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Scarlet Sunrise: What will Ohio State’s offense look like with Justin Fields?

Justin Fields-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football
Justin Fields brings a diverse skill set to Ohio State. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Scarlet Sunrise

Scarlet Sunrise: What will Ohio State’s offense look like with Justin Fields?

Good morning, Ohio State fans, and welcome to the Scarlet Sunrise! Football will always be our focus, but every day we’ll cover news, notes and analysis from across Buckeyes sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Ohio State football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Will Ohio State’s offense change with new QB?

It’s quarterback week at Lettermen Row, and the Wednesday question of the day addresses a key topic: Will going from Dwayne Haskins to Justin Fields lead to significant changes in the offensive play calling? Here’s some of what Lettermen Row senior writer Austin Ward had to say:

Ohio State doesn’t have any intention of going back in time and overloading the system with quarterback rushes. That’s where the arm strength of Fields will be important, particularly with the Buckeyes still loaded at the skill positions and looking to continue to aerial evolution that really picked up steam a year ago.

At this point in his development, Fields simply isn’t going to be the same type of passer that Dwayne Haskins was during his record-setting season a year ago. It’s unfair to expect that he’ll be able to deliver the football with the same type of accuracy, velocity and confidence that the Heisman finalist did while becoming a first-round pick. That’s not a knock on Fields at all, just a reminder that the bar in that department is incredibly high even for a player with his arm talent.

That’s also true of comparisons with Miller and Barrett. But it’s the fact that Fields has the potential to do things that all of those successful predecessors did at a high level that makes him such a valuable asset. Thanks to the threat of his legs, Fields should face defenses that have to stay honest, which means the throwing windows might be a bit wider. Because of his ability to sling a deep ball, opposing defensive coordinators probably won’t be in a hurry to load up the box to stop the run — which also should be helpful for tailback J.K. Dobbins.

Either way, putting Fields into the system isn’t going to require a sweeping adjustment. Ohio State has built an attack that might look a little different depending on who is taking the snaps and what they do best, but the playbook as a whole won’t actually change.

Can Ohio State land Jaylan Knighton?

This week, 4-star running back Jaylan Knighton announced he’ll be making his college decision on July 30. That means Ohio State could be in position to land two tailbacks in a matter of days, with 5-star Bijan Robinson set to announce on Aug. 2.

Knighton has been to Ohio State just once, but the buzz in South Florida has been in its favor since well before that trip. The work done by Tony Alford and company during his official visit looks to have firmly cemented his preconceived notions about the Buckeyes.

Though Florida State has long been the program most closely associated with this recruitment, indications that Miami has developed into a real threat shouldn’t be ignored. Knighton is a former Oklahoma commitment, and things have a way of staying weird with Florida commits, so no matter what happens on July 30, don’t expect this recruitment to be on cruise control until signing day.

For more on Ohio State recruiting, check out the Wednesday edition of Dotting the ‘Eyes.

Watch Cardale Jones on Lettermen Live

This week’s guest on Lettermen Live presented by Byers Auto is Ohio State National Champion and NFL quarterback Cardale Jones. Topics this week include:

  • Jones and former Ohio State strength coach, Eric Lichter, recently opened a new, state-of-the-art training facility called Plus 2 University. Find out about their mission and what makes them unique.
  • This Saturday, Jones is hosting a charity softball event benefiting the Buckeye Cruise for Cancer. (See info below)
  • Jeremy Birmingham joins to give a recruiting update.

As always, we appreciate the support of Byers Auto for sponsoring this content.

Big Ten Media Day attendees set

There’s exactly one week until Ohio State takes part in Big Ten Media Days on July 18. Here are the three players that will be attending along with head coach Ryan Day:

  • DE Jonathon Cooper
  • SAF Jordan Fuller
  • WR K.J. Hill

Interesting side note: *None* of the seven teams in the Big Ten East are sending a quarterback. That means no Justin Fields, no Shea Patterson, and no whoever plays quarterback for Rutgers. The choice to not bring Fields isn’t a surprise given that he’s new to the program and not an upperclassman — and I suppose because we still have to go through the charade of actually naming him the starter — but the quarterback of Ohio State is going to have to do interviews at some point and it would have been interesting to hear what he had to say.

With that being said, all three guys who will be going are interesting players who give good insight, so it should still be worth watching on BTN (and reading here after the fact).

Counting down

  • Big Ten Media Days: 7 days
  • Ohio State vs. Florida Atlantic (season opener): 51 days
  • Ohio State at Michigan: 142 days

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Ryan Ginn

Ryan Ginn has covered Ohio State football and recruiting since 2013, having done so previously for Buckeye Sports Bulletin and He is currently a student at Tulane Law School and resides in New Orleans, La.