Ohio State’s Ryan Day explains how QB contest might be won

COLUMBUS — After explaining why he has not chosen a starting quarterback yet, Ohio State football coach Ryan Day offered some clues about how he might yet do it.

“If it’s all equal you want the guy that has ‘it,’ the guy that’s the leader,” Day said. “The guy that is leading men into the end zone, that can rally the team or can find a way to go dive into the end zone on fourth down. You think about some of the quarterbacks we’ve had, some of the big plays we’ve had in games, that’s what you need in a quarterback, somebody you can rally around.

“So if all things are equal, we want the better leader, the better decision-maker and ultimately the best competitor because playing quarterback is constantly competing. There’s going to be good days and bad. You have to be resilient as we all know, so those are all things that are in consideration.”

Does that favor junior Kyle McCord or redshirt freshman Devin Brown?

Perhaps if Day knew the answer to that question, he would have named one of them a starter already, but he did acknowledge seeming some differences between the two in that area.

“They both have different personalities,” Day said. “Kyle has built relationships in the locker room and outside the (Woody Hayes Athletic Center) here for three years, and he’s got a good group. Guys really rally around Kyle, and they believe in him. They trust in him, they know who he is.

“Devin has really in the last six months stepped up in that area. He’s got a lot of juice. He takes command on the field. You can feel that when he’s out there, so both a little bit different styles.”

Day conceding he sees different leadership qualities in each player was somewhat surprising since he has played this and past quarterback battles close to the vest, but he followed up by saying he hasn’t seen the differences play out on the field yet.

“I’ve been watching to see how the team rallies around each of them. I don’t quite feel it’s one way or the other,” Day said. “I think they’re out there practicing. I think as we get closer to the game and start playing in games, you might feel that more, but right now I think if you asked our players, they believe in both of those guys.”

The Sept. 2 season-opening game at Indiana is growing closer, but Day seems intent on taking advantage of however much time between now and then he can get — or maybe more if both play meaningful snaps against the Hoosiers.

As for practice, Day said both have at least met the minimum requirements,

“What are we seeing in practice? First off, in the run game I feel like they have a pretty good handle on what we’re doing,” Day said. “In the passing game, I think they’ve done a nice job of making good decisions. I think they’re getting more comfortable being in the pocket and getting the timing of the passing game. That’s not something that just happens, but I think both of those guys are starting to really feel that rush and anticipate what’s going on.”

He also noted both led impressive two-minute drills during a Saturday scrimmage he hoped would produce some separation.

It did not, but that could be because he just wants to see more at a place where the Big Ten’s Quarterback of the Year has resided seven seasons in a row and 10 times since 2012.

“I feel good that we have a good quarterback that we’re going to develop and continue to build on,” Day said. “I think we have confidence that these guys can go in and play at a high level. Now, how high? We have pretty high expectations around here. I think that’s where we’re not sure, but I would say that we feel good with both of them right now.”

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