Ohio State knew it was probably inevitable.
Justin Fields’ marvelous career for the Ohio State Buckeyes has officially ended with today’s announcement that he is declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft. After he felt Ryan Day and the Buckeyes gave him a better chance to achieve his dreams than he had in Georgia, Fields went on to write one of the most incredible stories in Ohio State history.
Fields will long be remembered as one of the great quarterback in Ohio State history, and his performance against Clemson in the Sugar Bowl I believe is the single greatest individual performance in the history of the program.
In his two season in Columbus, Fields was twice named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and Quarterback of the Year. He is truly one of the most accomplished players in the history of OSU Football, despite a relatively limited time wearing the Scarlet and Gray. Fields’ career record as a starter was blemished only twice – in the 2020 Fiesta Bowl in gut-wrenching fashion to Clemson and the 2021 CFP National Championship Game against Alabama. He finished his career with a record of 20-2 (never losing a regular season game) and was a Heisman Finalist as a sophomore.
In his 22 games, Fields completed 396-of-579 passing attempts for 5,373 yards and 63 touchdowns with only nine interceptions. He also ran for 867 yards and 15 touchdowns. In 2019, Fields became the first quarterback in Big Ten history with 40 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns in the same season; in 2020, he broke Ohio State’s single-season record with a 70.2 completion percentage.
In addition to his work on the field, Justin will always be remembered for the leadership he showed during the fight to bring back Big Ten football. He was at the forefront of that charge and his #WeWantToPlay movement garnered hundreds of thousands of signatures online.
Fields is projected to be a first round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, which begins on April 29 in Cleveland, Ohio. He will likely be the second OSU quarterback selected in the first round over the last three years after Dwayne Haskins was a first round pick of the Washington Football Team in 2019. Art Schlichter was the highest drafted Ohio State quarterback at No. 4 overall 39 years ago.
As for the future, Ohio State’s quarterback room is in good hands with tremendously talented players. Redshirt freshmen C.J. Stroud and Jack Miller, as well as incoming true freshman Kyle McCord, will likely battle for the starting spot next fall. Alongside the issues that plagued the secondary in 2020, determining the next quarterback for Ohio State is the focal point of the offseason.
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