COLUMBUS – A busy offseason for Ohio State quarterbacks in the NCAA transfer portal still isn't complete, and Matthew Baldwin is the latest fit to enter his name in the database.
After just one season with the Buckeyes excited primarily recovering from knee surgery, the Texas native appears to move to and find another place to tap into his strong potential. Ohio State coach Ryan Day confirmed the request on Thursday evening to Lettermen Row
The departure of Baldwin officially clears the deck for Justin Fields to control the offense for Ohio State, but it also leaves the roster short on both depth and experience. Unless the Buckeyes will be able to get a backup transfer to backup fields, the only other scholarship quarterback will be reserve Chris Chugunov who has just two career starts under his belt from his days West Virginia.
Multiple sources familiar with Baldwin's thinking attributed the decision more to be closer to home rather than a concern about future playing time or any issues with the coaching staff. Baldwin famously had his turn at Lone Star State Powerhouse Lake Travis and only started there for a single season, but there is no question that all the changes around him in the quarterback room played a factor in the process of the arrival of Fields, the departure of Tate Martell and Dwayne Haskins declaration for the NFL Draft.
"In high school, I had [Baylor quarterback] Charlie Brewer one year ahead of me, so I had the option my sophomore year to transfer schools," Baldwin said after the Rose Bowl. "That was competition, and I could have ran away from it and gone to get mine, started some other place for some worse school for three years. Matthew Baldwin-Ohio-State-Buckeyes-Ohio State ”
"I've never been someone to shy away from competition. I'm not afraid of competition. I welcome it. The best player is going to play here. There are no politics, and I hope I can be the best player. ”Baldwin made a solid case throughout spring camp, but he probably wasn't going to emerge as the top option for the Buckeyes with Fields around in the short term. That could possibly have been waiting for two years for his shot barring any injuries, although it also created a secure plan for the future of the position with the program with Fields handing off to Baldwin and then potentially 2020 commit Jack Miller down the road.
Instead, Ohio State's plans now and for a years down the road have been thrown into the air, and the transfer portal has again dramatically impacted on the most important position on the field.
because to recruit guys when they're freshmen, sophomores, guys who want to be Buckeyes, build relationships over time, ”Day said earlier this year. “We want to rely on that. However, since there has been a change with this transfer portal, grad transfers becoming available, we are able to adapt, look at those things in order to be competitive.
“At the end of the day what matters is winning championships. ”
The path to another one for the Buckeyes just got a little more complicated without Matthew Baldwin, and the work in the transfer portal likely still not over for the program.