Justin Fields will be on the field for Ohio State this season.
The school announced Friday afternoon the Georgia transfer’s waiver for immediate eligibility has been granted by the NCAA, clearing the way for him to compete for the vacant starting quarterback job when spring football begin in March.
“I thank God for His guidance during this time of uncertainty,” Fields said in a statement. “I would like to thank the NCAA for its approval of the waiver allowing me to be eligible to play football this fall. I also want to thank all those who supported and encouraged my family and me during this process.”
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The 2018 five-star prospect from Kennesaw, Ga., was the backup quarterback for the Bulldogs last season as a true freshman
He transferred to Ohio State in January but would have had to sit out a season per NCAA rules without being granted a waiver.
When he met with reporters Wednesday, he declined to get into detail about the case his lawyer would make to the NCAA for immediate eligibility. He also chose not to speak about his time at Georgia.
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Friday with the waiver’s approval being announced, Fields said (via the statement from the school), “I have no regrets about my time at UGA and have no hard feelings for the school or football program. My overall experience at UGA was fully consistent with UGA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. My sister is a softball player at UGA. I am still close friends with many of my UGA teammates. A part of me will always be a Georgia Bulldogs fan.”
He also expressed thanks to Ohio State fans for welcoming him into the fold.
“I will work hard to represent you and The Ohio State University in a professional and respectful manner,” he said. “My dad always tells me that ‘you can’t get to where you are going by looking in the 'rear view mirror.’
“I’m ready to move forward and embrace the next season of my life.”
Ohio State finishes out 2019 recruiting effort with another ‘big’ get https://t.co/6OBHuNoD3e— Marcus Hartman (@marcushartman) February 6, 2019
Here's a look at how Urban Meyer changed Ohio State recruiting, including where he was similar to Jim Tressel and John Cooper as well https://t.co/vuDpXdQvdy— Marcus Hartman (@marcushartman) February 6, 2019
Fields' waiver being granted was viewed as crucial for Ohio State not only because he is perceived to be the most talented quarterback on the roster but also because the Buckeyes might have gone into the season with only two scholarship signal-callers who could play.
They expected to sign four-star quarterback Dwan Mathis in December, but he opted to sign with Georgia instead as news of Fields' interest in the Buckeyes began to leak out.
Tate Martell, who backed up Haskins last season as a redshirt freshman, transferred to the University of Miami last month.
Now a three-man quarterback race is expected involving Fields, redshirt freshman Matthew Baldwin and senior Chris Chugunov.
They will compete to replace Dwayne Haskins, who opted to enter the 2019 NFL Draft after winning the Big Ten’s most valuable player award and finishing third in Heisman Trophy balloting as a third-year sophomore.
Fields, who has already been included in a highlight video from winter workouts the team posted on social media, will have three seasons of eligibility remaining.
#MatDrills: Where The Brotherhood is formed 😤😤#GoBucks pic.twitter.com/zjNAoKf6uU— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) February 6, 2019
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