Dec 3, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien talks with quarterback Bailey Zappe (4) as they take on the Los Angeles Chargers in the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Bill O’Brien heading to Boston College as head coach

Former Houston Texans and Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien and Boston College reportedly are putting the finishing touches on a deal to make him the Eagles’ next football coach.

O’Brien, a Massachusetts native, most recently was the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots. He accepted the same position at Ohio State last month.

The 54-year-old O’Brien was hired at Ohio State to take over the play-calling duties from head coach Ryan Day. Presuming O’Brien seals the deal with Boston College, UCLA head coach Chip Kelly reportedly will be named the Buckeyes’ offensive coordinator.

O’Brien’s family is rooted in the Boston area and planned to remain there while O’Brien was in Columbus, ESPN reported.

O’Brien will replace Jeff Hafley, who recently was hired as the defensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers.

The Eagles finished 7-6 in 2023 and are getting a coach with a blue-chip pedigree.

O’Brien worked on Bill Belichick’s staff with the Patriots from 2007-11 and was quarterbacks coach to Tom Brady. He left to take over at Penn State in 2012 and was named Big Ten Coach of the Year and Bear Bryant National Coach of the Year.

From 2014-20, he led the Texans to the playoffs four times.

As for Ohio State, Kelly and Day have a longstanding relationship that began when Kelly was the offensive coordinator at New Hampshire with Day as his quarterback there from 1999-2001.

Kelly, 60, led Oregon to three Pac-12 championships as the Ducks head coach from 2009-12 and compiled an 46-7 record. He headed to the NFL in 2013, spending three seasons as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and one at the helm of the San Francisco 49ers with a 28-35 overall record.

He became UCLA’s head coach in 2018 and has a 35-34 record with the Bruins.

–Field Level Media

Dec 29, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day watches during the second quarter of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic against the Missouri Tigers at AT&T Stadium.

Ohio State awaiting final word on Bill O’Brien status

Ohio State coach Ryan Day hired Bill O’Brien as his offensive coordinator this offseason, entrusting him to call plays for the Buckeyes in the 2024 season.

And Day is proceeding with that plan until he hears otherwise.

O’Brien, the former head coach of the Houston Texans and Penn State, is a top contender for the recently opened head-coaching job at Boston College, interviewing earlier this week. Day told reporters O’Brien was on campus in Columbus and at work on Wednesday.

He said he had “no update” about O’Brien’s future with the program, although ESPN reported Boston College is expected to name a head coach this week. Day has a Plan B should O’Brien, his hand-picked choice to relieve him of play-calling duties, depart.

“It isn’t just one of those situations where you take out one guy and put another guy in there and move on,” Day said. “It doesn’t work that way. But yes, we talked to different people for that position, and we have contingency plans in place. Hopefully, we don’t have to go down that road, though.”

Day also addressed a problem most college coaches would love to have entering spring practice: a glut of quarterbacks.

Following the transfer of last year’s starter, Kyle McCord,” Day said he anticipates a “fierce competition” at the position.

The Buckeyes have in their quarterback room Will Howard, an experienced transfer from Kansas State; returnees Devin Brown and Lincoln Kienholz; and Julian Sayin and Air Noland, incoming freshmen ranked as the No. 3 and No. 7 quarterbacks, respectively, in the 2024 class by 247Sports.

The youngsters will try to push the veteran Howard.

“Will came here to play football, so I hope that’s his mentality, and I hope all the guys have that mentality,” Day said. “He’s got to learn the offense and get going.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 28, 2023; Madison, Wisconsin, USA;  Ohio State Buckeyes helmets sit on the field during warmups prior to the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

5-star CB Na’eem Offord commits to Ohio State

Five-star cornerback Na’eem Offord of Alabama committed to Ohio State on Sunday on social media.

Offord is ranked No. 5 in the Class of 2025 in the 247Sports Composite, the top player at his position and in Alabama. He visited Columbus, Ohio, with his family this weekend.

He chose the Buckeyes over offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Tennessee, Washington, Houston, Maryland, Syracuse and Nebraska, among many others.

The 6-1, 185-pounder out of Parker High in Birmingham, Offord helped the team go 10-0 in the regular season and was credited with 14 tackles and four interceptions in 10 games, according to MaxPreps.

The junior also had 22 carries for 182 yards and four touchdowns, and caught 12 passes for 211 yards and two scores. He also had two punt returns for touchdowns in one playoff game.

–Field Level Media

Sep 2, 2023; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes helmets sit on the sideline prior to the NCAA football game at Indiana University Memorial Stadium. Ohio State won 23-3.

Reports: No. 1 QB prospect Julian Sayin commits to Ohio State

Julian Sayin, considered the No. 1 quarterback prospect in the Class of 2024, is leaving behind Alabama for Ohio State.

Sayin entered the transfer portal following the retirement of legendary Alabama coach Nick Saban, and on Sunday he committed to the Buckeyes, multiple outlets reported.

A native of Carlsbad, Calif., Sayin was a consensus five-star prospect and the No. 5 overall recruit in the class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.

He committed in November 2022, choosing Saban and the Crimson Tide over Ohio State as well as Georgia, LSU and Texas.

“I held this program in high regard throughout my entire recruiting process and am looking forward to learning from some of the most talented players and coaches in college football and contributing to our team’s success,” Sayin said of Ohio State.

The Buckeyes have restocked their quarterback room after 2023 starter Kyle McCord transferred to Syracuse. Former Kansas State starter Will Howard will spend his last year of eligibility in Columbus and is the presumptive 2024 starter. Devin Brown, Air Noland and Lincoln Kienholz are the other names on the roster.

Alabama freshman All-American safety Caleb Downs also chose Ohio State as his transfer portal destination.

–Field Level Media

Jan 1, 2024; Pasadena, CA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Caleb Downs (2) celebrates after making a catch in the first quarter against the Michigan Wolverines in the 2024 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Freshman S Caleb Downs exits Alabama for Ohio State

Alabama freshman safety Caleb Downs is headed to Ohio State.

The All-Southeastern Conference selection won the Shaun Alexander Award as national freshman of the year and was considering Georgia and Notre Dame, along with the Buckeyes, who were involved in his initial recruiting, according to Deuce Recruiting. Gary Downs, the former NFL running back and Caleb’s father, owns the service.

Caleb Downs was considered a candidate to return to the Crimson Tide, but with an official visit to Georgia, near his hometown, Ohio State wasn’t on the radar.

The Buckeyes have scored a series of significant wins in the transfer portal since the end of the 2023 season. Alabama center Seth McLaughlin is enrolled at Ohio State. Crimson Tide freshman quarterback Julian Sayin, the top-ranked offensive player in class according to ESPN, entered the transfer portal following Nick Saban’s retirement and has the Buckeyes in mind along with LSU and Florida State, according to reports.

Downs led Alabama with 107 tackles in 2023, adding two interceptions and punt return for a touchdown.

New Crimson Tide head coach Kalen DeBoer’s defense has been hard hit by transfer portal entrants since he was hired to replace Saban. Another safety, Jake Pope, transferred back to his home state of Georgia after playing 11 games on special teams at Alabama in 2023.

Linebacker Shawn Murphy became the fifth Crimson Tide transfer to commit to Florida State on Monday. Cornerback Earl Little Jr. and running back Roydell Williams also joined the Seminoles from Alabama.

–Field Level Media

Aug 25, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien talks with quarterback Bailey Zappe (4) during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State reportedly hires Bill O’Brien to run offense

Ohio State is on the verge of hiring Bill O’Brien as offensive coordinator, multiple outlets reported.

He is expected to take over play-calling from head coach Ryan Day and also mentor Buckeyes’ quarterbacks.

O’Brien has a promising record working with quarterbacks, including Tom Brady during his first stint on the New England Patriots’ coaching staff more than a decade ago.

O’Brien, 54, spent the 2023 season as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in New England, following two seasons in the same role on Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama. He was the head coach of the Houston Texans (2014-20) and Penn State (2012-13) after experience as an assistant coach at both the pro and college levels.

At Alabama, the O’Brien-led offense averaged 39.9 and 41.1 points per game in his two seasons.

In 2023, Ohio State averaged 30.5 points per game, good for 44th in the nation. In 2022, the Buckeyes were second in the nation with 44.2 points per game.

The dropoff in points followed the shift from C.J. Stroud to Kyle McCord as starting quarterback.

In 2024, Ohio State’s quarterback depth chart will include Will Howard, formerly of Kansas State, and five-star recruit Air Noland, ranked as the nation’s No. 4 team by the 247Sports composite.

The offense will be boosted by the addition of two-time All-SEC tailback Quinshon Judkins, an Ole Miss transfer, as will as the returns of standout wide receiver Emeka Egbuka and running back TreVeyon Henderson.

–Field Level Media

Jan 17, 2024; Columbus, OH, USA; Ross Bjork speaks during an introductory press conference for Ohio State University   s new athletic director at the Covelli Center.

New Ohio State AD Ross Bjork predicts football titles

Ohio State introduced new athletic director Ross Bjork on Wednesday, and one of the first things he did was give football coach Ryan Day a vote of confidence.

The university hired Bjork, 51, on Tuesday. He has been at the helm of the athletic department at Texas A&M since July 2019 and previously was the athletic director at Ole Miss and Western Kentucky.

Contract terms were not revealed.

Bjork will take over on July 1, replacing retiring athletic director Gene Smith. Until then, he undoubtedly will have his eyes on the football Buckeyes and Day, who was in the audience.

“I’m a football guy. I’m going to help and I’m going to make sure that, again, we compete at the highest level because the pedigree is here,” said Bjork, who went on to predict College Football Playoff titles in the future.

“This guy right here, Coach Day, he’s going to get it done,” Bjork said. “And it’s going to be a lot of fun when we win those championships.”

Day has a 56-8 record at Ohio State, which includes three games he filled in for a suspended Urban Meyer in 2018. He succeeded Meyer the following season.

His resume, however, includes three straight losses to rival Michigan and a 2-4 mark in bowl games.

A Kansas native who played football at Emporia State, Bjork fit the qualifications new Ohio State president Ted Carter recently said the school was looking for — extensive big school experience.

A blemish on Bjork’s record is the contract he gave to football coach Jimbo Fisher that left the school holding the bag for $77 million when Fisher was fired last fall. Carter said that situation was reviewed with Bjork during the hiring process and that he “owned it.”

Hiroyuki Fujita, chair of Ohio State’s board of trustees, echoed the need to bring in someone like Bjork.

“The college athletics landscape is changing each day, and Ohio State was firmly committed to finding an athletics director who would lead us with confidence and innovative thinking into the future,” Fujita said. “Ross Bjork possesses all the qualities we had envisioned — and more — and I am thrilled to welcome him to our Buckeye family.”

–Field Level Media

Oct. 14, 2023; Lafayette, In., USA; 
Gloves lie on top of the helmet of Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Julian Fleming (4) before Saturday's NCAA Division I football game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium in Lafayette.

Reports: Ohio State to name Ross Bjork next AD

Ohio State is expected to name Ross Bjork, the athletic director at Texas A&M, to the same position, multiple outlets reported Monday.

Gene Smith, who is retiring in June, has been athletic director in Columbus since 2005.

A Kansas native who played football at Emporia State, Bjork, 51, has been at the helm at Texas A&M since July 2019. He previously was the athletic director at Ole Miss and Western Kentucky.

The Ohio State trustees must approve the hiring.

In a recent interview with The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio State’s new president, Ted Carter, said experience was a must for the new athletic director given the complexities of college athletics, including conference realignment and NIL issues.

“We need to hire somebody that is not learning on the job,” Carter said. “(They) have to come in with a whole lot of experience, understand the challenges that are out in front of us, be able to make certainly hard decisions — because there will be some hard decisions coming up.”

–Field Level Media

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Dec 29, 2023; Arlington, TX, USA;  Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (18) looks on during the second half against the Missouri Tigers at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Buckeyes WR Marvin Harrison Jr. declares for NFL Draft

Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. made it official Thursday and declared for the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Heisman Trophy finalist and son of Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison announced his decision on social media.

“To Buckeye Nation, the love I received from you all in the Shoe and on the road will be moments I cherish forever, and I hope I left lasting memories for you on the field,” he wrote. “I appreciate the support these past three years. Buckey for life.”

As a junior in 2023, the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Harrison caught 67 passes for 1,211 yards and 14 touchdowns in 12 games. He won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s best receiver, finished fourth in the Heisman voting and was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year.

The two-time consensus All-American finishes his career in Columbus with 155 receptions for 2,613 yards (16.9-yard average) and 31 touchdowns in 38 games.

–Field Level Media

Dec 30, 2023; Atlanta, GA, USA; Mississippi Rebels running back Quinshon Judkins (4) runs the ball against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

All-SEC RB Quinshon Judkins commits to Ohio State

Two-time All-SEC running back Quinshon Judkins committed to Ohio State.

A transfer from Ole Miss, Judkins rushed for 2,725 yards and scored 34 total touchdowns in two seasons with the Rebels.

He’ll bring significant punch to an overhauled Ohio State backfield that includes a new starting quarterback and incoming freshman All-American running back James Peoples, who enrolled this semester.

Judkins made the announcement as Michigan was wrapping up the national championship on Monday night, and the motive was clear.

“I’m extremely excited to join The Ohio State football program. I’m looking forward to being a part of a winning culture and helping do my part to beat the TUN and bring a Big 10 Championship and National Championship to Columbus,” he said.

Quarterback Will Howard transferred from Kansas State and gives the Buckeyes experience at the controls of the offense.

Kyle McCord started every game for Ohio State in 2023 but transferred to Syracuse at the end of the season.

–Field Level Media