The official coronation of one of the most high-profile transfers of the 2019 offseason is nearly upon us. Probably.
In mid-July, Ryan Day stated that he wasn’t ready to crown Justin Fields as his first starting quarterback at Ohio State even as most of the free world viewed him as the clear frontrunner for the job coming out of spring practice. Halfway through summer camp, and with the start of the 2019 campaign a little over two weeks away, Day still hasn’t named his starter under center, although that will likely change early next week.
Day declined to say which one of Fields and fellow transfer Gunnar Hoak had the edge heading into the homestretch, although the head coach did give a very sizable clue as to the direction in which the competition is headed.
Fields was rated by 247Sports.com as the No. 1 player regardless of position in the Class of 2018. He spent his true freshman season as the primary backup to then-sophomore starter Jake Fromm, completing 27-of-39 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran the ball 42 times for 266 yards and scored another four touchdowns on the ground.
After losing out in the UK quarterback competition that ended in summer camp, Hoak spent the 2018 season as starter Terry Wilson‘s primary backup. In that role, Hoak completed 13 of his 26 passes for 167 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Coming out of high school in Dublin, Ohio, Hoak was a three-star 2016 signee. He took a redshirt as a true freshman.
Matthew Baldwin, who had been a part of the competition with Fields in the spring, left OSU in mid-April and eventually found a new home at TCU later on in the offseason. Unlike Fields, though, Baldwin’s appeal for immediate eligibility was denied.