Ohio State coach Ryan Day mum on possibility of OC Bill O’Brien leaving

Ohio State coach Ryan Day didn’t shed any light Wednesday on the future of new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, who has been linked to the open head coaching job at Boston College.

O’Brien was hired on Jan. 19 to be Ohio State’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach but has become a candidate for the BC job, which became vacant last week.

“No real updates on that today,” Day said, adding that O’Brien was in the building working on Wednesday.

Day hired O’Brien to handle play-calling duties so the head coach could focus on other game-management duties.

The BC job became open a week ago when former Ohio State defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley left the Eagles to join the staff of the Green Bay Packers.

Day said Ohio State has contingency plans if O’Brien leaves.

“If something were to change, we’ll have to adjust from there,” he said. “But we spent a lot of time on that to make sure it was right.”

Day also talked about the challenge of evaluating five quarterbacks who all expected to be the starter at Ohio State. They are a transfer, four-year Kansas State starter Will Howard, elite recruits Julian Sayin and Air Noland, and returning players Devin Brown and Lincoln Kienholz.

The job came open after 2023 starter Kyle McCord entered the transfer portal and ended up signing with Syracuse.

Brown lost out to McCord in the preseason competition, but what had been seen as an audition for the starting role in 2024 was cut short when he injured an ankle early in the Cotton Bowl loss to Missouri.

“We’ve had the situation before where that (quarterback) room has been crowded, but the cream really rises to the top of this thing,” he said. “And so we’re going to do everything we can to get as many reps as possible and rely on our experience of seeing quarterbacks over the years and recognizing the traits that it takes to start.”

Howard, who threw for 5,786 yards and 48 touchdowns at Kansas State, said he expects to the be starter when Ohio State’s season starts at home against Akron on Aug. 31.

“I just felt like this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up on,” Howard said last week. “I thought I had a really good relationship with Coach Day and thought he was a really good guy. There were just so many different things that went into this decision. It was a long, weird journey in the portal, but I couldn’t be happier and more blessed to be here.”

With returning stars such as running back TreVeyon Henderson and receiver Emeka Egbuka, the roster is in great shape a month before spring practice begins, Day believes.

“We’ve got the right guys in the right seats right now,” he said.

Reporting by The Associated Press.


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