COLUMBUS — After starting all 12 games of the regular season for Ohio State, quarterback Kyle McCord entered the transfer portal on Monday morning.
A former top-50 overall recruit in the 2020 recruiting class, McCord sat behind C.J. Stroud for two years before edging out Devin Brown in camp this past summer to get the starting nod from head coach Ryan Day. The results were solid if not spectacular as McCord threw for 3,170 yards, 24 touchdowns, and six interceptions while completing 65% of his passes.
In his apparent final game as a Buckeye, McCord threw for 271 yards and two touchdowns but also threw two costly interceptions in a 30-24 loss to Michigan that dashed Ohio State’s Big Ten and national championship hopes.
Speaking with the media after Sunday’s bowl selection, Day was asked directly about McCord’s status as the starter leading into next season. Day had previously mentioned the likelihood of Brown and true freshman Lincoln Keinholz seeing increased reps during bowl preparation, as is typically the case, and he was noncommittal to McCord as the leader of the offense long-term.
“I think that’s kind of a long way away right now,” Day said of the decision on next year’s starter. “We’ll have a practice coming up this weekend, and the guys will get out there and compete and grind, and we’ll take it from there. I can’t sit here and tell you I know for sure about any of those things right now, but everyone’s going to have an opportunity to compete and get after it during bowl practice, and then when it’s time to go play in the game, we’ll figure out who should get the reps and go from there. So, I don’t really have a great answer for that just yet.”
While he wasn’t ready to commit to McCord next season, Day was complimentary of his growth throughout the season, noting McCord did “some really good things this year.”
“I think he started at the beginning of the year and you could see some of the good things that were going on, and I think Kyle got better as the season went on,” Day said. “He had a little bit of those ankle injuries he worked through and showed toughness there. Certainly, in the Notre Dame game, he played really well down the stretch. I think there was growth there for sure, and I think he is a good quarterback, I do. After every year, you kind of evaluate everything and try to figure out what to do next. But I think there was a lot of progress made this year.”
With McCord now seemingly on his way out of Columbus, the same question that dominated Ohio State’s offseason last year becomes the central focus once again for the Buckeyes heading into an already critical offseason for the program. The transfer portal presents one possible option for Day to utilize with several high-profile quarterbacks already on the market. Day said on Sunday the portal has become engrained into the shaping of a roster in today’s college football landscape, and Ohio State will continue to embrace it.
“I think, early on, it was you use (the portal) when you need to,” Day said. “But the way things are now, I just think, year in and year out, the majority of teams are going to see turnover. We’ll have guys enter the portal. There will be a lot of guys in the portal starting tomorrow, so you have to construct your roster on a yearly basis, and that’s what we’re going to do. It’s no longer a question of are you going to use the portal or not. That’s part of college football…”
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.