Offseason? What offseason?
Don’t tell Ohio State football the calendar says May because lots of stuff has been happening with Buckeyes past, present and future.
Here is a quick rundown of some stories from this week you might have missed:
1. Urban Meyer confirmed what everyone was thinking about the starting quarterback position.
The head coach told the crowd at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Luncheon in Canton that Dwayne Haskins Jr. will get the first chance to be the stater when the Buckeyes reconvene for preseason practice.
“Dwayne is a young guy that came in against our rivals and did a heck of a job,” Meyer reportedly said. “You go back and watch that again, he came in on the first drive and took us down the field and scored on that first drive against that defense. So he’s got a great release, he’s got good size and he’s a mobile-enough quarterback.”
2. Joe Burrow hasn’t named a landing spot yet.
Meyer said the quarterback competition was still open at the end of spring ball, but Burrow’s announcement last week he plans to transfer pretty much answered that question even before Meyer spoke in Canton.
But what about Burrow?
He’s reportedly visited LSU and Cincinnati with the Bearcats the favorite according to SECCountry… unless a visit to North Carolina changes his mind.
3. What about the last guy?
The quarterback spot was open in spring ball because J.T. Barrett graduated after seven years (more or less) in Columbus.
He’s on to his next challenge: Trying to make an NFL roster, and early returns (VERY early returns) are positive as Saints coach Sean Payton told reporters in New Orleans he sees a leadership presence in Barrett.
"He's a good athlete. He's played a lot of competitive football,” Payton said (via nola.com). “He's handled this camp very well, so (he has) a lot of the things you look for in that position. He certainly was worthy of being drafted, and he's done a good job here.”
4. What about the next guy?
Of course in college football recruiting is always ongoing.
Meyer hasn’t found his quarterback for the 2019 class yet, but there are plenty of candidates.
Closer to home, there is interest in Alter senior-to-be Connor Bazelak.
I expect that Ohio State will bring Bazelak on campus for a camp in June to evaluate him further. They may want to sit down with him and go over film and see how he understands and breaks down defenses.
Penn State has been sniffing around Bazelak as well and other schools are coming after him hard, so the Buckeyes may not be able to wait beyond June to make a decision on an offer. Bazelak is planning to cut his list in June, and a commitment should follow relatively quickly from there.
Bazelak is the top-rated pro-style quarterback in Ohio for 2019 and one of the top 10 players in the Cox Media Group Ohio coverage area.
5. Future schedules set.
Finally for those who like to plan way in advance, Ohio State announced several changes to future schedules.
Of note: Two games against MAC teams were added in the coming years while dates for a two-game series against Texas were changed.
Also of note if Burrow ends up at Cincinnati: The Bearcats are Ohio State’s second opponent in 2019.