May 30, 2024

Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord has entered the transfer portal, according to a report from On3.com

McCord, who passed for 3,170 yards, 24 TDs and six interceptions in 12 starts this season, still has one year of eligibility remaining and could still return to the Buckeyes.

This could potentially be a huge shakeup for Ohio State – which finished 11-1 and will play in the Cotton Bowl Classic against No. 9 Missouri on Dec. 29.

Why did McCord transfer? Who will be the Buckeyes quarterback in that game? Next season? These are interesting questions now.

McCord took over as the starting quarterback at Ohio State this season, where there is a high bar at the position since Ryan Day joined the staff as an co-offensive coordinator in 2017.

The Buckeyes’ starting quarterback averaged 3,563 yards, 39 TDs and six interceptions from 2017-22, and three of those quarterbacks were Heisman Trophy finalists. Dwayne Haskins (3rd in 2018), Justin Fields (3rd in 2019) and C.J. Stroud (4th in 2021, 3rd in 2022) preceded McCord, who beat out Devin Brown for the starting job this season.

McCord led the game-winning drive in a 17-14 victory against Notre Dame and had three 300-yard games this season, but his play in the season finale against Michigan was under scrutiny. McCord threw two interceptions, including one that led to a Wolverines’ touchdown in the first quarter.

McCord could return to Ohio State, but his entry into the transfer portal is a sign the Buckeyes might have other plans at the position.

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Ohio State’s QB depth chart 

Ohio State has two quarterbacks on the roster who are viable options to start in the Cotton Bowl Classic against Missouri if McCord does not return.

Brown battled with McCord in fall camp for the starting job and was used in short-yardage running packages this season. Brown – a four-star recruit – completed 12 of 22 passes for two TDs and an interception in backup duty this season. He also suffered a leg injury against Penn State and did not see game action.

Lincoln Kienholz

Kienholz saw action in two games for the Buckeyes, and he completed 2 of 4 passes for 25 yards. If Brown does not start, then the Cotton Bowl could be an audition of sorts for Kienholz, a talented four-star recruit from T.F. Riggs High School (Pierre, S.D.).

Who are Ohio State’s best transfer portal QB options for 2024?

Here is a look at three possible options from the transfer portal if the Buckeyes go that route.

Cam Ward

Ward totaled 6,968 yards, 48 TDs and 16 interceptions the last two seasons at Washington State. He transferred from Incarnate Word, where he put up monster numbers in the FCS. Ward did that with the Cougars, who ranked 127th in rushing offense this season with 84.8 yards per game.

DJ Uiagalelei

Uiagalelei – a former five-star quarterback – passed for 2,521 yards, 22 TDs and seven INTs with Clemson in 2021 before transferring to Oregon State – where he had 2,638 yards, 21 TDs and seven INTs. The numbers were not all that different with the move. Uiagalelei would be more efficient within Ohio State’s offense.

Dante Moore

Ohio State quarterback coach Corey Dennis was involved in the recruitment of Moore, who flipped from Oregon to UCLA late in the recruiting process. The Detroit native struggled with accuracy (53.9%) and interceptions in his freshman year with the Bruins, but the talent is there and this would be a move closer to home.

Will Arch Manning transfer to Ohio State?

Manning – who was a freshman at Texas this season – would have to enter the transfer portal first. Former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett is among those openly recruiting Manning to come to the Buckeyes. Will Manning entertain that? That, in some ways, might be linked to whether Quinn Ewers – who spent his freshman season at Ohio State in 2020 – bypasses the 2024 NFL Draft and returns to Texas next season. Early reports say Ewers is leaning toward returning, but no final decision has been made.

Who are Ohio State quarterbacks recruits in 2024 and 2025?

Ohio State has quarterbacks lined up in the next two classes. Four-star quarterback Air Noland (Langston Hughes, Fairburn, Ga.) is ranked No. 6 in his class according to 247Sports.com. Noland will enroll in January and get his shot to compete for the starting job, but a year of development is the more likely course of action.

Four-star quarterback Tavien St. Clair (Bellefontaine, Ohio) is the top-ranked player in Ohio for the class of 2025. He will be a popular potential starter in the future.

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