Football: Ewers’ transfer caught Day off guard

The Lantern
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Ohio State freshman quarterback Quinn Ewers (3) throws during warm-ups before the Ohio State-Oregon game Sept 11. Ohio State lost 28-35. Credit: Mackenzie Shanklin | Photo Editor

On the eve of the Big Ten Championship Game Friday evening, the transfer portal gained a prominent name.

Former freshman quarterback Quinn Ewers announced his transfer from Ohio State after just four months with the program. Throughout the season, head coach Ryan Day said Ewers spent a majority of his time adjusting to college football and the Buckeyes’ brotherhood.

Ewers’ transfer, though, came as a surprise to Day, he said.

“It kind of caught me a little bit, for sure,” Day said. “A little bit off guard.”

Ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2021, the Texas native made his college debut Nov. 20, handing off the ball twice in as many snaps.

Ewers experienced a lot in his short time at Ohio State. After reclassifying from the class of 2022 in August , he joined in the midst of a quarterback battle in mid-August, a competition that redshirt freshman C.J. Stroud ultimately won.

Then, Ewers reportedly agreed to a million-dollar name, image and likeness deal to sign autographs with GT Sports Marketing . He traveled for his first Big Ten road game to Rutgers Oct. 2, then moved up Ohio State’s quarterback depth chart in November after the OVI arrest of former redshirt freshman Jack Miller III — who has also since transferred out of the program .

Three Ohio State quarterbacks saw the bulk of game time during the 2021 season — granted, it was never expected Ewers would play much, if at all. But his journey to the Buckeyes will last as one of the most unique in recent memory.

“I think he was in a very unique situation,” Day said. “We wish him nothing but the best of luck moving forward. But, boy, there’s just a lot that’s going on right now in college football.”

Ewers’ transfer comes in the first full season with new college football rules such as revised NIL legislation and one-time transfer allowance, meaning players will become immediately eligible to play at a new program instead of waiting a year like in the past.

Additionally, more changes on the college football front could come. Topics such as expansion of the College Football Playoff and conference realignment are very much in conversation among leaders, the latter of which saw the Big Ten proactively join The Alliance with the Atlantic Coast Conference and Pac-12 to collaborate on the future of college athletics.

With so much swirling in the chaos, Day said the best approach is to figure out the next best thing for both yourself and your program.

“There’s definitely a tornado going on,” Day said. “Where it goes here, I don’t know. Just try to figure out what’s best for Ohio State moving forward, whether it’s the NIL or all the things that are going on, expansion. There’s a lot of multitasking going on right now, a lot of thinking on your toes.”

Perhaps the Buckeyes multitasked often with Ewers, helping him adjust to both college life and the complex Ohio State playbook.

That’s something Stroud said he made an effort to accomplish in November. Stroud said he saw Ewers improve each week, saying he was “doing a great job just trying to learn.”

“I try to help him just think like a college quarterback,” Stroud said. “It’s different from high school; you have more responsibilities. I try to just be a big brother to him, try to lead him, try to get him better every day.”

Ewers already visited Texas Tech and will likely consider Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Christian University, according to Pete Thamel of Yahoo! Sports .

However Ewers is remembered in Ohio State lore, he’ll remain as the highest-rated recruit Ohio State signed in the modern recruiting era.

“A lot of guys want to play and I get it. We’ll just try to do the best we can to forecast it,” Day said. “We feel really good about the guys we have on our roster right now.”

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