Justin Fields turned in a strong debut for Ohio State with the 2019 season. After a long wait on the 2020 campaign, what does the junior quarterback have in store next?
Still connected to the program as OSU’s head coach from 2012-18, Urban Meyer took a look at Fields’ growth Monday on Big Ten Network.
“It was throwing, believe or not, that he came in as a dual-threat quarterback — he was a runner that threw very well — now, he is a quarterback that just happens to be Braxton Miller fast, is as electric of a runner as Braxton was,” Meyer said. “That’s what I’m hearing. That’s what I saw. He’s a little thicker than Braxton. What you have — (you wonder how) it’s even possible.
“You have a Braxton Miller athlete that throws like a Dwayne Haskins. And if that’s possible, you’re talking about arguably — you know, I know (Clemson junior quarterback) Trevor Lawrence is there and (junior tight end) Kyle Pitts from Florida who I personally think is the best non-quarterback player in America — you’re talking about the best player in America. If he can actually do what I’m hearing he can do, there’s no stopping this guy.”
Fields already put his name next to a pair of former Ohio State great quarterbacks Miller (2012-15) and Haskins (2016-18) with the 2019 season. He was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy after completing 238 of 354 passes (67.2 percent) with 3,273 yards and 41 touchdowns to three interceptions in 14 games. Fields also attempted 137 rushes for 484 yards (3.5 average) and 10 touchdowns.
What Fields does this year remains to be seen. But based on his Tuesday comments in a teleconference with the media, he sounds hungry for more.
“I want to be the best quarterback in the nation,” Fields said. “The best quarterback in college football and just be the best quarterback I can be. So, that is why I’ve been working so hard in all aspects. You ask yourself what do you want to be and what do you want to accomplish. You want to be the best quarterback, you want to win the national championship and you want to do all of these things with your teammates. So you sit yourself down and say how do I accomplish all of this? How do I get better? You have to kind of write out a plan.”
While the Big Ten is set for a debut this weekend, including No. 5 OSU against Nebraska at noon ET on Saturday, the two non-Buckeye players Meyer mentioned have gotten off to a head start.
Through five games, Lawrence is 108 for 148 (73.0 percent) with 1,544 yards and 15 touchdowns to one interception.
Pitts, meanwhile, is a breakout star of college football with 17 receptions for 274 yards (16.1 average) and seven touchdowns in three games.