Ohio State football: Transfer QB interested in Buckeyes

Credit: Joe Scarnici

Credit: Joe Scarnici

Ohio State needs a quarterback.

Nick Starkel needs a team.

Could they end up together?

The Eagle of Bryan, Texas, reports Starkel is interested in Ohio State along with Duke, SMU and Arizona after announcing he plans to leave Texas A&M upon graduating this summer.

That does not necessarily mean Ohio State is interested in him, but there is no doubt Buckeyes coach Ryan Day would like to add another quarterback before the 2019 season starts.

He currently has three on scholarship — sophomore Justin Fields, redshirt freshman Matthew Baldwin and senior Chris Chugunov — but prefers to have four at all times.

Fields, a 2018 five-star recruit who transferred from Georgia earlier this month, is the perceived front-runner for the starting job vacated when Dwayne Haskins decided to go pro early, but there is a caveat.

Fields has to obtain a waiver from the NCAA to be able to play right away (rather than sit out a year). While his lawyer has expressed optimism that will happen, it is no sure thing.

>>READ MORE on the Fields situation

Baldwin was a highly regarded prospect coming out of Texas a year ago, but his recovery from a knee injury slowed his progress last season while Chugunov is a grad transfer from West Virginia who was brought in mostly for depth late last summer.

Ohio State could still sign a quarterback from the 2019 class, but the pickings there are slim as most of the highest-rated prospects locked in their choices during the early signing period in December.

» MORE ON BUCKEYES: Sheffield to NFLJosh Myers ready for major roleBlue Smith overcomes slow start at OSU

As for Starkel, he was a 247Sports Composite three-star prospect at Liberty Christian in Argyle, Texas, in 2016.

The No. 21 pro-style quarterback in his class, he chose the Aggies from an offer list that also included Oklahoma State and UCLA according to 247Sports.com.

The Eagle explains why he is leaving:

Starkel was named the Aggie starter to start the 2017 season under former head coach Kevin Sumlin, but broke an ankle in the opener against UCLA that kept him sidelined until A&M's 35-14 loss to Mississippi State on Oct. 28, 2017. He threw for 1,793 yards and 14 touchdowns as a redshirt freshman.

In 2018, true sophomore quarterback Kellen Mond beat out Starkel to run (new coach Jimbo) Fisher's pro-style offense. Mond started every game, throwing for 3,107 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Sumlin now being the coach at Arizona explains his interest in the Wildcats, but he did not explain what about the other schools on his list caught his eye.

His interest in Ohio State is ironic, however, because the Buckeyes' need for a quarterback heightened when Tate Martell transferred to Miami (Fla.) last week.

>>READ MORE: Signal-caller moving on after two years in Columbus

As noted by TheOzone.net and ElevenWarriors.com, Martell famously dissed Starkel when Martell was committed to the Aggies as a high schooler himself.

When Martell, a composite four-star member of the 2017 class who played high school ball in Las Vegas, announced he was de-committing from TAMU (before ultimately signing with Ohio State), Starkel shared a screenshot of a Twitter DM he received in which Martell called him “ass.”

Now after preceding Martell at Texas A&M, Starkel could follow him at Ohio State.

However, it remains to be seen if anything will come of his interest.

Aside from Day and his staff needing to reciprocate, there is a matter of eligibility.

While Starkel will be able to play right away this fall as a grad transfer, his reason for leaving TAMU is Aggies starter Kellen Mond having two year of eligibility left.

If Fields is granted a waiver by the NCAA and wins the starting job this year, Starkel could find himself in the same situation.

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