The spring window for entrants has closed and the Ohio State Transfer Portal trackers have been busy. Players transfer to and from programs for a myriad of reasons. Some are homesick, some have NIL deals thrown in their face, promises get broken, or the players are just squeezed out.
It’s an unfortunate side effect of the current nature of college football but it’s a necessary one, honestly. Ohio State has been selective when it comes to who they want out of the Portal in the Ryan Day era. At the same time, they have not had a mass exodus as other programs have.
Following the 2022 season, there were shortcomings that needed to be addressed and the only way to do so was to utilize the Portal.
New Faces on the Block: Ohio State Transfer Portal Commitments
Tywone Malone, defensive tackle from Ole Miss
The latest Portal commitment came on May 9th as big boy Tywone Malone joined Davison Igbinosin in transferring to Ohio State from Ole Miss. Over his two seasons with the Rebels, Malone managed just 13 tackles, two sacks, and a pair of pass breakups. The Buckeyes fended off Miami (FL) for Malone’s services this time around. In the 2021 class, Malone was the 11th-best defensive lineman in the nation and had offers from everywhere. Ohio State was in the running back then but, of course, lost to Ole Miss. He comes to Columbus with three years of eligibility remaining. He joins a unit with Tyleik Williams and Mike Hall. The 6-4, 300-pound lineman will provide some crucial depth for a defensive line that was often gashed by running backs last year.
John Ferlmann, long snapper from Arizona State
Out of high school, John Ferlmann was considered the seventh-best long snapper in the nation. That distinction earned him a five-star rating from Rubio’s Long Snapping Rankings.
After redshirting for the Sun Devils in 2021, Ferlmann started all 12 games in 2022 before entering his name into the Portal on December 5th, just 10 days after the team ended their disappointing 3-9 season. He was on campus for a visit on December 17th where he later committed.
For the Buckeyes, long snapper may not seem like a dire need, but it could have cost them last year. Veteran long snapper, Bradley Robinson was lost to a season-ending injury and Mason Arnold stepped in. As a result, there was a crucial miscommunication in the game against Michigan where they were supposed to fake it but didn’t.
With the news of Ferlmann coming to town, Arnold, himself, elected to transfer out.
Casey Magyar, kicker from Kent State
Casey Magyar comes to Ohio State via the Portal from in-state MAC foe, Kent State. Magyar does not have much collegiate experience to his name as he’s attempted just one extra point. He is a local kid, however. Magyar hails from Dublin Coffman High School and was a second-team All-Ohio selection in 2020.
He will be a preferred walk-on to compete with Parker Lewis (transfer from USC) and Jayden Fielding to be the starter after Jake Seibert jumped in the Portal.
Ja’Had Carter, safety from Syracuse
The first massive BOOM in this Ohio State Transfer Portal cycle came from three-year Syracuse starting safety, Ja’Had Carter. In his three years as a starter for the Orange, Carter amassed 138 tackles, 3.5 for loss, 12 pass breakups, five interceptions, one forced fumble, and he recovered two. He was widely regarded as the top safety in the portal at the time.
With Tanner McCallister and Ronnie Hickman vying for NFL jobs in Cleveland, Carter has a legitimate shot to start for the Buckeyes. Unfortunately, his spring was cut short after a non-contact knee injury at the beginning of April. Coach Ryan Day is optimistic that he will be healthy for fall camp.
However, his absence will make it more difficult to unseat guys like Josh Proctor and Lathan Ransom as the starter. Behind those grizzled vets, there are a few young athletes looking to make their mark in Sonny Styles — who has flashed when given the opportunity — and Kye Stokes. It’s going to be a full-on positional war, never mind a battle.
Tristan Gebbia, quarterback from Oregon State
Ohio State has dabbled in the realm of transfer quarterbacks in Day’s tenure. However, Tristan Gebbia is not exactly Justin Fields. Unlike Fields, Gebbia was not a highly-touted quarterback with aspirations to be the next starting quarterback at Ohio State.
OSU is Gebbia’s third school following a year at Nebraska in 2017 and five at Oregon State. He appeared in four games in three seasons (2019, 2020, 2022) and managed 1,250 yards and five touchdowns while completing 64% of his passes. While he was on campus for the OSU v OSU matchup in 2018, Gebbia had to sit out the season due to the old NCAA transfer regulations.
As he approaches his seventh year as a college quarterback, Gebbia is actually more concerned with becoming a coach and mentor than a star quarterback for Ohio State.
Victor Cutler, tackle from Louisiana-Monroe
Replacing three NFL-bound offensive linemen in one offseason is never easy. Recruiting at the position has been a bit of a letdown, overall, so Victor Cutler turned into the next Ohio State Transfer Portal addition.
At UL-Monroe, Cutler started 21 games over the past three seasons as a left tackle (13 times), right tackle (four), and center (four). At 6’3″, 302 pounds, he is not going to battle for one of the tackle jobs. Cutler has been battling with redshirt freshman Carson Hinzman to be the next starting center.
As a unit, the Buckeyes’ offensive line struggled in the Spring Game. They looked overmatched. Cutler, as well as the rest of the unit, will need to take some big steps this fall so as to not squander the weapons at the skill positions.
Davison Igbinosun, corner from Ole Miss
Hotty Toddy! The second BOOM of the Ohio State Transfer Portal cycle comes to the Buckeyes by way of Ole Miss and has a legit shot of getting the secondary back to BIA-level play. Davison Igbinosun spent his freshman year in Oxford, Mississippi, and was a standout. In 13 games, Igbinosun tallied 35 tackles and broke up five passes. His play earned him Freshman All-American honors from College Football News.
Ohio State’s secondary needs help. Last year, the Buckeyes allowed 200 yards per game through the air. However, they played three good teams: Penn State, Michigan, and Georgia. In those key games, Ohio State allowed 371 yards to Sean Clifford, 278 to J.J. McCarthy, and 398 to Stetson Bennett. Not to mention the 318 allowed to Maryland. They needed to get better in 2023.
Igbinosun has shown to be just what the doctor ordered in a short time. He’s already expected to have a cemented spot in the Buckeyes’ two-deep. Ohio State fans should get used to pronouncing Igbinosun because he is projected to be making plenty of plays for the Scarlet and Gray this fall.
Josh Simmons, tackle from San Diego State
The most recent BOOM of the Ohio State Transfer Portal haul is a right tackle with plenty of experience. Josh Simmons elected to leave San Diego State for a Power 5 opportunity. Ohio State out-bid the shiny new toy, Colorado, and a number of SEC programs. Coach Day saw how his offensive line performed in the Spring Game and knew he had to add another piece.
As an Aztec, Simmons redshirted in 2021 before starting 13 games in 2022. With both Paris Johnson, Jr. and Dawan Jones heading to the NFL, Simmons is now the lone tackle on the roster with a full season’s worth of experience. He played nearly 800 snaps and was a significantly better pass blocker than a run blocker. That fact alone shows that he will fit in.
Simmons knows his shortcoming is run blocking and does not expect to come in and be handed the starting job. He will battle it out through fall camp and make the most of his three years of remaining eligibility.
Lorenzo Styles, corner from Notre Dame
The Ohio State secondary could become a family affair with the latest addition. Lorenzo Styles, brother of safety Sonny Styles, comes to Columbus from Notre Dame and returns to his defensive position.
As the fifth-ranked player in all of Ohio in 2021, Styles was initially recruited by the Buckeyes as a defensive back. He believed that he wanted to play wide receiver, so he chose to enroll at Notre Dame instead. In two seasons, Styles contributed 628 yards and two touchdowns off of 54 receptions. Last year, he took the first play from scrimmage for Notre Dame 54 yards against his new teammates.
Notre Dame actually began the process of making the position change. After a few weeks of Spring ball, Styles decided to transfer to his hometown team.
The Buckeye secondary needs help and Styles has the ability to do so. Look for he and Igbinosun to really challenge the returning Ohio State players.
Photo courtesy: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports