Ohio State offensive coordinator Brian Hartline will have an opportunity to call plays this spring, but coach Ryan Day told reporters on Wednesday he won't decide if he's going to relinquish the playcalling duties this fall for another "few months."
Hartline, 36, also coaches the Buckeyes' wide receivers and was promoted to offensive coordinator in January. While Hartline has developed a reputation as one of the top receivers' coaches in the country, he has never been responsible for calling plays.
Day, who has been directing Ohio State's offense since he was named offensive coordinator in 2017, said he's become more open to the idea of turning over the high-profile responsibility because of increasing non-football related demands of being the head coach, and he wants to take a closer look at his time management. Day said that as he gets deeper into the heart of the season, he wants to make sure he has "enough of a presence going around the building."
"Trying to figure out how to best remedy that, just making sure that I'm evaluating myself as the head coach the right way, and there's a lot of different things that are changing on a daily basis," Day said. "Whether that's giving up the play-calling and let Brian do it or not, we'll decide that here in the next few months probably."
It could be a significant adjustment to Ohio State's offense at a critical time, as the Buckeyes will have one of the most intriguing quarterback competitions in the country this spring. Ohio State is replacing a projected first-round NFL draft pick at quarterback in C.J. Stroud, and was No. 1 in the country last year in yards per play (7.28), No. 2 in scoring average (44.23 points), and No. 9 in yards per game (490.7). Sophomore Kyle McCord and Devin Brown are the frontrunners to replace Stroud, and Day said he hopes to name a starter after spring practice.
"I'm excited to see these two guys compete," Day said. "What an unbelievable opportunity for both of them. When you look at the cast surrounding them, you couldn't be more excited to be quarterback right now."
Day said the biggest difference between the two of them is McCord's additional year of experience. McCord started one game in 2021 as a true freshman, and has 58 total pass attempts. Brown, who joined Ohio State last winter, has 15 snaps in two games, but threw for 4,881 yards and 57 touchdowns as a senior at Corner Canyon High School in Utah.
"It's going to be a heck of a competition," Day. "I'm really looking forward to seeing it. They both have a little bit of a different skill set, and it's going to be fun to watch them compete this spring. I hope one of them emerges and we can name a starter, I really do, because I think the way that our dynamic is, it would be great for our program to be able to do that."