Ohio State Buckeyes: Hickman high on next man up at quarterback

Credit: Jay LaPrete

Credit: Jay LaPrete

Ronnie Hickman has a message for anyone fretting about the quarterback position at Ohio State this season.

“Don’t sleep on Kyle, man,” the former Buckeye safety said during his time with the media at the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday morning.

A junior-to-be who backed up starter C.J. Stroud last season, Kyle McCord is viewed as the next in line for an Ohio State quarterback line that has dominated the Big Ten over the past decade.

But while he has a strong recruiting pedigree, the five-star prospect from St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia has not gotten much of a chance to show it off in front of a crowd.

He saw time in a handful of games — all mop-up duty — last season and completed 16 of 20 passes.

Of course lots of his work has gone on behind closed doors in practice, though, and Hickman had a pretty good view from centerfield on defense.

“That guy can sling it,” Hickman said. “I’ve spent a lot of time with Kyle and that guy can put the ball where it needs to be. And he will still have some great weapons.

“So I’m super excited for that offense.”

Hickman, a two-year starter who was also a team captain, has not seen as much from Devin Brown, but the glimpses of the redshirt freshman were positive.

“Devin has a tremendous arm as well,” Hickman said. “He can put that ball pretty far out there. It’s going to be a great, great battle between those guys. I’m sure Coach (Ryan) Day will make the right decision.”

Spring football is set to start Tuesday and stretch into April, concluding with the spring game at Ohio Stadium on April 15.

Day said last month he would like to see one of the quarterbacks separate himself so he can name a starter this spring, but he will not force the decision if that doesn’t happen.

Hickman is one of eight Buckeyes at the 2023 combine.

Defensive lineman Zach Harrison spoke to the media on Wednesday while Harrison and cornerback Cam Brown were on the schedule for Thursday.

Stroud and receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba are scheduled to meet with reporters Friday with offensive linemen Paris Johnson Jr., Dawand Jones and Luke Wypler coming Saturday.

Springfield High School grad Leonard Taylor (Friday) ad Dunbar High School grad Tavion Thomas (Saturday) are also among the combine invitees.

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