It wasn’t even two weeks ago that rumors (and by rumors, I mean baseless claims from a Twitter account with only a few thousand followers) swirled around former Kentucky football transfer Gunnar Hoak being named the starter at “The” Ohio State University.
Those rumors were eventually tossed into the garbage after it was announced the very next day that Georgia transfer and one-time No. 2 overall recruit in 2018, Justin Fields, had won the starting job. Which came to the surprise of very few.
But now it’s starting to sound like Hoak might not even be the Buckeyes second option heading into the 2019 season.
According to several sources who attended Tuesday’s press conference in preparation for OSU’s opening game against Florida Atlantic University on Saturday, Hoak “doesn’t have a grasp of the offense like the other guys do.”, which might suggest he’s behind fellow quarterback Chris Chugunov.
Day on the backup QBs: "Gunnar (Hoak) doesn't have that many snaps under his belt. He doesn't have the grasp of the offense that the others do." Said Chugunov did well in camp.
— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) August 27, 2019
Looks like Gunnar Hoak couldn’t beat out Will Grier’s former backup at WVU. Chugunov spent a redshirt year at Ohio State last season. https://t.co/2UdaYgqjzk
— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) August 27, 2019
Chugunov has been on the roster longer than both Fields and Hoak, which has apparently contributed to his advantage over the former Wildcat.
The official depth chart will be released on Friday, but this news might have been in the works for a while now. The Athletic wrote over the weekend that OSU head coach Ryan Day’s reasoning for not naming a backup was because of Hoak’s lack of experience in the offense.
“The hope is that Hoak will come along – and by all accounts, he is — but he’s still new to this team. That’s probably why Day isn’t comfortable naming a backup yet.” per Ari Wasserman of The Athletic.
So while it doesn’t appear that Hoak is going to be taking the field for the Buckeyes early in the season, that isn’t to say he’s not still performing well. Remember, Hoak only got to Columbus earlier this summer.
Either way, we wish him luck.