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C.J. Stroud, Marvin Harrison Jr. Stand Out in Ohio State's 2021 Spring Game

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 17, 2021

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud drops back to pass during the Buckeyes' spring NCAA college football game in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, April 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)
Paul Vernon/Associated Press

The Ohio State Buckeyes held their intra-squad spring game on Saturday, with Team Brutus taking on Team Buckeye. The scrimmage didn't feature live tackling and had a controlled second half, but football is back in full swing in Columbus nonetheless, and the game had almost 20,000 fans in attendance. 

A number of young players made a nice impact Saturday, including freshman receivers Emeka Egbuka (seven catches) and Marvin Harrison Jr. (touchdown reception), the son of NFL Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison. 

Ohio State Football @OhioStateFB

🙌 @CJ7STROUD ➡️ @MarvHarrisonJr #GoBuckeyes https://t.co/V5V7x5KUF3

Ohio State and a loaded group of talented wideouts, name a more iconic duo. 

As for the quarterback competition, here's how Ohio State's three freshmen looked (stats via the Big Ten Network broadcast):

  • C.J. Stroud: 16-of-22 for 185 yards and two scores.
  • Jack Miller III: 17-of-30 for 128 yards and an interception.
  • Kyle McCord: 12-of-17 for 184 yards and two touchdowns.

Ohio State's quarterback competition is arguably the biggest storyline of its 2021 season, and Stroud looks like the frontrunner to replace the NFL-bound Justin Fields. But we're still a long way from the start of the regular season in early September. 

Ohio State on BTN @OhioStateOnBTN

"This is just another piece to the puzzle. We're not gonna know who the starting quarterback is coming out of today." https://t.co/t8UkQKXb4c

All three had nice moments in the contest, with Stroud and McCord finding the end zone. 

Ohio State Football @OhioStateFB

You know how it goes 💁‍♂️ @jaxon_smith1 #GoBuckeyes https://t.co/XyyaFTtBYx

Veterans like wideout Garrett Wilson and cornerback Ryan Watts also had standout moments:

Ohio State Football @OhioStateFB

Circus catches for @GarrettWilson_V ain’t hard, but you already know that. #GoBuckeyes https://t.co/kcbE0GTNkn

Ohio State Football @OhioStateFB

.@theryanwatts taking what’s his 😤 #GoBuckeyes https://t.co/V08gyHFNoT

Defensive lineman Jack Sawyer also had an impressive showing, with a number of "sacks" in the contest (he only had to get a hand on the quarterback to register a sack, but he consistently generated pressure regardless). 

While it's hard to glean too much information from the spring game, there's no doubt Ohio State returns a ton of talent from last season's national title runners-up, but losing Fields casts a huge question mark over the quarterback position. 

Dan Hope @Dan_Hope

Following a 5-yard touchdown pass to Chris Olave, C.J. Stroud is now 11-15 for 127 yards and two touchdowns today. He was already viewed as the frontrunner to start at quarterback going into today, and that hasn't changed yet.

Austin Ward @AWardSports

I know this is just a spring game ... but C.J. Stroud has had the edge throughout camp, and I think it's pretty clear he's going to be the starting quarterback for Ohio State.

Stroud looked good on Saturday, and he appears to be in pole position to be under center at the start of the season. But again, September is still a little less than five months away. A lot can change over the summer. 

The hope in Columbus, one way or another, is that one of the school's young quarterbacks will seize the starting gig and hit the ground running. 

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