Columbus – Dynamic and fast, he has an excellent throwing arm and fast decision making. Justin Fields of the Ohio State Buckeyes is considered the second-picked quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft – right after Trevor Lawrence.
In the semifinals of the college championship playoffs, Fields was able to step out of Lawrence’s shadow. In the Sugar Bowl, he meets his Clemson Tigers (live on ProSieben MAXX and ran.de the night between January 1st and 2nd from 01.50).
For years, Fields and Lawrence have stood together to see who is the best quarterback of the year.
When the two passers-by dropped out of high school and were able to choose between all the top universities, the opinions of the experts were different.
A Question of Faith: Justin Fields or Trevor Lawrence?
“ESPN” listed Fields as the best recruit in the entire United States. “Rivals.com” and “247Sports.com” placed Fields in second place after Lawrence.
It’s a bit of a matter of believing what type of quarterback you prefer.
Lawrence is considered a pro-style quarterback, so he’s more of a Tom Brady-style or Peyton Manning-style pickpocket. Fields, on the other hand, is a dual-threat quarterback. So that means: He’s very mobile and more reminiscent of player types like Russell Wilson or Kyler Murray.
Another difference between the two passers-by: While Lawrence’s college career was like a picture book and he was early named starting quarterback, Fields had to take a detour.
Fields went to the University of Georgia in 2018, but had a difficult start there. Due to a complicated finger fracture, he missed a lot of pre-season. As a backup behind Jake Fromm, he only came on short assignments.
Gambling permit due to racial insult
When a similar scenario began to play out in the 2019 season, Fields decided to switch to Ohio State University. In fact, NCAA rules dictate that a player must sit out one season before he can play for another university.
However, if the transfer is for reasons “beyond the student-athlete’s control and directly affects their health, safety and well-being,” the NCAA may grant special approval – such as with Justin Fields.
Because the quarterback was racially insulted by a baseball player at his old university, his stay in Georgia was considered unreasonable. So Fields was allowed to play for the Ohio State Buckeyes in 2019 – and did so at the highest level.
Fields led his team to the Big Ten Conference Championship and was named the Championship Game MVP. He finished third in the 2019 Heisman Trophy selection behind quarterbacks Joe Burrow and Jalen Hurts.
More talent than Deshaun Watson and Jalen Hurts?
Private quarterback coach Quincy Avery, who has coached Deshaun Watson (Houston Texans) and Jalen Hurts (Philadelphia Eagles), among others, says, “Justin Fields is the most talented quarterback I’ve ever worked with.”
What he especially likes about him: “He can do different things with his throwing arm, but is also able to become active with his fast legs if the intended play falls apart.”
Fields’ work ethic also impresses Avery: “Every time he’s back in town, he’s texting me, ‘Hey, what’s going on, when are we pitching?’ “And then we start – non-stop. He also does a lot for his strength and fitness. It’s really impressive.”
What Fields still lacks, however, is the ability to get the best possible performance in the big games.
Last season, Ohio State failed in the semifinals of the college championship. Two passes from Fields were intercepted. He had only thrown one interception in the entire previous season.
Opponent at the time: Clemson Tigers with Trevor Lawrence.
Will revenge succeed in the renewed meeting?
Justin Fields reveals weaknesses
The problem: Fields recently revealed weaknesses again. The Buckeyes won the Big Ten Championship Game against the Northwestern Wildcats, not because of, but rather despite Justin Fields.
The quarterback completed just 12 of his 27 passes in 114 yards, threw two interceptions and was fired three times.
The 21-year-old attributed this, among other things, to the fact that his favorite passing station, Chris Olave, was absent in this game: “Of course, if one of the best receivers doesn’t play, it makes my job. Harder.” But is that an explanation enough?
Matt Miller, the Bleacher report’s draft expert, finds critical words: “Against the best defenses, decision-making problems and the speed of the game were obvious. It will make some scouts worry.”
The collegiate championship playoffs give Fields one last chance to address those concerns as they step out of Trevor Lawrence’s shadow.
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