Truant high school senior and kombucha bro Quinn Ewers may be the highest-ranked prospect to ever attend Ohio State, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to play anytime soon.
Ewers famously reclassified late in the summer to take advantage of new NIL laws, thrusting himself into a blue-chip football program extremely late in the calendar year. Ewers had barely worked his way into practice before the season started, and now he’s spending his entire freshman year playing catchup.
Head coach Ryan Day weighed in on his coveted recruit during a media appearance this week.
“I think he would tell you that it’s been hard for him kind of jumping into this thing during the preseason and then being out for a little bit of a stretch,” the Ohio State head coach said. “And so we’re trying to get him as much information as we can, but there’s a lot of catching up to be done there. And he’s trying. He’s working at it. But once we get in the season it’s very, very difficult for guys to catch up and get them the reps because we need to get the guys reps we’re going to play in the game.”
Ewers decision to come to Ohio State at all, a program with a loaded, young quarterback room, is curious. He could have easily waltzed into another top-tier program with a veteran QB and positioned himself as the obvious heir-apparent. But he came to Ohio State, and he came early, basically sabotaging his first season before it even began.
From a pure dollars and cents perspective, Ewers may have made the right decision, considering reports that the young player has already earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in endorsements. But from a football perspective, Ewers unnecessarily thrust himself into a gauntlet of limited practice time and stiff, young competition. Starting QB C.J. Stroud and his backup, Jack Miller, are both redshirt freshmen with big arms and dynamic playmaking ability. And headed into the 2022 season, Stroud will have valuable playing time under his belt, leaving Ewers needing to absolutely “wow” the coaching staff to have any shot at earning future snaps.
Right now, Ewers isn’t even getting enough practice reps to be considered a viable backup candidate, much less a starter.
“He’ll get a few reps. And he’ll get some reps today,” Day said on Tuesday. “But I can’t sit here and tell you he gets enough reps to be able to prepare to play in a game right now. It’s really impossible, once you’re into the season, to give somebody reps. And these young quarterbacks, they need as many as they can just to get ready to play in the game. And so we try and figure out ways to get him a few things after practice and get some work there and certainly individual.”