Kyle McCord put his name in the NCAA transfer portal as it opened Monday, a major shakeup to Ohio State’s quarterback room, The Dispatch confirmed.
McCord started behind center after he edged Devin Brown in a tight offseason competition that spilled over into the early weeks of the season.
In his debut season as a starter, McCord threw for 3,170 yards with 24 touchdowns and six interceptions as he completed 65.8% of his passes, receiving third-team All-Big Ten recognition last week.
But his status as the starter moving forward was unclear.
Buckeyes coach Ryan Day was noncommittal about McCord remaining the starting quarterback as a senior next season or even for the Cotton Bowl at the end of this month, as he met with reporters at a news conference the previous day.
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“We'll just kind of see how practice goes,” Day said.
Day mentioned all of the passers would have opportunities to compete for reps ahead of the matchup with Missouri on Dec. 29. The Buckeyes have three other scholarship quarterbacks on the roster with Brown, as well as Tristan Gebbia and Lincoln Kienholz.
Gebbia, a seventh-year senior who transferred from Oregon State, is in his last year of eligibility, but Brown and Kienholz are able to return next season, and Air Noland, a five-star quarterback from suburban Atlanta, is also set to sign as part of the 2024 recruiting class in two weeks.
Since Day took over the program from Urban Meyer in 2019, the Buckeyes have been buoyed by premier quarterback play.
But McCord had more ups and downs this fall, especially as an injury to his left ankle appeared to affect him later in the year.
He threw for 271 yards and two touchdowns at Michigan, but was also twice picked off in the 30-24 loss that kept the Buckeyes from reaching the College Football Playoff or winning the Big Ten. The first of the two interceptions proved particularly costly as it occurred as Ohio State was deep in its own territory in the first quarter, setting up to the Wolverines’ first touchdown. The sequence was endemic of slow starts by McCord.
The high point for McCord was a dramatic comeback at Notre Dame in September when he led a game-winning touchdown drive in the final minute, completing a series of passes in critical situations on third and fourth down.
As Day evaluated McCord on Sunday, he said that "there were a lot of really good things" he showed in 2023.
“Kyle got better as the season went on,” Day added. “He had a little bit of those ankle injuries that he worked through. He showed toughness there. Certainly in the Notre Dame game, he played really well down the stretch, so I think there was growth there, for sure. I think he's a good quarterback. I do.
“After every year, you evaluate everything, and we'll try to figure out what to do next, but I think there was a lot of progress made this year.”
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Kyle McCord, Ohio State QB, enters NCAA transfer portal