Unlike most of his class, he did not join the program this summer, but Johnson arrived to a defensive backs room with a unique mix of veterans still looking to maximize themselves and unproven youngsters hoping to take their jobs.
Veterans Josh Proctor and Marcus Hooker both have starting experience at deep safety, where sophomore Bryson Shaw is also in the mix.
Senior Marcus Williamson, sophomore Lathan Ransom and redshirt freshman Cam Martinez are among the competitors at the other safety spot, which typically has lined up in the box the past two seasons but requires the ability to cover, blitz and stop the run.
Kerry Coombs says Ohio State could play many different guys on defense
The offensive line also lost some potential depth this week when Ryan Jacoby entered the transfer portal.
Bucknuts.com was the first to report he is looking elsewhere for playing time after two-plus years at Ohio State.
The 6-4, 305-pound junior from Mentor enrolled early in 2019 but never cracked the lineup.
He was a four-star prospect in his recruiting class.
Ohio State has built impressive depth on the line over the past couple of years and still has 15 scholarship linemen in the program, though a majority of those players are in their first or second year as a Buckeye.
Both guard positions were open entering the offseason (with Harry Miller moving back to center), but it appears they could both be filled by natural tackles if an experimental lineup seen earlier this week on the practice field turns out to be the one coach Greg Studrawa goes with.
That included Nicholas Petit-Frere and Dawand Jones at tackle, Thayer Munford and Paris Johnson Jr. at guard and Miller at center.