Air Noland Quarterback

Air Noland A ‘Baller’ Who Will Eventually Lead The Buckeyes

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day wants to sign a top-flight high school quarterback every recruiting cycle, and that’s exactly what he did in landing 2024 QB Air Noland.

Noland threw for over 10,000 yards and 100 touchdowns at Langston Hughes High School in Carrollton, Georgia. That includes a junior season where he led his team to a state title by throwing for 4,095 yards and 55 touchdowns.

As a senior, Noland completed two-thirds of his passes for 2,140 yards and 22 touchdowns.

A five-star prospect, the lefty Noland is ranked the No. 4 quarterback in the nation per the 247Sports Composite. There is plenty to like, according to Ryan Day.

“Air Noland is somebody who is special in a lot of different ways,” Day said. “The way that he conducts himself, the way he handles himself. He’s very athletic and he’s gonna be the leader of this team.”

A Left-Hand Turn

There was a time, however, when Air Noland wasn’t going to be a part of Ohio State’s 2024 recruiting class.

The Buckeyes received a commitment from then-No. 1 2024 quarterback Dylan Raiola back on May 9 of 2022. With Raiola’s commitment, the quarterback situation had been locked up and settled.

Or so people thought.

Raiola decommitted about 53 weeks ago, sending OSU back out into the field to find another quarterback. The Buckeyes were familiar with Noland, who was a teammate of 2023 OSU tight end signee Jelani Thurman.

It was an easy relationship to forge. A spring visit brought an official offer, and then a week later Noland committed to Ohio State.

“Yeah, we watched his film and saw the athleticism and he’s just kind of a baller out there, making a lot of plays, state champ,” Day said of Noland’s recruitment.

“He was high school teammates with Jelani Thurman, so we were down there some. I got to see who he was and saw all the people in the area and the school and the coaches talk about what a great player he was, what a great leader is, and it doesn’t take long when you talk to him, you recognize how mature he is and his approach, and that’s a big part of it. So we just love that part of it. We feel like he’s got a really high ceiling when he gets here and we’re looking forward to get to work with him soon.”

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Freshman Expectations

When Air Noland arrives on campus next month, he’ll be joining a team that won’t have a returning starting quarterback. Kyle McCord started all 12 regular season games for the Buckeyes, but he has since transferred to Syracuse.

Redshirt freshman Devin Brown is expected to start the Cotton Bowl next week against Missouri, which means that Ohio State will only have one career start returning at quarterback next year.

Could Noland contend for the starting job?

“You don’t know until they get in and how quickly can they learn the offense and get used to it and learn from their mistakes,” Day said. “You can’t replace experience, but some guys you just see it early on, they can handle the information, they can handle what it takes.”

Noland isn’t the likely starter next year for the Buckeyes, but Day isn’t going to rule anybody out at this point.

“Most guys it takes a little time to get that figured out,” he said. “A lot of guys want to come in and play right away because it sounds good and they’re anxious, but that always isn’t the best in terms of their development. But each guy is unique, and we get a better idea once we get going with spring practice.”

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