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Day leaning toward Stroud as Buckeyes’ starting QB

Jim Naveau
jnaveau@limanews.com

COLUMBUS — It fell short of an announcement but what Ryan Day said about Ohio State’s quarterback situation on Monday sounded like a pretty strong indication of what direction it is headed.
“We’re not going to name a starter today but I really think there has been a little bit of separation. C.J. has separated a little bit here in the last couple weeks,” Day said on Monday about C.J. Stroud, who has been presumed to be the front runner since spring practice.
“We’ll see what this week brings. We’re not making any decisions right now but we have seen some separation,” Day said.
Asked what had created this separation, Day said, “I don’t think it’s one thing. We’ve had 26 practices when you include the spring, 11 here in the preseason. It’s just a body of work over time.
“Every day he (Stroud) has been competing, he has been taking care of the football, making good decisions and he has been a leader. Those are all things that are traits we’re looking for. And certainly moving the team down the field for touchdowns is something we look for.”
With 5-star freshman Quin Ewers arriving at Ohio State on Saturday, Day talked about him, too.
“He has a tremendous amount of talent. We actually offered him in eighth grade. We saw him at an early age. We kept recruiting him and built that relationship.”
As to when Ewers might get on the field, Day said, “We’ve got a game here in 17 days,” Day said.
“We’ve got to get those other guys ready first, and we’ll bring him along as this thing goes.”
Some other thoughts from Day:
• Three-year starter at left tackle Thayer Munford has missed practice time because of an unspecified injury.
“He didn’t really practice all that much over the last few days, but Thayer has been doing great,” Day said. “He’s had a great offseason.”
• He liked what he saw from the defense in last Saturday’s scrimmage.
“I was impressed with our young corners. I thought it was really well done up front. There was a lot of energy. I thought we tackled OK. It’s not perfect. But it was competitive, there was energy and it was a big step for our defense,” said Day.
• Three highly rated young receivers will get playing time.
“Julian (Fleming) has had a really good camp. Marvin (Harrison Jr.) has played really well. Emeka (Egbuka) has played well. Those guys are going to get in the game,” Day said.
• Day’s optimistic about linebacker Palaie Gaoteote, a transfer from USC, being approved by the NCAA.
“He has applied for a waiver from the NCAA. He has taken some classes this summer. He was in a very, very tough spot from COVID. Not to get into his family situation but it was hard for him. We’re very optimistic the NCAA will grant his waiver to allow him to play this season. We’re really hoping it works out for him.”