Considering Ohio State’s long and successful history, saying QB Justin Fields is the best Ohio State quarterback of all time might be a hot take. Fields will never have a storied career like JT Barrett or the record-breaking season like Dwayne Haskins. We still don’t know if he will ever win a Heisman like Troy Smith or win a championship like Cardale Jones and Smith. However, he may have the most talent out of all of them. As Urban Meyer described him, “Imagine Braxton Miller’s speed, Dwayne Haskins throwing the ball.” Quite the comparison coming from quite the coach.
What Fields has going for him is that his season and career aren’t over yet. It’s expected he will be leaving after this year, so they will both end simultaneously. He still has some of the best odds to win a Heisman and a championship this year.
He also has a good chance of breaking an all-time record. If he continues his success in passing completion percentage, he will finish with the best percentage in a season and career. After completing 24 for 28 passes against Rutgers, his completion percentage improves to 86.7% this season and 70.8% in his career. Currently, QB Colt McCoy holds the season record with 76.67% in 2008. The record includes a minimum of 150 passing attempts, which Fields would pass even in a shortened season. Even if Fields declines, he still has 10% flexibility. The career record goes to QB Colt Brennan with 70.4%, meaning Fields has less leeway to earn this record.
As far as Ohio State franchise records, Fields has fewer chances to stand out as only a two-season (one shortened) quarterback. He projects to finish top-five in career passing yards and second in career passing touchdowns at his pace. As far as a single-season, he had the third-most passing yards and second-most passing touchdowns last year. Even in this short-season, he has a legitimate chance to beat his 2019 season in yards and touchdowns. Factor in his rushing success, he projects to finish at least sixth in total career offensive yards, two top-10 total offensive yard seasons and at least fourth in total offensive touchdowns.
Quite a resume, if I say so myself.
Lastly, the best Ohio State quarterback needs to be great in the NFL, too. Not only does it encourage other quarterback recruits to come to Ohio State, but it also gives the program a good look. Seeing that he hasn’t even finished his collegiate season, it’s tough to provide an opinion on this. However, it’s very possible Fields is drafted as the highest Ohio State quarterback ever. Art Schlichter currently holds that title as he was drafted fourth overall by the Baltimore Colts in 1982. Based on current mock drafts, Fields has great odds to take over this record.
The season and career are not over yet for Fields, so a lot can still happen. However, I think there is a very strong case to support the idea of Justin Fields being the best Ohio State quarterback of all time. Either way, Go Bucks!