As Ohio State opens training camp, QB competition between McCord and Brown continues

Columbus Dispatch
The position battle that is at the forefront of most Ohio State fans’ minds enters the final stretch Thursday when training camp opens.
The daily conjecture about who’s ahead or behind might consume Buckeye Nation. Based on their words Wednesday, it is not the focus of the quarterbacks involved.
Kyle McCord and Devin Brown are competing to succeed C.J. Stroud as Ohio State’s quarterback. Buckeye coach Ryan Day has taken pains to say neither quarterback enters camp as the favorite.
Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Kyle McCord talks to wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. during Ohio State football’s pro day at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus on March 22, 2023.
“None of that's even crossed my mind,” Brown said. “I'm just trying to go out there and help this team win. Whoever it is, we're just trying to be the best versions of ourselves every day. At the end of a practice, we're not going to be like, ‘Oh, he did better than me this day.’ It’s ‘How did I perform? What did I get better at today?’”
McCord, a junior, started the Akron game as a freshman and was Stroud’s top backup last year. Brown didn’t throw a pass as a true freshman last year.
Brown’s spring practice ended a week early when he broke the pinky finger on his throwing hand. He is fully healthy now, as are the other players who missed or were limited in the spring, according to Day.
“We’re at full strength,” he said.
Day said the ideal situation would be to have a starting quarterback emerge after the first week or two of training camp. The opener at Indiana is Sept. 2.
“The good thing about both of these guys is they've been in the system for a little while,” Day said. “Kyle's into year three, and Devon is into his second year, so that's good. They know the system. But now they have to go play. When do you really know? Once you start playing games.”
McCord was a five-star recruit from St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia, a more acclaimed prospect than high school teammate Marvin Harrison Jr. In the transfer portal era, McCord is more exception than rule in sticking it out as a backup for two years.
“You look at the guys that have stuck around at this program, and they all go on to do really good things,” he said. “Even though it didn't happen exactly right away for me, I knew it’s a marathon and that if I stuck around and trusted the process and kept getting better, I’d put myself in a good position.”
Now he believes he has. McCord said he didn’t want to step on Stroud’s toes as a backup the last two years in terms of being a vocal leader. Now McCord is comfortable in that role.
Brown, a borderline five-star recruit, has the more outgoing personality. He believes he has also taken major strides as a leader in the offseason.
In the end, only one of them will be the true leader of the offense.
“I think Devin will say this, too: We definitely pushed each other in the spring, which was good,” McCord said. “He brought the best out of me. I brought the best out of him. I think it's been a really healthy competition with each other.”
Brown is considered more athletic than McCord, though McCord said he’s confident in his ability to make plays with his feet and improvise when plays break down. McCord is regarded as the more polished passer.
“What's hard is when you don't have quarterbacks who can play,” Day said. “What's easy is when you have guys who can play, and you’ve just got to figure out who the best one is. I kind of feel like that's the way it is right now.”
But he won’t know for certain until training camp and perhaps the start of the season.
“I have a feeling that both guys are going to be starter level,” Day said. “Right away? I don't know. Halfway through the season? I don't know. I don't know how the journey is going to go. But it's a good problem to have if you have a couple of guys that you feel you can put into a game that can go play. But we're not there right now.”

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