Matthew Baldwin feels he needs to step away from Ohio State.
The freshman quarterback shared that sentiment Thursday night in a statement explaining his decision to enter the NCAA transfer portal.
“I want to start by saying I am grateful for my time in Columbus and the relationships formed here at Ohio State,” he wrote in a note posted on Twitter.
However, he added: “At the same time, spring was a tough time for me personally. My family and I have prayed and talked a lot about where I belong and what is best for me. In the end, we feel like it’d be better for me to step away from Ohio State. I want everyone to know this isn’t done out of anger or frustration.”
Ohio State may be losing another quarterback to transfer.
Following a report by LettermenRow.com, a team spokesman confirmed Matthew Baldwin plans to enter the NCAA transfer portal.
Baldwin was the No. 12 pro-style quarterback prospect in the class of 2018 despite starting only one season at Texas powerhouse Lake Travis High School in Austin.
He was limited most of last season while recovering from knee surgery and spent the recently completed spring practice battling Justin Fields to be the Buckeyes starter.
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Entering the transfer portal does not preclude a player from returning to his original school, though sources told LettermenRow the Texan is interested in playing closer to home.
Multiple sources familiar with Baldwin’s thinking attributed the decision more to a desire to be closer to home rather than a concern about future playing time or any issues with the coaching staff. Baldwin famously waited for his turn at Lone Star State powerhouse Lake Travis and only started there for a single season, but there’s no question that all the changes around him in the quarterback room played a factor in the process after the arrival of Fields, the departure of Tate Martell and Dwayne Haskins declaring for the NFL Draft.
The portal allows players to get in touch with potential transfer destinations without jeopardizing their eligibility.
Tate Martell, a five-star 2017 prospect, left Ohio State in January — shortly after Fields arrived via transfer from Georgia, where he was the No. 2 quarterback as a true freshman last fall.
A year ago, Joe Burrow transferred from Ohio State to LSU after competing with Dwayne Haskins in spring ball.
>>RELATED: All QB competitions are not created equal
If Baldwin is gone, the only other scholarship quarterback on the Ohio State roster would be Chris Chugunov, who transferred from West Virginia last summer.
Of course, the Buckeyes could also add a graduate transfer this summer as the number of available quarterbacks — and players in general — seems to grow every year.
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