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May 19, 2024

Former Kansas State QB Will Howard Commits to Ohio State, Looks to Compete for Starting Job

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Jan 5, 2024

Introduction

In a move that will have major implications for the Ohio State football program going forward, former Kansas State quarterback Will Howard announced Thursday that he is transferring to Ohio State. Howard entered the transfer portal last month after three seasons at Kansas State and chose the Buckeyes over other top suitors like USC and Miami.

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Howard was a multi-year starter for the Wildcats and will look to compete for the starting quarterback job at Ohio State after the departure of Kyle McCord to Syracuse. He brings plenty of big-game experience to Columbus as well as an impressive dual-threat skillset.

Background on Will Howard

Howard was a highly-touted 4-star recruit coming out of high school in Pennsylvania in the class of 2020. He chose Kansas State over offers from programs like Virginia Tech, Pitt, Boston College and others.

After redshirting his first year, Howard took over as the starter midway through his redshirt freshman season in 2021. Over parts of three seasons as the starter, he threw for over 4,500 yards with 31 touchdowns and 19 interceptions while completing 61% of his passes.

One of Howard’s best attributes is his running ability, as evidenced by his 11 career rushing touchdowns and over 700 career rushing yards. He has the speed and elusiveness to make plays with his legs both on designed runs and when scrambling.

Howard enters Ohio State with two years of eligibility remaining. The Buckeyes needed an influx of talent and depth at the quarterback position after the departure of McCord, combined with Devin Brown still being relatively inexperienced.

Will Howard Career Stats
Completion % 61.0%
Passing Yards 4,520
Passing TDs 31
INTs 19
Rushing Yards 709
Rushing TDs 11

Where Howard Fits In at Ohio State

Ryan Day’s offense places a premium on having a quarterback who can beat defenses both through the air and on the ground. Howard’s skillset makes him an intriguing fit for that scheme.

While he likely won’t be handed the starting job, Howard will have every opportunity to compete with Devin Brown and others this offseason and try to win that QB1 role. His combination of experience and playmaking ability gives him a great chance to make an immediate impact.

If Howard does win the job, he would take over an Ohio State offense that is loaded with talent at the skill positions. With elite receivers like Marvin Harrison Jr. and running back TreVeyon Henderson surrounding him with talent, Howard would have plenty of weapons to utilize right away. He’d be supported by an offensive line that is expected to remain one of the best groups in the country as well.

The big question will be if Howard can beat out Brown, who showed real promise in limited action as a true freshman last season. Brown completed over 70% of his passes and threw 4 touchdowns without an interception. If Brown takes another step forward, he’ll be tough to unseat.

What This Means for Ohio State Going Forward

Regardless of whether he starts or not, Howard gives Ohio State some much-needed experience and depth at the quarterback position at a crucial time. The Buckeyes should feel much better about their QB outlook over the next couple seasons.

In the big picture, this move signals that Ohio State will likely continue to be ultra-aggressive about addressing roster needs through the transfer portal. After losing quarterback Quinn Ewers to Texas via transfer last offseason, the Buckeyes learned the hard way how costly it can be to not have depth at key positions.

Now with Howard in the fold, Ohio State has a capable veteran to turn to if Brown suffers any growing pains or injuries over the next two seasons. And if Howard does lock down the starting job, the Buckeyes could take yet another step forward offensively and remain a top national title contender.

What’s Next

All eyes will be on Howard as he gets to Columbus and competes with Brown and the other quarterbacks this offseason. It likely will be a close battle that could stretch well into fall camp.

Ohio State opens the 2024 season on August 31st against a tough Notre Dame team. This quarterback competition figures to be one of the biggest national storylines going into the college football season.

If Howard impresses enough to win that week 1 start against the Fighting Irish, it would send expectations for Ohio State’s season sky-high. But regardless of who starts, the Buckeyes are adding an accomplished player and leader in Howard who makes their quarterback room decidedly better.

Conclusion

The rich appear poised to get even richer at the quarterback position in Columbus. Will Howard’s transfer to Ohio State has major short-term and long-term implications that could shift the balance of power both in the Big Ten and nationally.

After losing a five-star quarterback in McCord, the Buckeyes wasted no time adding Howard as an experienced potential replacement with proven production. It remains to be seen if he or Brown will get the keys to Ohio State’s loaded offense, but Howard’s transfer undoubtedly makes them a more dangerous team.

Rival coaches surely can’t be happy to see Ohio State and Ryan Day land yet another high-profile transfer quarterback. But Buckeye fans have plenty of reasons to be excited about what Howard brings to the table as Ohio State looks to make another run at the College Football Playoff.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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