Ryan Day and his Ohio State football program are looking to regain their footing as the Big Ten champions and as a team that has a shot at the National Championship. As they start the season, Day has a loaded team and it looks like they will be able to battle Georgia, Oregon and Texas for a possible spot in the College Football Playoff.

At least that's the way it looks with two-plus months to go before the season starts. Ohio State is always brimming with talent, but they have been beaten by archrivals Michigan for the last three seasons. As a result of those defeats, there were quite a few Buckeyes supporters that expected Day to get fired.

However, Day has retained his job and one of the first orders of business he will have to determine is his team's starting quarterback. Devin Brown was the backup last season and many thought he would have an inside track on the job. However, Will Howard has transferred from Kansas State and he is a talented athlete.

Ryan Day brings in Billy Fessler to help with his QB choice

Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day watches players stretch during spring football practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Ohio State is expected to hire former Akron offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Billy Fessler as a QB analyst, per ESPN's Pete Thamel. Fessler was a graduate assistant for Day during the 2020 and 2021 seasons before he moved on to Akron. He played a key role in building the Zips' offensive game plan.

Fessler was planning to move further up the ladder when he joined the UCLA staff under Chip Kelly. However, when Kelly left the Bruins to become the offensive coordinator for the Buckeyes, Fessler's position with UCLA fell through. Fessler is expected to be a QB analyst with Ohio State football.

During his college career, Fessler was enrolled at Penn State, but he only saw limited game action.

The new coach is expected to work closely with Brown and Howard as their battle for the QB1 position continues. In addition to those two quarterbacks, the Buckeyes also have Alabama transfer Julian Sayin and incoming freshman Air Noland.

Five-star quarterback Tavien St. Clair is one of the stars of the 2025 recruiting class and he could be a future starter for the Buckeyes.

Defense likely to be key to Ohio State football's season

While there is likely to be a battle for the QB1 position until the season kicks off on August 31 with a home game against Southern Mississippi, the Ohio State football defense could be quite devastating.

Defensive coordinator Jim Knowles has built a unit that is loaded with experienced stars. Two of the most impactful players are defensive ends Jack Sawyer and JT Tuimoloau. Both are outstanding pass rushers who can turn the corner with speed and also have an array of moves that are likely to cause problems for opposing offensive tackles.

Sawyer and Tumoloau will be joined defensive tackle Tyleik Williams in the middle of the defensive line. Sawyer had 48 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks last season, while Tuimoloau had 38 tackles, 7 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks. Williams was dominant on the interior with 53 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks