When Tate Martell transferred from Ohio State, the Buckeyes became a little skinny in terms of depth at quarterback. Now they've become painfully thin, as Matthew Baldwin, who went through spring ball competing with Justin Fields for the starting job, announced on social media that he was leaving Ohio State and will transfer to another school.
Baldwin's bombshell leaves the Buckeyes with only two scholarship quarterbacks in Fields and Chris Chugunov. Fields, the transfer from Georgia, was already the likely starter and that now becomes a certainty. He was only 4-13 passing in last Saturday's Spring Game but connected on a 98-yard bomb to Ben Victor and showed his athletic ability with 52 yards rushing and a touchdown. Chugunov, who joined the Buckeyes last fall after transferring from West Virginia, was just 3-10 for 81 yards and an interception. The only other QB on the Ohio State roster is sophomore walk-on Danny Vanatsky. Baldwin, more of a pure passer than Fields, went 20-36 with 243 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the Spring Game. Ohio State coach Ryan Day, as he had done the entire spring, said after the game that he would not name a starting quarterback and the competition between Fields and Baldwin would continue into the fall. Apparently, however, Baldwin saw the writing on the wall. Having said that, in his social media statement, the native of Texas indicated that the competition with Fields wasn't the reason he's moving on.
"I loved getting to know Justin and competing with him was an incredible experience for me," Baldwin wrote and later added, "this isn't done out of anger or frustration."
Whatever the reason is, Baldwin's decision to leave puts the Buckeyes in a dangerous position heading into the fall. Fields is a five-star product who looks like a future star but he's still young and unproven. One of his greatest assets is his ability to run but given the lack of quarterback depth, Fields needs to stay healthy so how much running will Day allow him to do? It's a question Day and the offensive staff will have to mull over in the months leading up to camp. In the meantime, as ABC-6's Clay Hall reported Thursday night, Day is turning to the graduate transfer market in hopes of finding another quarterback option. Problem is, it's late April and the market is thin. Additionally, most grad transfers or transfers of any kind, are looking for a place they can potentially start. That won't be the case at OSU. It's clear though, that the Buckeyes need to add someone. In fact, Thursday night Day started getting volunteers as popular Ohio State basketball walk-on Joey Lane threw his hat in the ring.
There is help on the way...it just won't be here this year. Ohio State has Jack Miller, one of the nation's top rated quarterbacks in the 2020 recruiting class, in the fold. Miller, out of Arizona, has been committed to the Buckeyes since last summer. After the Baldwin news broke Thursday night, Miller took to Twitter to post a photo of he and Dwayne Haskins.
Unless Miller reclassifies, he's still a year away from becoming a Buckeye. Day is in need of more immediate help. It will be interesting to see in the coming days, weeks or months, who the Buckeye coach is able to find.