COLUMBUS, Ohio — New Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields said Wednesday that he picked the Buckeyes as his new home because of the team’s offensive success and the probability that they will help him get to the NFL.
Fields, a former five-star recruit, left Georgia this December after playing in a back-up role during his freshman season. He declined Wednesday to talk about his reasons for leaving the Bulldogs but said he considered a few other colleges before making a “business decision” to go to Ohio State and play for new head coach Ryan Day.
“Coach Day, he’s been in the NFL. He knows what it takes to get quarterbacks to the NFL,” Fields said. “…I was just worried about the best place to develop me for the next level. That’s the main thing I was looking for.”
Ohio State has submitted a waiver request to the NCAA that would allow Fields to play during the 2019 season, skipping the usual one-year waiting period for athletes who change schools before graduating. Fields declined to discuss the details of the argument he and his attorney are making to the NCAA to receive that waiver. He said he wasn’t sure how good of a chance he had to play in 2019 but was hopeful that it would come soon. Attorney Tom Mars told reporters earlier this week that they were expecting to learn about Fields’ eligibility in the near future.
“I’m not really anxious. I’m not really rushing anything,” Fields said. “I don’t really control that — they do. I’m just trying to get here to be the best quarterback I can be.”
Fields said watching his friend Dwayne Haskins set program and conference records during the 2018 season was a big reason why he landed at Ohio State. Haskins is projected to be a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft. Fields said he wants to duplicate Haskins’ production and thinks the Buckeyes’ offensive scheme and the talented group of wide receivers at the school provide the support he’ll need to put up big numbers.
“I see myself using my legs a little bit more than Dwayne did last year,” Fields said. “[But] I’m here to do whatever Coach Day asks me to do and whatever is best for the team.”
Fields said he has spent the last month diving into the Ohio State playbook and learning the offense alongside new quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich, who also joined the team in January. Fields said he doesn’t know the entire playbook yet, but his daily sessions with Yurcich and other coaches have helped him understand the parts he has digested thus far.