Ohio State safety back in NCAA transfer portal

COLUMBUS — Ja’Had Carter will likely end his Ohio State football career after one season.

Per multiple reports, the safety has entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal. Players have until Tuesday to declare their intent to transfer.

Carter is the third Buckeye to enter the portal this spring, following running back Dallan Hayden and another safety, Cedrick Hawkins.

Carter transferred in from Syracuse last winter to bring veteran help to an otherwise fairly young safety group. He played in eight games as a reserve and recorded five tackles.

He is projected for another season as a reserve in 2024. Caleb Downs transferring in from Alabama locked up the other deep safety spot opposite Lathan Ransom. Ohio State has been trending towards using players with a cornerback background as the nickel safety.

Carter, though, was one of the top defensive backs in the portal in the 2022 postseason. He started 27 of 31 games over three seasons at Syracuse, collecting 135 tackles, five interceptions, 12 passes defended and one fumble forced.

The departures of Hawkins and Carter, though, do chip away at the scholarship safety depth. The count is down to seven, including true freshmen Jaylen McClain and Leroy Roker. McClain had a strong spring, though, as did redshirt freshman Jayden Bonsu.

In terms of filling out a three-deep, OSU could reach down to the walk-on ranks for players such as Brenton “Inky” Jones, who showed up well in the spring game and other scrimmages.