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Buckeyes trying to evaluate multiple big-time 2022 quarterbacks

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Ohio State hosted top-ranked 2022 quarterback Quinn Ewers two summers ago. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Recruiting Question of the Day

Buckeyes trying to evaluate multiple big-time 2022 quarterbacks

Have a question about Ohio State recruiting? This is the place for you, five days a week. Submit your questions on Twitter or on the Lettermen Row forums. Check-in daily to see what’s on the mind of Buckeyes fans all over the country. Today, we try and examine the quarterback position in the Class of 2022 and how the Buckeyes are attacking the need in that cycle.

Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day

Last week I wrote about how different this summer could be for Buckeyes defensive line coach Larry Johnson because of the potential that in-person camps and evaluations are missed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. For those reasons, and because of the need to add three more defensive linemen, the feeling here is that the defensive line is the most important remaining position for Ohio State in the Class of 2021.

But there’s no doubt that the quarterback position for 2022 and beyond is going to be very interesting for the Buckeyes. First-year position coach Corey Dennis walked into a pretty loaded position with Justin Fields and Gunnar Hoak on the roster, Jack Miller and C.J. Stroud signed for the Buckeyes and 2021 5-star quarterback Kyle McCord happily committed even after the departure of Mike Yurcich.

The hiring of Dennis was met with skepticism by some who wondered if coaching the quarterback position at Ohio State was too big of a job for a first-time, full-time coach — though most of those concerns were allayed because Dennis would be working so closely with Ryan Day when it came to teaching and evaluating the position. That evaluation was slated to begin this spring, and now there’s no real timeline for when it starts as all in-person recruiting is on the shelf until at least June 1.

If that period is extended again, then Dennis and the Buckeyes would lose an extremely important evaluation period. So, too, would a number of the country’s best young quarterbacks.

Speaking last week, Ohio State director of player personnel Mark Pantoni suggested the coaching staff is watching a lot more high school film than it normally would. And while that’s a fair substitute right now, it doesn’t eliminate the need for in-person evaluation by Dennis and Day. When that is combined with the inability to freely speak to these 2022 quarterbacks until Sept. 1, it’s easy to understand why the Buckeyes appear to be moving somewhat slowly in that class.

Two of the four quarterbacks Ohio State has offered in 2022 have been to camp in Columbus: Quinn Ewers and Steven Angeli. It’s been two summers since Ewers, a talented gunslinger from Texas, was on campus. But Dennis was able to stop into Southlake Carroll High School in January, so the interest is obvious and real from the Buckeyes. The same can be said for California’s Maalik Murphy, who could have the most upside of any quarterback in the Class of 2022.

Ohio State has also offered Georgia standout Gunner Stockton, though for some reason his offer has not been publicized on his profile. In talking to sources in Columbus, Stockton could actually be the early choice as the top-of-the-board guy, but labels like that are kind of moot at this point. The lack of in-person evaluations makes it harder to create any sort of objective pecking order.

The Buckeyes are also continuing to recruit local guys like Chase Harrison from Centerville and Brady Allen from Indiana, while researching other young quarterbacks like Justyn Martin from California, MJ Morris from Georgia and many others.

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Birm is Lettermen Row's Director of Recruiting and the site's primary Ohio State sports photographer. A Toledo, Ohio native, Jeremy has been in similar roles for and and has been covering the Buckeyes for seven years.

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