Say this for Quinn Ewers: The man knows how to play the system.
Over the summer, Ewers decided to leave high school a year early, to take advantage of NIL opportunities at the college level. Texas high school athletes aren't allowed to capitalize on NIL, and Ewers knew - thanks to his game, and popular social media accounts - that he was leaving money on the table.
So he smartly decided to enroll at Ohio State this fall. Because he was showing up in August it seemed unlikely he'd make a real run at the starting job, especially in a quarterback room that featured three other five-stars (CJ Stroud, Jack Miller, Kyle McCord). Still, it wouldn't stop him from cashing NIL checks, which he certainly has so far.
Yet with Ohio State now struggling out of the gate, and Stroud dealing with a lingering shoulder injury, some wondered if the young quarterback would get a chance to step on the field.
Unfortunately for anyone wondering about that, Ryan Day squashed that idea at his press availability earlier 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,” Day 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.”
To take it a step further, not only would Ewers not see the field if Stroud is unable to go. Right now, he wouldn't even get reps as a back-up in blowout wins.
“I can’t sit here and tell you he gets enough reps to be able to prepare to play in a game right now," Day said. "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.”
Admittedly, this shouldn't be surprising.
One, for as bad as Ohio State has looked so far, it's hard to place too much blame on Stroud. He threw for 484 yards in the Buckeyes loss to Oregon, and tossed four touchdowns in the season-opening win against Minnesota. He wasn't great last week against Tulsa (15 of 25, 185 yards) but even at less than 100 percent, is far from the Buckeyes biggest problem right now.
And even if Stroud were the problem, it's not as though Ewers would be ready to go. In defense of Ewers, this isn't some high school kid coming in for the winter semester and getting a full spring practice and summer workout routine under his belt. He showed up in the middle of fall camp, dealt with a camp injury, and again, was stuck behind three five-stars in terms of getting real reps.
So it seems as though we shouldn't expect Ewers any time soon.
The good news is: It hasn't slowed him down from being the highest-paid fourth string quarterback anywhere in college football.
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