Despite presence of Stroud, McCord remains with OSU

Published 12:41 am Saturday, April 9, 2022

By Jim Naveau

COLUMBUS — The transfer portal held no attraction for Kyle McCord, which was very good news for Ohio State football.

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Watching C.J. Stroud throw for 4,435 yards and 44 touchdowns last season and knowing he had OSU’s starting quarterback job locked down for this season would have had many quarterbacks sprinting toward the exits.

The Buckeyes had a ridiculously talented group of quarterbacks last season with Stroud, a pair of 5-star recruits in Quinn Ewers and McCord, and 4-star Jack Miller.

Ewers and Miller departed after the regular season ended but that was never McCord’s plan.

“When those guys made their decisions to leave it kind of cleared up everything,” McCord said on Wednesday.

“I really didn’t think about it (transferring) at all. You just have to see the bigger picture. Do I want to play this year? Yeah, of course. But you have to look at it from a long term perspective,” he said.

“It’s definitely a marathon and not a sprint. Looking at it from the bigger picture, I think you realize how well you’re coached here. That was important to me. I learned a lot. I know a lot of people thought I could have left and started somewhere else this year but in the long term I thought it was the best decision for me to stay here.

“During the season I was just focused on the season and then I let everything work itself out. I wasn’t really thinking about it but I know a lot of people were trying to put words in my mouth.”

McCord claimed the No. 2 quarterback spot in the preseason last year and started against Akron the fourth game when Stroud was held out because of a shoulder injury. He threw for 319 yards and two touchdowns in a 59-7 win over the Zips.

“When I got the green light it was surreal. Looking back on it it was a really cool experience. I think that game was a great learning experience. You can watch film and practice all you want but nothing is like the real deal when you step out there.

“The amount of things I learned starting one game is ridiculous. I think it helped me develop faster,” he said.

McCord says he still is a work in progress but that he is amazed how far he has come since a year ago.

“I was talking Marvin (wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.) about it right before the first spring practice.

“I was talking to him about how this time last year you’re stressing and you hope you remember the plays when you go out there and you don’t know what to expect and then a year later you’re a lot more relaxed and confident,” he said.

“I’m not thinking about the playbook too much. I have everything memorized. You’re more able to focus on the details while you’re playing and everything is moving slower.”

Another thing he says he is not thinking about is how he probably will be Ohio State’s starting quarterback in the 2023 season if Stroud goes to the NFL after this season, as he’s expected to do.

“I’m just worried about right now, getting better every day. I’m not really looking at the future like that,” McCord said.

“It’s easy to get caught up thinking about that and thinking about how after C.J. is gone I could be the guy. But I think the biggest thing right now is focusing on where my feet are now and getting better every day. I’m not going to get better looking at the future and dreaming about it.”