CARLSBAD — Former Carlsbad High School quarterback Julian Sayin, the nation’s top-ranked high school quarterback in his class, will attend Ohio State instead of Alabama following the sudden retirement of longtime Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban, ESPN reported.
Sayin told ESPN that he planned to enroll at Ohio State soon and participate in spring practice. Prior to his transfer, Sayin had enrolled in classes at Alabama.
Sources close to the situation told ESPN that Sayin’s desire to play for Saban held significant weight in his decision to attend Alabama. However, after Saban’s abrupt departure, the Lancers’ record-breaking playcaller used his one-time transfer exemption to enter the NCAA portal.
Another apparent factor is Sayin’s relationship with new Ohio State offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, who was Saban’s offensive coordinator at Alabama during Sayin’s recruitment.
“Ironically, Bill O’Brien is the one who offered him at Alabama, so it’s a good fit,” said Carlsbad coach Thadd MacNeal during an interview on the Tim May Show, an Ohio State football podcast.
MacNeal added: “Julian is very mature and he understands how college football works, and he knows this is about relationships. He’s about trying to go get developed at the best place.”
Sayin, a unanimous five-star recruit, was named the CIF San Diego Section Player of the Year and Gatorade California Football Player of the Year.
During his senior year for the Lancers, Sayin threw for 2,369 yards, 24 touchdowns and one interception.
At Ohio State, Sayin joins a crowded quarterback room that includes former Kansas State starter Will Howard, last year’s backups Devin Brown and Lincoln Kienholz, and fellow five-star recruit Air Noland.
Last year’s Ohio State starter, Kyle McCord, transferred to Syracuse.