Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields announced Monday that he will forgo his final season of eligibility with the Buckeyes and enter the 2021 NFL Draft. Fields, a junior, led the Buckeyes to College Football Playoff appearances in each of the last two seasons after transferring from Georgia following the 2018 season.
"My path to Ohio State University was not a direct one, but I could not have asked for a better final destination," Fields said in a statement. "I knew this was a special place the moment I stepped on campus. I was overwhelmed by not only the way the football team welcomed me, but the student body and the city of Columbus as a whole. Buckeye Nation, you immediately adopted me as your own and for that, I am forever grateful. It has been the honor of my life to wear the Scarlet and Gray and represent The Ohio State University."
Fields threw for 2,100 yards and 22 touchdowns while adding 383 rushing yards and five touchdowns in shortened 2020 season. He led Ohio State to the Big Ten title, a Sugar Bowl win over Clemson in the CFP semifinals and the national title game against Alabama. That came one year after he threw for 3,272 yards and 41 touchdowns, rushed for 484 yards and 10 touchdowns, and led the Buckeyes to the Fiesta Bowl semifinal vs. Clemson. He was voted as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy following the 2019 regular season, and finished in third place behind LSU's Joe Burrow and Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts.
"To my teammates, I will miss you more than you know," he said. "I hope I have made the same impact on your that you have made on me. The bonds we formed these last two years will last a lifetime. In you, I will always have brothers."
His first season at Georgia did not go as expected. He was unable to beat out veteran junior signal-caller Jake Fromm on a Bulldogs team that lost to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. That came one year after he signed as a five-star prospect and No. 2 overall player in the Class of 2018.
Fields is the No. 4 overall prospect and second-ranked quarterback prospect in the 2021 CBS Sports NFL Draft prospect rankings.