COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Not much was made of Oregon State quarterback Tristan Gebbia transferring to Ohio State in January. The Beaver-turned-Buckeye had just 11 pass attempts in 2022 and Buckeyes coach Ryan Day established early on Gebbia was in Columbus for two reasons: become a coach someday and help whoever replaced C.J. Stroud.
“The way that I see it is, personally, is it’s my responsibility to be the best version of myself every day and to help with whatever is needed of me,” Gebbia said.
But just two days before the spring game, Gebbia finds himself needed as the second QB on Ohio State’s depth chart after Day announced Wednesday Devin Brown would not be available after a procedure to a finger on his throwing hand.
Who is Tristan Gebbia?
The Calabasas, California, native started his college career at Nebraska in 2017, where he redshirted his freshman year and then transferred to Oregon State early in the 2018 season. Gebbia was not eligible to play that season but did play four games in a mostly backup role in 2019.
Gebbia’s most notable year came during the shortened 2020 season in which he started the Beavers’ first four games before suffering a hamstring injury that limited him for the next season and a half.
“That injury, in a lot of ways, taught me to persevere,” he said. “Obviously, a pretty catastrophic injury and I probably could have decided to hang it up a couple times now. I just keep on plugging, and I’m pretty proud of that. It didn’t matter if I was injured or not, I was still going to do the same things for the quarterback room and serve my teammates in whatever way that I could.”
The three-year Oregon State captain did not play in 2021 because of the injury and saw little action in 2022, which seemed to be his final year as a college quarterback. But an opportunity for a de facto apprenticeship opened up at Ohio State and Gebbia jumped at the chance.
“Coach [Ryan] Day and coach [Corey] Dennis, they’re great coaches, and learning under them is obviously a great opportunity,” Gebbia said. “This is an offense that is always rated super highly in the country, and I think that’s because of the things they’re able to do and the way that they teach.”
Gebbia had known Devin Brown for years after being a football counselor at one of the middle school camps Brown attended. Gebbia said conversations with Brown helped him pick the Buckeyes.
“Being able to talk to Devin, someone that I know pretty well, and hear a whole lot about Ohio State and what they’re all about here helped me make a decision,” Gebbia said.
The seven-year quarterback said he wasn’t ready to call it a career after his Oregon State days ended and feels like he still has something to offer a Power 5 program.
“I have opportunity to have another chance to play, so I’m super fired up about that,” he said. “Sometimes you get dealt a bad hand and if you can make the most of it and be reliable and be dependable, great opportunities will come because I really believe if I didn’t handle it the way I did, I wouldn’t be sitting here where I am right now.”
A great opportunity to learn how to be a coach is now an opportunity to play a significant role at quarterback in front of more than 50,000 fans at Ohio Stadium on Saturday.