Justin Fields Named Ohio State Starting QB over Gunnar Hoak, Chris Chugunov

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 19, 2019

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 01:  Justin Fields #1 of the Georgia Bulldogs runs with the ball in the first half against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 2018 SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 1, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Quarterback Justin Fields will lead the 2019 Ohio State Buckeyes onto the field for their 2019 season opener against Florida Atlantic, according to head coach Ryan Day.

The first-year leader of the OSU program announced the move to reporters (h/t Nathan Baird of Cleveland.com) on Monday.

"[Fields] envisioned himself being the starter, and now he has to go run with it," said Day, who also recognized that "the expectations are almost ridiculous."

Per Bill Rabinowitz of the Columbus Dispatch, Day said the backup quarterback spot is not set in stone.  Gunner Hoak and Chris Chugunov, who are in their graduate years after transferring from Kentucky and West Virginia, respectively, are the top options.

Fields played his freshman season at Georgia in 2018, completing 27 of 39 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns in limited action behind starter Jake Fromm. He also ran for 266 yards and four more scores on 42 carries. The signal-caller transferred to OSU after the season.

Day wasn't kidding when he said the Buckeyes still have great expectations despite quarterback Dwayne Haskins jumping to the NFL and head coach Urban Meyer retiring.

The preseason Associated Press poll has OSU listed at fifth in the nation and ahead of every Big Ten team.

The talent is certainly there for Ohio State to win another Big Ten title and threaten for a College Football Playoff appearance.

Of note, Fields was 247Sports' second-highest ranked player overall in the class of 2018, and he'll be joined in the backfield by J.K. Dobbins.

The junior running back's production dropped from his freshman to sophomore years, but he still ran for 4.6 yards per carry and amassed 1,316 scrimmage yards and 12 scores.

On defense, edge-rusher Chase Young is Matt Miller of Bleacher Report's No. 1 overall pick in his way-too-early 2020 NFL mock draft. His 10.5 sacks led the team.

The Buckeyes also have a very manageable schedule, with only one game against a team ranked in the top 14 in the nation leading into this year. Granted, that one game could be very tough, as it's a road matchup versus arch rival No. 7 Michigan.

Still, OSU has three other ranked opponents at home and only one other (No. 24 Nebraska) on the road.

Day, Fields and the Buckeyes will kick off their season Saturday, August 31, against FAU at noon at Ohio Stadium.