For the past two college football seasons, Justin Fields emerged as one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the Ohio State Buckeyes. He is now hoping to become one of the top quarterbacks selected in the 2021 NFL draft. However, many people have speculated whether Fields could actually do well in the NFL. This is due to the fact that in recent history, Ohio state quarterbacks have consistently not played well when they got to the pros. However, Fields recently addressed this issue.
Ohio State quarterbacks have fought in the NFL
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For the past two decades, Ohio state quarterbacks have had no real success in the NFL. (This doesn’t apply to Joe Burrow as he was never the starter in the state of Ohio and was then transferred to LSU.)
In 2001, Steve Bellisari threw 5,558 yards, 33 touchdowns and 28 interceptions during his OSU career. However, he never played in an NFL game. After Bellisari, Craig Krenzel, who led the Buckeyes to a national championship in the 2002 season, went to the Bears in the fifth round of the 2004 NFL Draft. He only appeared in six career NFL games.
Many people then thought that Troy Smith could make it into the pros when he won a Heisman Trophy in Ohio State. However, Smith threw only 1,734 yards, eight touchdowns and five interceptions during his NFL career.
After Smith’s legendary career at OSU, Todd Boeckman started for the Buckeyes, followed by Terrelle Pryor and Braxton Miller. Boeckman never played in the league, and Pryor and Miller both played wide receivers in the NFL. The Buckeyes then also had Cardale Jones, who led Ohio State to a national championship. However, Jones threw only 11 career NFL passes. JT Barrett, Ohio State’s all-time leader in handing over yards and touchdowns, played for the Buckeyes at the same time as Miller and Jones. But he also didn’t play a game in the league.
After Barrett’s career at OSU, Dwayne Haskins became the Ohio State starter. He even went to the Washington Football team in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft. However, Haskins struggled in his first two seasons and saw the Washington Football team that drafted him with the 15th overall win cut him off in his sophomore season.
Now we turn to Justin Fields, who became the starter in Ohio State after Haskins.
Justin Fields responded to Ohio State’s lack of QB success in the NFL
Ohio State Buckeyes’ Justin Fields looks to Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images during the national championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide on January 11, 2021
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Justin Fields recently addressed the perception that Ohio state quarterbacks can’t succeed in the NFL and made it known that he’s not the guy who came before him.
“I don’t know these people personally. I don’t know their work ethic, ”Fields said, according to CBS Sports.
He continued, “I don’t know what they were taught. I know what Dwayne (Haskins) was taught was a little like the coach [Ryan] The day taught me. But honestly, I think I’m different from these guys. I know my work ethic is second to none, and just my dedication and passion for wanting to be great is just another level. Regarding the past quarterbacks, I can’t control that. The only resemblance I and these guys have is that we wore the same uniform. If that’s what they want to say, it’s up to them. I will focus on myself and focus on getting better at every aspect of the game. “
That’s probably exactly what NFL teams want to hear, and Fields is 100% right. He’s not those people. Fields has also proven this over the past two seasons in the state of Ohio.
Justin Fields was amazing in Ohio State
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After Justin Fields spent the 2018 season in Georgia, he moved to the state of Ohio in 2019. He also proved to be one of the best quarterbacks in the country this season. Fields threw 3,273 yards, 41 touchdowns and only three interceptions in 2019. He also ran 484 yards and 10 touchdowns. Fields’ game helped the state of Ohio set an unbeaten record in this year’s regular season and college football playoffs.
In 2020, Fields played fewer games due to COVID-19, but he still had an excellent season. He threw for 2,100 yards, 22 touchdowns, and six interceptions in eight games. Fields also led Ohio State back to the CFP and a semi-final victory over Clemson to advance to the national championship game. Fields also had an incredible game in that semifinals, throwing 385 yards and six touchdowns.
Justin Fields had an incredible career in Ohio State. It almost goes without saying that he should do better in the NFL than any of the Ohio State QBs who came before him.
Statistics courtesy of Sports Reference and Pro Football Reference