Justin Fields’ eligibility-waiver decision could be granted next month

After having a lot to say about Justin Fields' possible transfer to Ohio State, Buckeyes quarterback-in-waiting Tate Martell had been surprisingly quiet on his new teammate.

Reason may be because he is on the way out. Martell has reportedly entered the NCAA transfer portal signifying he won’t compete with Fields for the Buckeyes’ starter opening.

Fields, who officially enrolled at the Columbus, Ohio, university is joining an Ohio State team that is under new management with the retirement of coach Urban Meyer and the departure of Heisman Trophy finalist Dwayne Haskins to the NFL.


Fields appeared in 12 of the Bulldogs’ 14 games as Jake Fromm’s backup this season. He completed 27 of his 39 passes for 328 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. He rushed 42 times for 266 yards and four touchdowns.

Fields, who played at Cobb County's Harrison High School, has applied to the NCAA for a hardship waiver, which, if granted, would make him eligible to play next season. That is generating some interest in the Buckeyes in way too-early rankings for 2019 season. CBS Sports, for one, says the Buckeyes' top-10 ranking is only worthy with Fields as the starter:

This is assuming Justin Fields indeed does get a waiver to become immediately eligible. If it works out that way, Fields will be the next trigger man on an explosive offense.

With sophomore Martell exit, Ohio State’s quarterback depth chart would include Fields, redshirt freshman Matthew Baldwin and West Virginia transfer Chris Chugunov.

Tom Mars, a lawyer representing Fields in the appeal to the NCAA, told The Columbus Dispatch he expects Fields' appeal to be successful.

Fields' attorney separately told The Toledo Blade that he is "confident the process will move quickly and that the NCAA will be able to make a decision on Ohio State's waiver request much sooner than most people might think."

Mars told The Blade a decision could come as soon as February.