New Ohio State QB Justin Fields, a transfer from Georgia, said he understands there's "a lot of hate for the team up north." Angelique S. Chengelis, The Detroit News
Columbus, Ohio – Quarterback Justin Fields has been granted a waiver that will allow him to play immediately for Ohio State after transferring from Georgia.
The former five-star recruit transferred to the Buckeyes after he got stuck behind Jake Fromm on Georgia’s depth chart.
Ohio State announced Friday that the NCAA has approved Fields’ request for a waiver of the rule requiring transfers to sit out a year. Fields is expected to compete for the starting quarterback spot after Dwayne Haskins Jr. left early to enter the NFL draft.
Ohio State is host to Michigan State on Oct. 5 and plays at Michigan on Nov. 30 in 2019.
Fields’ attorney in his waiver appeal was Tom Mars, who also represented and won immediate eligibility for Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson. Patterson transferred from Ole Miss and was Michigan’s starting quarterback in the 2018 season.
Fields was the target of a racial slur from a Georgia baseball player during a football game in September, and there was speculation the incident would become part of his appeal for a waiver. The NCAA can grant immediate eligibility to a transferring player who has “documented mitigating circumstances that are outside the student-athlete’s control and directly impact the health, safety and well-being of the student-athlete.”
In a statement issued by Ohio State on Friday, Fields said speculation about his transfer “took on a life of its own.”
“I have no regrets about my time at UGA and have no hard feelings for the school or football program,” Fields said. “My overall experience at UGA was fully consistent with UGA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.”
He said he would not make any further comments about his transfer and looks forward to preparing for the season.
“I am happy for Justin and his family,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said. “I also want to express my appreciation to the NCAA for its assistance in getting this matter resolved efficiently and with such a positive outcome for Justin.”