martell is a strong talent, and fans like freshman pro-style quarterback Matthew Baldwin.
Oh, and now you get Fields, arguably the country’s top overall recruit in 2018? The rich keep getting richer, huh? This isn’t jealousy. It just doesn’t make much sense.
Nobody can blame Fields, a Kennesaw, Georgia native, for his decision. He wants to win football games and Columbus, Ohio is a pretty great spot to do that each year. The coaching staff is a perfect fit for his skill set. He also wasn’t getting a ton of playing time and didn’t even touch the field for Georgia’s Sugar Bowl loss to Texas, but how does this not make you shake your head in disgust?
Fields, who completed 27-of-39 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns while adding 266 rushing yards and four more scores in 2018, is a game-changing talent that should scare the daylights out of every head coach and defensive coordinator in the Big Ten Conference.
That is, of course, if he can play next year. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound quarterback is trying for immediate eligibility with the NCAA. If that happens, Fields can play in the 2019 season.
But what if he’s eligible, and Haskins decides comes back and not to go the NFL Draft? What if he’s not eligible, and Martell proves to be a complete stud? The list of possible scenarios goes on and on, but Fields will be able to participate in the offseason program and spring practices, no matter what.
There’s a lot of factors that play into every decision, and a starting job is never guaranteed, but let’s just hope Fields is happy after leaving Georgia after his freshman season in SEC, where he was the primary backup to starting quarterback Jake Fromm. That’s the most important thing because there’s too much left up in the air here and it could spell the end for the two other Ohio State Buckeyes quarterbacks already on campus.
Ohio State is loaded with another top recruiting class for head coach Ryan Day in 2019, and the Justin Fields transfer is definitely icing on the cake.