Mark SchlabachESPN Senior WriterClose
- Senior college football writer
- Author of seven books on college football
- Graduate of the University of Georgia
Fields, the No. 1 recruit in the 2018 ESPN 300, served as the backup to sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm this season.
“My time at the University of Georgia has given me the opportunity to refine my skills under great coaches and to play with incredibly talented teammates who’ve become like brothers to me,” Fields said in the statement. “I appreciate what Coach [Kirby] Smart and the UGA football coaching staff have done to help me progress as a quarterback and for their patience and understanding while I thoughtfully considered my future as a student-athlete.
“I’ve decided to transfer to Ohio State University where I will continue to pursue my undergraduate degree and play football for the Buckeyes. I’ll miss my teammates more than they’ll ever know, and I wish them all the best as they get ready for another great 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 ended the statement by saying he will not be doing interviews or making any further comments about his transfer.
Last month, sources told ESPN that Fields was leaning toward transferring to Ohio State, after deciding to leave Georgia, where Fromm is entrenched as the starting quarterback.
Fields removed most of his belongings from his dorm room at Georgia and had informed the coaching staff that he was leaving, sources said.
Fields is expected to apply to the NCAA for a hardship waiver, which, if granted, would make him eligible to play at Ohio State in 2019.
He has reportedly hired Atlanta-based attorney Thomas Mars, who successfully helped Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson and five other former Ole Miss players obtain hardship waivers after the Rebels received a bowl ban for the second consecutive season in 2018.
Sources told ESPN last month that Fields and his father, Ivant Fields, had multiple meetings with Smart about his future.
Fields, from Harrison High School in Kennesaw, Georgia, completed 27 of 39 passes for 328 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in 12 games this season. He was used sporadically throughout games, with much of his action coming in mop-up duty, and didn’t play in the Bulldogs’ 28-21 loss to Texas in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day.
The Buckeyes are expected to lose third-year sophomore Dwayne Haskins Jr., who threw for 4,831 yards with 50 touchdowns and eight interceptions in his first season as a starter in 2018.
ESPN’s Todd McShay ranks Haskins as the No. 18 player available — and No. 1 quarterback — for April’s NFL draft.
The Buckeyes will bring back redshirt freshman Tate Martell of Las Vegas, who was ranked the No. 127 player overall and No. 6 dual-threat quarterback in the 2017 ESPN 300. Martell completed 23 of 28 passes for 269 yards with one touchdown in 2018, while rushing for 128 yards with two scores.
In a tweet on Dec. 21, Martell seemed to warn Fields about picking Ohio State as a transfer destination: “word of advice: — don’t swing and miss … especially not your second time.”