Facing the possibility of sitting as a backup for a third season at Ohio State, quarterback Joe Burrow on Tuesday announced his intention to transfer.
The decision from the redshirt junior, delivered via Twitter , wasn’t unexpected, although he didn’t disclose where he was headed. With Dwayne Haskins Jr. the favorite to start in the fall, Burrow previously acknowledged that a transfer was possible.
Because he graduated from Ohio State on Sunday, the dual-threat quarterback can transfer as a graduate student and play immediately. He has two years of eligibility remaining.
“After weeks of struggling with this decision, I have decided to leave Ohio State and explore other options,” Burrow tweeted. “My teammates and coaches all know the love I feel for them. I will decide where I will play next year in the coming weeks.”
An Ohio State spokesman said coach Urban Meyer had no immediate comment.
Burrow spent 2016, his redshirt freshman year, as the backup to the now-departed J.T. Barrett, playing in five games in mop-up duty and completing 22 of 28 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns. He broke his throwing hand just before the season last year, allowing Haskins to leap over him as the No. 2 quarterback. After he healed, he got few snaps the rest of the way.
Haskins seemed to cement his status as the heir apparent by coming off the bench for the injured Barrett and winning the Michigan game, completing 6 of 7 passes for 94 yards in the 31-20 victory.
Burrow bested Haskins in the spring game last month. Afterward, Meyer said the competition among Haskins, Burrow and redshirt freshman Tate Martell was close, and he hoped all three would still be there to continue it in fall camp.
Meyer said during spring practice that he would try to give Burrow an assessment of his chances to be the starter at the end of spring so the quarterback could make a decision about his future.
“I came here to play, I didn’t come here to sit on the bench for four years,” Burrow said after completing 15 of 22 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns. “I’m a pretty darn good quarterback, I want to play somewhere.”
Burrow, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound former Ohio Mr. Football, grew up in Athens, where his father, Jimmy, is the longtime defensive coordinator for coach Frank Solich at Ohio University.
Burrow’s decision removes most of the drama from an anticipated quarterback derby in fall training camp. Haskins almost certainly will be No. 1, possibly with some packages to feature the fleet and slippery Martell.
After Burrow’s announcement, Haskins tweeted : “Good luck to you brotha! Appreciate you for making me better, see you at the top.”