Ohio State has had quite a turnaround in the last two weeks. After losing The Game on Nov. 26 and being eliminated from the B1G Championship Game, the Buckeyes are now seeded fourth in The College Football Playoff, preparing to battle Georgia in The Peach Bowl on Dec. 31.
While game preparations and the early signing period that begins on Dec. 21 are paramount, Ohio State’s coaches should also be keeping their eyes and ears open on another area of college football — the transfer portal. Like, love, or loathe it, the transfer portal is impacting every college football program, Ohio State included.
Earlier this week, Jalen Johnson and Teradja Mitchell announced their intentions to leave Ohio State and entered their names in the transfer portal. Both players are leaving Ohio State with positive things to say about their respective experiences, and I wish them well, wherever they wind up.
Below are Three Positions To Watch from the transfer portal, as Ohio State may need to utilize this much more than in previous seasons, when the Buckeyes would get one or two players from the transfer portal...
- Defensive Backs
This can be for either cornerback or safety, but Ohio State is lacking depth in their defensive backfield. Compounding the issue is Ohio State will be losing several players, such as Cameron Brown, Josh Proctor, and Tanner McCalister due to exhausted eligibility, while Ronnie Hickman has announced his intentions to enter the 2023 NFL Draft. Lathan Ransom could also declare, but that has not yet been determined.
While Ohio State has been recruiting talented high school players who will sign in December and possibly February 2023, it would probably be helpful to have at least one cornerback and one safety added from the transfer portal to come in and contribute. Other players, such as Ryan Turner, Jordan Hancock, and Sonny Styles may be in line to play considerably more in 2023.
2. Offensive Line
Speculation is rampant that starting left tackle Paris Johnson Jr. will declare for the 2023 NFL Draft. Starting right tackle Dawand Jones is also expected to leave. Throw in the possibilities that starting center Luke Wypler and starting right guard Matthew Jones could also leave, and you will see why I am listing this as a problem area that needs to be addressed with depth available via the transfer portal.
3. Defensive End
Zach Harrison, Tyler Friday, and Javonte Jean-Baptiste are all going to be leaving after the 2022 season. While J.T. Tuimoloau and Jack Sawyer will return, Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson prefers to rotate players continually along the line. Caden Curry, Kenyatta Jackson, and Omari Abor could use some additional depth at the position, as they will likely be needed more in the 2023 season.