As Ohio State kicks off its official competition for the starting quarterback position, the spotlight shines on the fierce duel between transfer quarterback Will Howard and last year’s backup, Devin Brown. Head coach Ryan Day made it explicitly clear, following last season’s regular conclusion, that there would be no promises for a guaranteed starter, setting the stage for a compelling battle.

Initially, the quarterback competition was expected to include Brown, redshirt freshman Lincoln Kienholz, and incoming true freshman Air Noland. However, the landscape shifted as Ohio State welcomed two additional transfers: graduate senior Will Howard from Kansas State and true freshman Julian Sayin from Alabama. It now appears that Sayin and Noland will contend for third and fourth positions in the depth chart, potentially eyeing a future starting role at Ohio State, while Howard and Brown emerge as the frontrunners for the coveted QB1 spot.

Both Howard and Brown faced the media yesterday, exuding tremendous confidence as they embark on this pivotal journey. Howard, a seasoned veteran with 25 starts for the K-State Wildcats, boasts an overall record of 14-11. Standing at 6’5″ and weighing 240 lbs, Howard is not just a passer; he brings an additional dimension to his game, rushing for 870 yards on 210 carries and scoring a combined 62 touchdowns during his four-year career in Manhattan, Kansas.

In contrast, Brown got his first start last year in the post-season at the Cotton Bowl. Unfortunately, after just two drives, Brown suffered an injury, forcing him to exit the game despite leading the Buckeyes to a 3-0 lead. Kienholz took over but couldn’t generate more offense as Ohio State succumbed to the Missouri Tigers 14-3. Brown, who competed with Kyle McCord last season, battled injuries throughout the year. Despite McCord’s departure, the arrival of Howard and persistent injuries may have complicated Brown’s quest for the starting position. However, Brown remains resolute, insisting that quitting is not in his playbook.

The situation sets the stage for what could be Ohio State’s most intense battle for the starting quarterback position since the memorable clashes between J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones in 2015 or Dwayne Haskins and Joe Burrow in 2018. The competition between Howard and Brown promises to be a defining chapter in the Buckeyes’ quarterback legacy, leaving fans eagerly anticipating the outcome of this high-stakes showdown. As the spring practices unfold and the players leave it all on the field, Ohio State’s coaching staff will have the challenging task of deciding who will lead the team under center in the upcoming season.