In truth, Quinn Ewers should’ve attended his high school homecoming Saturday.
Back in August , Ewers graduated Carroll High School early and reclassified to the class of 2021 in order to join Ohio State a year early. He arrived on campus and joined the Buckeyes in preseason practice less than two weeks later.
The highest-rated recruit signed by Ohio State then reportedly landed a $1.4 million name, image and likeness deal to exclusively sign autographs with GT Sports Marketing, according to Darren Rovell of The Action Network.
While he’s received plenty of national attention, Ewers has yet to appear during game action in a Buckeyes uniform. Head coach Ryan Day shared insight on Ewers’ transition from high school, saying it’s been a challenge.
“I think he would tell you that it’s been hard for him,” Day said. “We’re trying to get him as much information as we can. There’s a lot of catching up to be done there. He’s working at it, but once we get in the season, it’s very, very difficult to get guys to catch up and get them the reps because we need to get the guys reps who are going to play in the games.”
Day often said during preseason practice that early priorities for Ewers included learning the layout of the locker rooms and acclimating to the brotherhood among his new teammates.
Senior tight end Jeremy Ruckert said he’s seen Ewers happy to officially be a Buckeye, not noticing any discomfort during his adjustment process.
“I think it’s obviously a really unique situation that not many people are thrown into, but I think he’s doing as best as he can,” Ruckert said. “Every time I’ve been able to sit down and talk to him and hang out with him, he has been really cool and easy to talk to. He’s getting used to all the little cultural things that we have around here and getting acclimated in a certain way. It’s our job to kind of make that environment for him.”
Much like he has in each of the Buckeyes’ four games, Ewers warms up with the quarterbacks during pregame and dresses on the sidelines. Day said the Texas native was “unavailable” against Akron despite regular starting quarterback redshirt freshman C.J. Stroud resting his shoulder.
Ewers gets his reps in practice, though, but not enough to prepare to play in games, according to Day.
Nonetheless, one benefit of arriving at Ohio State early is it allowed Ewers to work with All-American wide receivers, including senior Chris Olave. Olave said he’s proud of the way Ewers has handled the move from high school to college football, and doesn’t know how he would’ve handled skipping his own senior year.
“I feel like he’s adjusted well. I know it’s tough on him to leave high school early, but I feel like he adjusted,” Olave said. “He’s doing well in practice.”
The jump from prep football to college is steep already, but more so for a would-be high school senior. Ohio State men’s basketball saw a similar situation last season when now-rising sophomore guard Meechie Johnson Jr. reclassified and joined the team in December, playing in 17 games.
Ewers departed Southlake’s program after leading them to the state championship game — and likely could’ve had a good chance at returning to the title scene. That’s just another of the many memories Ewers could’ve had the chance of making, but becoming a Buckeye early was something he couldn’t pass up.
“I can’t imagine doing that. You got to give him props for that,” Ruckert said. “He made a big decision for himself. I’m excited to see where he goes. He’s showing things in practice every day and in the locker room, getting to know him more every day. It’s exciting for him.”