Here we go. Five-star quarterback Quinn Ewers is headed to Columbus and will be eligible to play for the Ohio State football team this fall. It’s a shocking development for a guy to skip his senior year of high school and reclassify to the class prior. However, it makes a lot of sense financially when you consider the opportunities someone with his marketability will be able to benefit from because of the new name, image, and likeness legislation.
Aside from what it means for Ewers, there are things to discuss when it comes to Ohio State and college football in general. Not only does it impact the team in the near term and beyond, but it could have ripple effects throughout the sport.
Here are five things to consider when it comes to Ewers blazing a path of his own by getting his football and brand out in the open ahead of time.
NEXT … What about the current quarterback race at Ohio State
How will Ewers factor in this fall?
Team Brutus quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) throws a pass during the Ohio State Buckeyes football spring game at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Saturday, April 17, 2021.
Ohio State Football Spring Game
The most highly anticipated battle of this fall for Ohio State is under center. It always will be at almost any school when the starting quarterback is unknown, but with Justin Fields off to the NFL, and three very capable options to replace him, it’ll be the main story of fall camp.
Now that Ewers is also going to be eligible, will he be inserted into the already crowded quarterback room? It’s beginning to look a lot like 2018 when J.T. Barret moved on and you had Dwayne Haskins, Joe Burrow, and Tate Martell all vying to be the face of the program. We of course know how that all turned out, but what about this year?
My guess is that Ewers will not really be much of a factor in this fall’s race. It’s going to be hard to come in just a month out from the start of the season, learn the offense, and do enough to even come close to winning the job. My guess is that he redshirts, learns, and then the seal will be broken on one of the most anticipated toys the program has ever had next fall.
However, stay tuned I guess …
NEXT … What about Ewers’ NFL future timeline?
The clock just sped up for Ewers’ ability to get to the NFL
Photo by Mike Cravens / Austin American-Statesman / USA TODAY Network
Yeah, we’re getting ahead of ourselves here, but with Ewers enrolling this fall, he now will be eligible to declare for the NFL draft a year earlier than if he had waited until January of 2022. You have to be three years removed from high school graduation to enter your name in the draft, and that would have originally been in the 2025 draft after the 2024 season. Now, it could be after the 2023 season for the 2024 NFL draft.
If he does redshirt and wins the starting job next year (still a ton to be determined), he might have just two years under center. If he doesn’t win the starting job next year, he could follow the Dwayne Haskins plan and play just one year at Ohio State, unleash an assault on the record books, then head to the NFL after just one season as the starter.
Again, there are a lot more players in all of this that result in this decision to be punted down the road, but Ewers is going to be a young gun eligible if he meets those lofty, lofty expectations.
NEXT … Can Ryan Day keep all the quarterbacks happy?
How does Ryan Day keep all of these quarterbacks happy?
Simple. He doesn’t. I will be about as shocked as I’ve ever been if all four quarterbacks now vying for playing time on the roster are around for their full careers at Ohio State. Heck, I’ll fall out of my chair and injure myself if three of them are still around, especially with the ability to now transfer one time without penalty.
There are simply too many talented arms in Columbus presently for them all to hang around. It has nothing to do with their desires to compete either. Almost every one of the four could likely start anywhere else in the Big Ten, not to mention across the landscape of college football.
I don’t mean to pooh-pooh on the whole idea of all of these guys pushing each other and being around, but when the starting job is won this year and next, don’t be surprised if the transfer portal strikes at the quarterback position in the offseason.
NEXT … This paves a path for others
This won’t be the last time we see reclassifying for marketable high schoolers
Welcome to a brave, new world of a college football fan. High school athletes are not yet able to capitalize off of their name, image, and likeness, so for Ewers, it made sense to go to college so that he could rack in the endorsement money and other financial opportunities.
The mullet might be trademarked in some way, and he’s already reportedly received some pretty lucrative endorsement opportunities that he’ll be able to take advantage of once enrolled. Criticize it all you want, but if your kid was in the same position, you’d be hard-pressed to make any other decision.
We’ll see more of this now. There is no doubt. It won’t make sense for everyone, but those elite, generational, and marketable athletes will have this same opportunity in the near future. Especially with all the abilities to gain followers on social media. Bank on it.
NEXT … What does all of this mean for recruiting?
Now does all of this affect recruiting?
There’s another angle to all of this that’s going to become a reality. The advent of name, image, and likeness is going to change recruiting. And with Ohio State embracing Ewers’ desires to reclassify and enroll early, it can do nothing but assist recruiting efforts in Columbus for a program that’s already a monster in pulling in some of the best prospects in the country.
It’s too early to see just how much it’ll change the game, but with Ohio State sitting in a big city with many connections and endorsement opportunities, adding all of this to the mix should benefit a program that has all that the Buckeye one has to offer.
It’s clear that Ryan Day has embraced all of the progressive change in college football, and in some ways, you have to or be left behind. Right or wrong, I see this as nothing but a positive development for Ohio State.