Former Georgia quarterback Justin Fields will transfer to Ohio State, the freshman QB announced Friday evening. Fields was reportedly on Ohio State's campus on Friday morning.
"I've decided to transfer to Ohio State University where I will continue to pursue my undergraduate degree and play football for the Buckeyes," Fields wrote in a statement. "I'll miss my teammates more than they'll ever know, and I wish them all the best as they get ready for another season. I hope the bonds we've developed this past year will never be broken by where we choose to play football or where we end up after college."
Fields came to Georgia as the No. 2 overall recruit in the class of 2018, according to 247Sports, and No. 1 overall in the eyes of some other outlets. But the highly-touted QB sat behind sophomore Jake Fromm in 2018, then entered the NCAA’s transfer portal in mid-December.
Fields would typically have to sit out a year after transferring, but he may seek a transfer waiver in order to play in 2019, just as Shea Patterson and other former Ole Miss players successfully did last offeseason as the Rebels served out their bowl ban for numerous NCAA violations. Fields was the subject of a racist comment from Georgia baseball player Adam Sasser during Georgia's victory over Tennessee in Athens on Sept. 29, and, as SI’s Andy Staples pointed out when the news of his intention to transfer leaked, Fields could make the case if he wants that Sasse's words are grounds for transfer without an eligibility penalty. The highly-touted recruit could cite the NCAA's "mitigating circumstances" clause regarding transfers' eligibility, a rule that allows transfers to play immediately if they leave their school for circumstances that "directly impact the health, safety and well-being of the student-athlete."
The NCAA has yet to comment on a potential ruling if Fields requests a waiver to play in 2019, and a case with the nuance and national implications of his would be nearly unprecedented.
The Buckeyes are expected to lose their starting quarterback, Dwayne Haskins Jr., to the draft. Ohio State's sophomore signal caller threw for 4,831 yards with 50 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 2018 during his first season as a starter.
Fields completed 27 of 39 passes during his freshman year, throwing four touchdowns. He also tallied four rushing touchdowns.