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Scarlet Sunrise: Justin Fields receives instant eligibility from NCAA

Justin Fields-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields received instant eligibility from the NCAA Friday. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Scarlet Sunrise

Scarlet Sunrise: Justin Fields receives instant eligibility from NCAA

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. 

Justin Fields: Eligible

It has been a wild two months for Ohio State regarding who would be starting at quarterback next season.

Beginning with rumors of Justin Fields’ desire to transfer from Georgia in mid-December, along with Dwayne Haskins declaring for the NFL Draft and Tate Martell saying he wouldn’t leave if Fields joined the Buckeyes before subsequently transferring just over two weeks later, things haven’t been quiet for new coach Ryan Day.

However, Fields now has his approval, and Ohio State will have its new quarterback on the field with no delay.

As has been expected since the moment one of the most coveted passers in the country decided to leave Georgia and head to the Buckeyes, the highest-rated recruit the program has ever landed had his NCAA waiver appeal for instant eligibility approved on Friday. Fields won’t have to sit out for a season, clearing the way for him to head into spring practice with a chance to win the starting job for the two-time defending Big Ten champions.

What Fields brings to the Buckeyes

Justin Fields has already been hard at work at Ohio State.

Now there’s officially an immediate purpose for the highest-ranked recruit to ever join the Buckeyes.

There is really no way to understate the importance of the addition for Fields for the two-time defending Big Ten champions as the Buckeyes try to replace Dwayne Haskins at the most important position on the field, even if he still has to go out and earn the job this spring.

Lettermen Row senior writer Austin Ward details what the Fields brings to the Buckeyes, as he tries to make an immediate impact on the program in his first season. Additionally, Former Ohio State star and national championship-winning quarterback Cardale Jones was in the Lettermen Row film lab to break down Justin Fields for his first episode of BuckIQ, looking at that extended work against UMass to get an idea of the tools he brings to the offense.

Check it out!

What’s next for Matthew Baldwin?

Matthew Baldwin is patient, and the Ohio State quarterback doesn’t mind waiting his turn.

He’s already been in a situation where he’s had to sit behind another passer for multiple seasons at Texas powerhouse program Lake Travis, spurning the opportunity to transfer elsewhere and play right away in favor of developing as a backup until he could play where he really wanted to be.

Matthew Baldwin is also competitive, and he’s not just going to relax and twiddle his thumbs until his moment arrives.

Senior writer Austin Ward wrote how Baldwin said after the Rose Bowl that he isn’t going anywhere just because Ohio State brought in former five-star recruit Justin Fields, setting the stage for the most anticipated quarterback derby in the country.

Gene Smith steps down from CFP selection committee

Gene Smith is ending his tenure on the College Football Playoff selection committee one year early.

Citing the need to be back on campus more with a new coach and plenty of construction going on in his athletic department, Smith’s move was announced on Friday by the group that brought him in to help determine the four-team field that crowns a national champion. And that decision to forgo his final year of a three-year appointment as a voter could have an impact on the football program beyond simply being around for his day-to-day responsibilities.

“Serving on this committee has been an honor,” Smith said in a release. “Contributing to this great sport is always a privilege, and I will miss the time with my colleagues. It is imperative for me to have 100 percent focus in helping our new coach with his transition at The Ohio State University this fall.”

Greg Mattison all in with Buckeyes after crossing enemy lines

Greg Mattison has worn plenty of coaching polos, and if the new one with the Ohio State logo on the chest felt weird, he certainly didn’t show it.

Surely after 13 seasons wearing Michigan colors, it would have been understandable for Mattison to feel a little uncomfortable at a podium in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. But the veteran of the profession and new Ohio State co-defensive coordinator has made it quite clear: He’s fully committed to other side of the greatest rivalry in college football now, and that means never holding back in the endless battle with the Wolverines.

Senior writer Austin Ward details how Mattison’s introduction on National Signing Day exhibited the signs of a converted Buckeye.

Counting down

  • Ohio State hoops at Indiana: 1 day
  • Oho State spring game: 63 days

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Nick M
Nick M

Fields and Baldwin…..first world problems.


Nick is the producer at Lettermen Row. Born in Dayton, Nick recently graduated from Ohio State where he worked for The Lantern and the College of Veterinary Medicine. He also knows the city of Columbus and its love of sports well after interning with Columbus Crew SC and WBNS-10TV during his undergraduate education.

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