Ryan Clark issuing an apology to Too Tagovailoa Photo Credit: Ryan Clark on Twitter.

The news that Kyle McCord is entering the transfer portal likely means that Ohio State will be in the market for a new quarterback in the weeks ahead.

Or — if you believe one ESPN analyst — perhaps McCord is leaving Columbus because the Buckeyes already found one.

Shortly after the news of McCord’s impending transfer was first reported, longtime Dallas Cowboys beat writer Clarence Hill Jr. took to X (formerly Twitter) to ask why Ohio State’s starting quarterback was leaving. In a since-deleted reply, ESPN’s Ryan Clark casually responded that the reason McCord entered the transfer portal is because Washington State’s quarterback — presumably Cameron Ward — is transferring to OSU.

“Wash State QB transferred there,” Clark wrote to Hill.

While there hasn’t been any reporting done to confirm that Ward is heading to Columbus, the former Cougars quarterback has been touted as a likely target for the Buckeyes. Although the current order of events might lead one to believe that Ohio State is only in the market for a quarterback because McCord is leaving, it also wouldn’t be the first time that a program helped make a player’s decision easier for him by targeting another player at his position.

Clark is primarily an NFL analyst, but he’s also obviously well connected and it would hardly be surprising if he had inside information on this matter. The casual matter of fact nature in which he mentioned it to Hill seems to indicate that he thought the news was already public — and perhaps he only deleted it after realizing that he had let the cat out of the bag.

Or maybe the former NFL safety mistook speculation regarding Ward potentially transferring to Ohio State as something that was already in the works and ran with it prematurely. If that was the case, however, one would imagine that Clark would issue a correction on social media — which he has yet to do.

So did the host of The Pivot Podcast delete the post because the information was inaccurate or because he jumped the gun with something that wasn’t public yet? Depending on what happens with Ward and the Buckeyes’ quarterback situation, we’ll likely have our answer soon enough.

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.