It Is Now Kyle McCord’s Time to Shine at Ohio State

Via Si.com

It Is Now Kyle McCord’s Time to Shine at Ohio State

Football

It Is Now Kyle McCord’s Time to Shine at Ohio State

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Via Si.com

For a second, it appeared as if C.J. Stroud was going to return to Ohio State. Instead, as the 2023 NFL Draft deadline was approaching he ended up declaring after all. 

With Stroud gone, that leaves the starting job up for grabs, and Kyle McCord now has his chance to shine for the Buckeyes.

Coming out of high school, McCord was a five-star recruit in the 2021 class, rated 28th overall. He sat behind Stroud in his freshman season, but he did see one start against Akron. In that start, he showcased glimpses of the quarterback he can become. He went 13-of-18 for 319 yards and two touchdowns, he did throw an interception though, but that can be expected for his first start still learning the offense. 

McCord played in four more games after Akron in cleanup spots after Ohio State had the win secured. He finished 2021 with a 65.8% completion percentage, 416 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. In 2022, he saw more limited playing time with coming in to secure wins in blowout games. There were seven games he did so and finished completing 16-of-20 passes for 190 yards, a touchdown, and zero interceptions.

From his limited playing time, there are strengths McCord showed that highlight just how great he can become. The first being his ability to lead receivers open, hit them in stride, and throw with anticipation. He does this at all levels of the field as well with his arm strength to hit all areas of the field, and velocity to fit the ball through tight windows. 

What he will need to work on is getting out of the habit of throwing off his back foot. When the pocket starts to get pushed back, he has the tendency to do this instead of remaining poised and setting himself up correctly to make accurate throws. As he gets more playing time and becomes comfortable, this should be something he improves on. 

A major aspect of McCord’s game that the Buckeyes can unlock further is his rushing ability. It was shown in high school, and he showed it a bit in some of the games he has played at Ohio State, but he has the ability to throw on the run while still being accurate. His rushing ability also allows him to extend plays outside the pocket and pick up extra yardage. 

An added plus is McCord has a connection already with the Buckeyes top receiver, Marvin Harrison Jr. Both played together at St. Joseph’s Prep High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. That connection already established from that time should make the transition from backup to starter much easier for McCord. 

The playing time McCord has already combined with the surrounding talent around him at running back, and wide receiver should help McCord take over the starting role. It will be an adjustment, but the athletic talent is there, and he now has his chance to fully display this in 2023.

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