The Ohio State Buckeyes replaced Dwayne Haskins with sophomore transfer Justin Fields, who came from Georgia shortly after the College Football season.
Fields has not played much against big opponents, and in the last important game we saw him in against Alabama, he was used to attempt a fake punt as a runner and got tackled for a loss.
As a dual-threat quarterback, he will be running a lot as well as throwing, which leaves a higher risk of injury. This raises the question: what happens to Ohio State if Fields gets injured?
Justin Fields went 4-of-13 for 131 yards in Ohio State’s spring game, with 98 coming on one pass.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) April 13, 2019
Fields is the clear favorite to begin the season under center for the Buckeyes. As a former No. 1 recruit, Fields offers much potential, but also a significant risk.
After the news that Matthew Baldwin has entered the transfer portal, one look at the depth chart shows OSU is thin at the position behind Fields, which could prove to be a problem.
Interesting development here from Ohio State. The QB from Texas has been battling transfer Justin Fields for the starting job and figures (or figured) to become the Buckeyes back-up. https://t.co/EV1FyLI1YV— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) April 18, 2019
Baldwin was in a position battle with Fields for the starting job, as it was reported that both QBs were getting equal opportunities through the spring game.
The natural inclination of course is to believe that Baldwin’s decision to leave is tied exclusively to Justin Fields being the presumptive started but I really think it’s most about just not being a kid that loves being so far from his home.— Jeremy Birmingham (@Birm) April 18, 2019
Whether it is because of Fields or not, the bottom line is that if he ends up transferring (and he doesn't have to even though he entered the transfer portal), it will leave a gaping hole if Fields goes down with an injury.
The next in line behind Baldwin would be senior transfer from West Virginia, Chris Chugunov, who was redshirted following his transfer to OSU. He served as the backup quarterback for WVU two seasons ago, and has only appeared in 10 games.
If Matthew Baldwin transfers, Ohio State's quarterback roster will be down to just three players: Justin Fields, Chris Chugunov and Danny Vanatsky. Buckeyes will need to bring in a transfer, but Justin Fields is their clear-cut starter and right now, there's not much behind him.— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) April 18, 2019
The quarterback behind Chugunov is preferred walk-on Danny Vanatsky, who is a sophomore but did not appear in a game in his first season at Ohio State last season. This is clearly not the best depth at the most important position on a football team.
If Fields stays healthy, there will be nothing to worry about for the Buckeyes. Still, it's always best to have insurance.