Ohio State Football Spring Practice: QBs Kyle McCord, Devin Brown Spotlight Key Position Battle

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch

The last three starting quarterbacks for Ohio State evolved into Heisman Trophy finalists: 

  • Dwayne Haskins 
  • Justin Fields 
  • C.J. Stroud 

Will Kyle McCord or Devin Brown follow suit? 

Michigan, if it continues its two-year dominance over the Buckeyes, will have a voice at the table. 

Regardless, the loudest shouts will come from the sidelines as head coach Ryan Day and quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis attempt to coach up the potential starters. 

McCord and Brown have a lot to play up to. 

Kyle McCord Will Lean on Experience To Earn Starting Job

McCord presumably is the pre-season favorite to earn the starting job when the Buckeyes open the 2023 season with a Big Ten road game at Indiana on Sept. 2.

McCord had one career start in 2021, leading the Buckeyes to a 59-7 win over Akron. Against the overmatched MAC squad, McCord completed 13 of 18 passes for 319 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

McCord served as Stroud’s primary backup for the past two seasons. Stroud heads to the NFL after a 25-game career that featured 8,123 passing yards.

That’s a lot to play up to, considering McCord compiled 20 pass attempts last season.

During the Buckeyes’ spring practices, Day plans to have the quarterbacks split, game-like situations. Skill and confidence likely will factor in naming the Buckeyes’ new starter. So, too, will be the QBs’ leadership potential, on and off the field.

On the leadership front, McCord has an edge.

Devin Brown Will Showcase Mobility To Earn Starting Job

One of the top-six quarterbacks in his recruiting class, Brown took 15 snaps as a true freshman but did not attempt a pass. A dual threat, Brown could have a higher upside, but his lack of experience could give Day and Dennis pause.

Brown could get longer runs when the Buckeyes host Youngstown State on Sept. 9 and Western Kentucky on Sept. 16, in preparation for a trip to meet Notre Dame on Sept. 23.

But, for the season opener at Memorial Stadium, unless McCord plays his way down to the second unit, Brown likely will have to wait to display his athleticism. So, too, will four-star recruit Lincoln Kienholz and Oregon State graduate transfer Tristan Gebbia.

Day announced his intentions to name a starter by the spring game on April 15. But, unless McCord confidently distances himself from the field, Day understands the competition to succeed the trio of Heisman finalists could continue into September.

“At the end of the day, it’s going to be the guy that our team believes in and the coaching staff believes in that can lead our team to a championship,” Day told Fox Sports. “That’s not always clear, you know? It sometimes can be a little gray. But you do the best you can.”

McCord and Brown have a lot to play up to.

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