When the Ohio State football team had Justin Fields, the read option was a real weapon. Teams had to respect Fields' legs and it opened it up more for J.K. Dobbins to break runs. Fields could also keep it and gobble up big chunks of yards too. That play was a real weapon.
Once Fields left, the read option became a thing of the past. C.J. Stroud and Kyle McCord couldn't move well enough to justify that play. When Ryan Day wanted to run it, he brought in Devin Brown to do it against Purdue. He won't need to do that this year. Plus, Brown is likely to transfer out anyway.
Will Howard is a quarterback who can move well enough to justify calling more read-option plays. I'm not saying they're going to run it 20 times a game, but they could run it five. It's something that adds another dimension to a team that already has two elite running backs.
Howard's feet are going to be an X-factor this season. Having a quarterback who can move more in the pocket to buy some team will be key because the Ohio State football team still doesn't have tackles that can pass block. Scrambling on broken plays will help the offense too.
Bill O'Brien is not someone who likes calling the read option very often. He rarely called it at Penn State or Alabama, although Jalen Milroe did run it more often this year. I wouldn't count on this suddenly becoming an Urban Meyer-like offense all of a sudden.
That's fine with me. I just want the Buckeyes to be able to move the ball down the field in critical situations and score touchdowns against the best teams. Running the ball is the best way to do that and Howard should be able to help improve that part of the offense.