Joey McGuire has a reputation for being a master recruiter. Now, it is being reported that he’s possibly trying to pull off what would be the biggest recruiting coup in Texas Tech football history.
Friday, word broke that Ohio State freshman QB Quinn Ewers had entered the transfer portal. And according to at least one reporter, Yahoo’s Pete Thamel, Texas Tech is in the mix as a potential landing spot along with Texas and Texas A&M.
Make no mistake, an addition of this magnitude could be program-altering for the Red Raiders. That’s because few players of this generation have been as highly-touted as Ewers.
Rated as the No. 1 overall prospect in the class of 2021, Ewers received the rare and prestigious 1.000 rating on 247Sports.com. That’s something that only a handful of plays have ever done.
But Ewers’ path to the transfer portal has been unusual and somewhat controversial. For starters, he skipped his final season of high school football (which was supposed to be this year) at Southlake Carroll to enroll at Ohio State a year early. Second, he then signed a NIL deal for $1.4 million before ever taking a snap as a collegiate. And now, he’s leaving Ohio State after just one season; a season that saw him redshirt.
Of course, it makes sense that he might be looking for a new opportunity. After all, the Buckeyes have Heisman candidate C.J. Stroud firmly entrenched as their QB of the future. All he has done this season as a freshman is simply throw for 3,862 yards, 38 TDs, and only five picks. Thus, it appears that Ewers’ path to immediate playing time in Columbus is blocked. And he appears likely headed back to his home state to find his next opportunity.
But is Texas Tech a realistic option? With Joey McGuire, perhaps anything is possible. What’s more, Ewers has built a relationship with former Texas Tech QB Pat Mahomes through offseason workouts. And some believe Mahomes may also be trying to steer Ewers to Lubbock.
So let’s dare to dream a bit and think about what this potential transfer could mean for the Red Raiders. First of all, it would give the 2022 recruiting class some serious cache.
No, Ewers would not count towards the ranking of Tech’s current recruiting class because transfers don’t factor into that equation. But being as Ewers was originally a 2022 recruit who made the rounds on the summer football camp circuit, he likely has plenty of connections with 2022 recruits. Could he help bring some to Lubbock should he announce a transfer to Tech prior to the upcoming early signing period? Perhaps.
But even if he didn’t have time to lure 2022 prospects to the Hub City, his addition would certainly open tons of eyes around the nation and his presence on the roster would have a ripple effect on future signing classes. And an improvement in recruiting is what Texas Tech needs more than anything else as McGuire tries to rebuild and improve his roster.
On the other hand, if Ewers did come to the South Plains, it might signal a complete shakeup of the quarterback situation. Of course, as a transfer, Ewers might not be eligible to play next season unless he is granted a waiver by the NCAA. Thus, would former Oregon transfer, Tyler Shough, stay on board to compete for next year’s starting job? Or would the idea of Ewers potentially getting a waiver be enough to send Shough to look for his own new opportunity?
Also, it would seem highly likely that the two freshmen quarterbacks already on the roster, Donovan Smith and Behren Morton, would likely be impacted by this move. Given that Ewers still has four years of eligibility remaining, it is hard to imagine either Smith (who started three games for the Red Raiders this season) or Morton (a former 4-star recruit in his own right) being willing to sit behind Ewers for three or four seasons.
But in the end, Texas Tech has to be in the talent acquisition business first and foremost. McGuire has to accumulate as much talent as possible across the roster and let the cards fall where they may. And if that means that he might lose a young QB or two from the depth chart for the sake of adding Ewers, that’s a risk he would certainly have to take.
In the end, it still feels unlikely that one of the highest-rated players in the last two decades of college football recruiting would wind up transferring to Texas Tech given how the program has struggled during the vast majority of Ewers’ life. But with McGuire on the hunt, Texas Tech fans have at least a reason to hope for the improbable. And hope is something that has been in short supply around Texas Tech football for far too long.