Ohio State Buckeyes: Day encouraged by what he sees from QBs

Credit: Mark J. Terrill

Credit: Mark J. Terrill

COLUMBUS -- The present and future of the Ohio State quarterback room both look promising to head coach Ryan Day this spring.

C.J. Stroud is the reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, and all indications are he has picked up this spring where he left off after throwing for 4,435 yards and 44 touchdowns last season.

Stroud’s trajectory has been mostly upward since the middle of last season, but Day has not seen his newfound fame go to his head.

“Well, I don’t see a change with him as a person, I think that’s what’s been great,” Day said. “He’s been level-headed about it. I think we’ve talked about after that second game and losing to Oregon and kind of where that shoulder was and to where he’s at right now. It’s pretty remarkable.”

Stroud’s backup is set be Kyle McCord, a sophomore from Philadelphia who was actually a higher-rated recruit than Stroud coming out of high school.

In an era where players may transfer and play without sitting out for a year at their new school, McCord could have looked elsewhere for a chance to play right away knowing Stroud will be the man in Columbus this fall provided he is healthy.

That is the option taken by Quinn Ewers, who enrolled last summer and was gone by the end of the calendar year. He went back to Texas, where he is set to suit up for his home-state Texas Longhorns this fall.

“I think he’s had a good spring,” Day said of McCord. “Having a whole year under his belt now he’s that much better.

“And he’s competitive. He wants to be at Ohio State. He’s made that clear to us, and he’s going to be ready in that first game if you need to be in that game.”

McCord was in the competition to start last spring then battled Jack Miller III into the fall to be Stroud’s backup, but he is the undisputed No. 2 this year.

That means he is close to being No. 1.

“When you’re the backup, sometimes you feel like you’re miles away, but you are only one snap away,” Day said. “And I think he understands that, and he understands what it means to get developed. I think that’s what his focus has been on.”

McCord threw for 416 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions last season. Most of that came against Akron when he took the reins as Stroud rested a sore shoulder in Week 4.

“It’s his second year in the offense and he has just a better feel for it,” Day said. “He’s working on the anticipation of routes, throwing the ball on time, pocket movement and just overall decision-making.”

Then there is four-star recruit Devin Brown. An Arizona native who finished his high school career in Utah, he ended up the No. 6 quarterback in the country last fall and chose Ohio State last December knowing he would have time to develop, too.

Credit: Marcus Hartman

Credit: Marcus Hartman

Ohio State fans got their first glimpse at his raw ability during an open practice Saturday, and Day likes what he has seen so far as well.

“I am pleased with the first nine practices,” Day said. “It can be a little tough. He’s in there sometimes with the (third team), but he’s making it work. You saw his athleticism and what he can do pulling the ball, and he’s got a strong arm. So the more reps he gets, the better he’s going to be talked about.”

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