In a three-part series, I am examining the strengths and weakness of both Kyle McCord and Devin Brown now that C.J. Stroud is officially off to the NFL. While there isn’t much data on either, there is enough to handicap the race while highlighting what each does well.
Parts 1 and 2 focus on the individuals. The final part consists of my takeaways and assessment of who has the advantage heading into spring ball. The expectation is this duel will go well into fall and potentially all the way to Week 1. Ryan Day has a huge choice to make.
Let’s get this started with a closer look at what Kyle McCord brings to the table. This breakdown follows watching highlights from his final year in high school (COVID-19 shortened season) and his play in 2021, the 2022 spring game and this past season.
Kyle McCord took the IMG Academy to the brink. Check out the Ohio State 2021 commit against the nation’s most talented high school football program. @kylemccord16 @MarvHarrisonJr. 🎥 @kjetland pic.twitter.com/273yuYK75R
— Lettermen Row (@LettermenRow) September 15, 2019
McCord had a massive advantage that most high school quarterbacks don’t, and it has to do with[autotag]Marvin Harrison Jr.[/autotag] The future Buckeye teammates had a great connection together at St. Joseph’s in Philadelphia and it showed. Nearly elite arm strength from McCord resulted in his being able to make all the throws. His deep balls particularly stood out with proper arc and distance. McCord ran when needed, but he will never be regarded as a dual-threat option.
🌟 𝙳𝙴𝙱𝚄𝚃 𝙸𝙽 #𝚃𝙷𝙴𝚂𝙷𝙾𝙴 🌟
• He threw for 319 yards — most in a first career start (D. Haskins 313 / Oregon St. / 2018)
— Ohio State Buckeyes 🌰 (@OhioStAthletics) September 27, 2021
In his one start against Akron, McCord did very well. On just 18 passes, the soon-to-be third-year player threw for 319 yards and two touchdowns. An interception and two sacks marred the effort. McCord netted minus-17 yards on the ground in that contestl, but that’s not what he’s known for. The good news was McCord led the team to 35 points in two-and-a-half quarters. The bad news was it came against Akron, so it was not a legit test.
He received garbage time minutes during the remainder of the year and didn’t do much. McCord’s two TD passes will not inspire much confidence either. The first was a pop-pass, but the second was a nice ball to [autotag]Jaxon Smith-Njigba[/autotag]. He made some very good throws to the outside, too.
McCord gained some good reps in the glorified scrimmage, showing much of what we had seen before. He was a bit late on some of his reads, leading to a few throws behind receivers. This was something Day noted after his start against Akron. On this day, he delivered a number of short throws but nothing that really stood out against his teammates. It was a bit disappointing not to see more, but Day probably didn’t want to show much.
Another first! 🔋
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 18, 2022
Again, not much being shown here, McCord received the majority of his playing time at the end of a few games that were already decided. One play stood out a bit more than the others, his touchdown to [autotag]Jayden Ballard[/autotag]. This one was big for two reasons, McCord showed the ability to move out of the pocket and make a big play.
His connection with Ballard is the second. There is a need for another receiver to step up behind Harrison Jr. and [autotag]Emeka Egbuka[/autotag]. Even with Julian Fleming finally staying healthy, another play-maker at the position would be welcomed.
Let us know your thoughts, and comment on this story below. Join the conversation today