|Intro||American football quarterback|
|Is||Athlete American football player|
|From||United States of America|
|Birth||5 March 1999, Kennesaw, Cobb County, Georgia, USA|
Justin Skyler Fields (born March 5, 1999) is an American football quarterback who most recently played for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Fields started his college career in 2018 with Georgia before transferring to Ohio State in 2019. He won several Big Ten Conference awards at Ohio State and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore in 2019.
Fields attended Harrison High School in Kennesaw, Georgia. In two years as the starting quarterback for Harrison, he totaled 4,187 passing yards, 41 passing touchdowns, 2,096 rushing yards and 28 rushing touchdowns. In the summer before his senior year in 2017, he attended the Elite 11 quarterback competition and was named MVP of the event. Late in his senior year, in a game that was nationally televised on ESPN, he suffered a broken finger that required season ending surgery. After his senior season, he was named Mr. Georgia Football by the Touchdown Club of Atlanta, as well as first-team all-state. In addition to football, Fields was also a standout baseball player for Harrison High.
Fields was rated as a five-star recruit and was the highest rated dual-threat quarterback in the class of 2018 by ESPN, Rivals.com, and 247Sports.com. ESPN listed him as the top recruit overall, while Rivals and 247Sports ranked him second behind pro-style quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
In October 2017, Fields committed to the University of Georgia to play college football after withdrawing a previous commitment to Penn State. His senior year was documented in the Netflix series QB1: Beyond the Lights.
In his true freshman season at Georgia in 2018, Fields served as the backup to starting quarterback Jake Fromm. In Georgia's season opener against Austin Peay, Fields made his debut in the second quarter and started the second half. He completed seven of eight passes on the day, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Isaac Nauta in the 45–0 victory. On September 29, against Tennessee, he had five carries for 45 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in the 38–12 victory. In a late-season 66–27 rout of UMass, Fields threw two touchdowns passes and ran for another on the ground, finishing with 121 passing yards and 100 rushing yards.
During the 2018 season, Fields saw action in 12 games, totaling 328 passing yards, four passing touchdowns, 266 rushing yards, and four rushing touchdowns. Following Georgia's loss to Alabama in the 2018 SEC Championship Game, Fields announced his intent to transfer to Ohio State.
Fields, who would normally be required to sit out for one year due to NCAA transfer rules, sought a waiver to be able to play immediately for Ohio State. Fields enlisted the help of attorney Thomas Mars, who helped secure immediate eligibility for several transfers from Ole Miss in 2018, including quarterback Shea Patterson. Mars and Fields argued that Fields should be granted a waiver for immediate eligibility due to an NCAA guideline that waives the waiting period for athletes with "documented mitigating circumstances that are outside the student-athlete’s control and directly impact the health, safety and well-being of the student-athlete." Fields was subject to an incident at Georgia in which a Bulldogs baseball player used a racial slur against Fields. This was believed to be the main incident constituting Fields' claim of "mitigating circumstances", although the full contents of the waiver request were never made public. On February 8, 2019, Fields was granted immediate eligibility for the 2019 season by the NCAA.
In Fields' first season with the Buckeyes, he helped lead the team to a Big Ten Championship with a 34–21 victory over Wisconsin, and a spot in the College Football Playoff. Fields finished in third in voting for the Heisman Trophy, was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and first-team all-conference. In the 2019 Fiesta Bowl against Clemson, he had 320 passing yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions in the 29–23 loss in the College Football Playoff semifinal. He finished the season with 3,273 passing yards, 41 passing touchdowns, and three interceptions to go along with 484 rushing yards and ten rushing touchdowns.
Fields entered the 2020 season as a leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy. The season was played amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with the Big Ten Conference ultimately opting for a shortened conference-only schedule after initially canceling the season. Fields was vocal in his support of playing the season, and he started an online petition that gathered over 320,000 signatures in support of that goal.
Fields helped lead the Buckeyes to another undefeated regular season and Big Ten Championship with a 22–10 victory over Northwestern. Ohio State received another bid to the College Football Playoff, playing a rematch against Clemson. Ohio State was victorious in the rematch, 49–28, with Fields throwing 385 passing yards and six touchdowns in the game. Fields took a hard hit to the midsection in the game, and played through the injury in a performance that Sports Illustrated dubbed "legendary". The Buckeyes advanced to the College Football Playoff National Championship, where they lost to Alabama, 52–24. Fields finished the shorted 2020 season with 2,100 passing yards, 22 passing touchdowns, six interceptions, and added 383 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns on the ground. He repeated as the Big Ten's Offensive Player of the Year and unanimous first-team all-conference. On January 18, 2021, Fields announced that he would be forgoing his final year of eligibility to enter the 2021 NFL Draft.