Ohio State adds to defense from transfer portal

Credit: Michael Wyke

Credit: Michael Wyke

Ohio State is not expected to add any high school recruits on National Signing Day, but coach Ryan Day’s team made a big pickup anyway.

After a season at Mississippi, cornerback Davison Igbinosun has committed to transfer to Ohio State.

He was the No. 1 prospect in New Jersey when he signed with the Rebels last year but announced Jan. 14 he was entering the transfer portal because of uncertainty with the Rebels coaching staff.

The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder from Union, N.J., started 10 games as a true freshman and received freshman All-American honors from College Football News after finishing the campaign with 37 tackles and five passes defended.

Even if he is not able to win a starting job this year, Igbinosun figures to add critical depth at a position that was hit hard by injuries last season when coach Tim Walton had six scholarship cornerbacks.

With starter Cameron Brown graduating and top reserve JK Johnson transferring to LSU, Walton might have been at the same number this year, but now he is scheduled to have seven this fall with incoming freshmen Jermaine Mathews and Calvin Simpson-Hunt joining juniors Denzel Burke and Jordan Hancock, sophomore Jyaire Brown and redshirt freshman Ryan Turner.

Burke is a two-year starter already, but injuries sullied his sophomore season, so he enters 2023 looking to recapture some of the promise he showed as a freshman.

Jyaire Brown, a Lakota West product, also started four games when Burke or Cam Brown was hurt while Hancock played in four games with one start late in the season after getting over a serious hamstring issue.

All were four-star prospects in high school, so Walton should have some good raw material to work with in his second season as an assistant at his alma mater, but Ohio State could use much more production from the position after it contributed zero interceptions last season.

The secondary was the Buckeyes’ biggest weakness by far, and they have also added a transfer at safety in Ja’Had Carter of Syracuse.

247Sports ranked Igbinosun the 10th-best transfer available and the fourth-best cornerback while Carter is 14th overall and first among safeties.

Ohio State has been selective in using the transfer portal since it was created four years ago but more active this year with multiple offers going out to offensive linemen and defensive backs most noticeably.

Offensive line is another area where there are depth concerns after the departure of three starters, and the Buckeyes received a commitment from Victor Cutler of Louisiana-Monroe after missing multiple higher-profile players.

Cutler played tackle for the Warhawks, but he told 247Sports he expects to compete at center for Ohio State after Luke Wypler’s somewhat surprising decision to enter the NFL Draft with multiple years of eligibility remaining.

Ohio State has added several notable transfers in the portal era, including Justin Fields, Jonah Jackson, Trey Sermon, Tanner McCalister, Chip Trayanum and Noah Ruggles.

This year Ohio State is also adding Tristan Gebbia, a senior from Oregon State who is expected to be the No. 3 or 4 quarterback.

As for National Signing Day, Ohio State’s 2023 class was ranked No. 5 in the nation on Tuesday, the eve of the traditional date prospects would sign national letters of intent.

That practice has largely shifted to late December, though, as most players opt to sign early if they have Division I FBS offers, and many enroll in classes in January.

Alabama has the No. 1 class in 247Sports Composite rankings followed by Georgia, Texas and LSU.

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