COLUMBUS, Ohio (CBS Sports) - The worst-kept secret of the offseason is no longer a secret. Ohio State coach Ryan Day announced Monday that Justin Fields will be the Buckeyes starting quarterback for the 2019 season. Fields, a sophomore who transferred from Georgia following his freshman season, beat out former Kentucky signal-caller Gunnar Hoak for the top spot on the depth chart.
Ryan Day officially names Justin Fields as the starter.— Ari Wasserman (@AriWasserman) August 19, 2019
Fields beat out Hoak after former Buckeyes quarterbacks Tate Martell (Miami) and Matthew Baldwin (TCU) left the program in the offseason. Fields went 4 of 13 for 131 yards and one touchdown in Ohio State's spring game, with his lone touchdown pass coming on a 98-yarder to Binjimen Victor in the second quarter.
Fields threw for 328 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions as a freshman at Georgia while serving as Jake Fromm's backup. The dual-threat weapon added 266 rushing yards and four more touchdowns on the ground. He was named the SEC Freshman of the Week for his performance in a win over UMass on Nov. 17, 2018, throwing for 121 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 100 yards and another touchdown in the 66-27 win.
He signed with Georgia as one of the most heralded signees in program history. The 6-foot-3, 223-pounder was a five-star prospect and the No. 2 overall player in the country in the class of 2018 behind current Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. He threw for 4,448 yards and 44 touchdowns while gaining 2,131 rushing yards and scoring 30 times on the ground in two seasons as the starter at Harrison High School in Kennesaw, Georgia. He was named MVP of the Elite 11 quarterback camp in the summer of 2017.
Fields and the Buckeyes will open the 2019 season at home on Aug. 31 at noon ET vs. FAU.