Emphasizing quality over quantity, the Ohio State Buckeyes have strategically approached the transfer portal this offseason. While expressing confidence in their existing roster, the Buckeyes recognized specific positions that required impact players.

Recent positive developments, including the decisions of key players to forego the 2024 NFL Draft and return to Columbus, position the team as strong contenders for the 2024 national championship. Notably, running back TreyVeon Henderson, wide receiver Emeka Egbuka, offensive guard Donovan Jackson, defensive ends Jack Sawyer and JT Tuimoloau, and cornerback Denzel Burke have all chosen to stay with the Buckeyes.

Let’s delve into the significance of each impact transfer added to the roster:

1. Caleb Downs, Safety (Alabama Crimson Tide):
– Downs, an elite defender, quickly rose to prominence as a five-star recruit. Acquiring a player of his caliber, particularly considering his roots in Georgia and education in Alabama, is a significant boost. Downs’ presence is expected to elevate the Buckeyes’ defensive capabilities, creating a potentially formidable safety duo alongside a healthy Lathan Ransom.

2. Will Howard, Quarterback (Kansas State Wildcats):
– Aiming for a fresh start at quarterback, Ohio State secured the services of Will Howard from Kansas State. Howard, with impressive passing and rushing stats during his Wildcats career, brings a different dynamic to the position. His ability to run the football and operate outside the traditional structure could mark a substantial improvement for the team.

3. Quinshon Judkins, Running Back (Ole Miss Rebels):
– Adding to the running back strength, Judkins joins the Buckeyes after a successful tenure with Ole Miss. With TreyVeon Henderson also returning, Ohio State boasts a dynamic one-two punch in the backfield. Judkins’ power complements Henderson’s explosiveness, creating a formidable running game for the team.

4. Seth McLaughlin, Center (Alabama Crimson Tide):
– Addressing a significant need on the offensive line, Ohio State secured Seth McLaughlin from Alabama. With 13 starts at center in the 2023 season, McLaughlin brings experience and versatility. While uncertainties exist regarding his positional fit, the hope is that he can contribute positively to the team’s offensive line.

5. Julian Sayin, Quarterback (Alabama Crimson Tide):
– Despite not expected to play a major role in the 2024 season, Sayin, a highly regarded quarterback, adds depth and potential long-term upside to the quarterback room. With an eye on the future, Ohio State ensures a talented and competitive quarterback group.

Outgoing Transfers:
– Ohio State has experienced some outgoing transfers, losing players to the portal. While these departures mainly impact depth, the team has retained its high-level talent, ensuring a balanced and competitive roster.

While the Ohio State Buckeyes did not make an extensive haul in the transfer portal, the impact of these strategic additions can significantly enhance the team’s prospects.

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