After Tate Martell headed south to Miami earlier this month, Ohio State, given a degree of uncertainty over whether its prime offseason pickup will be granted immediate eligibility, is in the market for experience at the quarterback position. Depending on how things play out in the coming days and weeks, a recent departure from College Station could end up filling that need in Columbus.
Earlier this week, Nick Starkel announced that he has decided to transfer from Texas A&M and continue his collegiate playing career elsewhere. Wednesday, it was reported that OSU is among the potential landing spots for the redshirt sophomore quarterback who, interestingly enough, once had a Twitter beef with the player he’d be replacing with the Buckeyes.
Additionally, Duke (looking to replace early departure Daniel Jones), Arizona (head coach Kevin Sumlin signed Starkel at A&M) and SMU (approximately 40 miles from where he went to high school) are all possibilities according to the report.
Starkel will graduate from A&M this June, which would allow him to use the first of his two remaining years of eligibility immediately in 2019.
Both Ohio State and Arizona are interesting potential destinations for Starkel, if for nothing more than the current state of their respective quarterback rooms. If Justin Fields is granted a waiver as expected, he’d have three years of eligibility that he could begin using in 2019 and would be the front-runner to claim the Buckeyes’ starting job. With the Wildcats, two-year starter Khalil Tate is returning for what will be his last season in the desert, which could make that destination a little more appealing when taking into account his experience with Sumlin.
If starting immediately is at the top of Starkel’s checklist, Duke (replacing Jones as previously mentioned) and SMU (three-year starter Ben Hicks transferred to Arkansas earlier this month) might be a better option for a quarterback with Starkel’s experience.
Starkel was the Aggies’ starter to open the 2017 season, but suffered a broken ankle in that game that sidelined him for nearly two months. It turned out to not be a season-ending injury as Starkel returned to start the last four games of Kevin Sumlin‘s final season in College Station, a late-season stint that included a career-high 499-yard effort in a Belk Bowl loss to Wake Forest.
Entering the 2018 offseason as the incumbent, but with a new head coach in Jimbo Fisher in place, Starkel lost the starting job to Kellen Mond and played in just five games this past season — the first four of 2018 plus the bowl game. In those appearances, the redshirt sophomore completed 15-of-22 passes for a touchdown.
The A&M portion of his playing career will end with the Texas native having totaled 1,962 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions on 138–of-227 passing.