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Ohio State Football: The Buckeyes' Most Important Transfer Portal Additions on Offense and Defense for 2023

Athlon Sports 1/30/2023 Steven Lassan
© Provided by Athlon Sports

A complete breakdown of Ohio State's most important transfer portal addition on offense and defense for the 2023 college football season.

Ohio State's quest to get back to the top of the Big Ten and into the CFB Playoff in 2023 starts with replacing quarterback C.J. Stroud and a handful of other key contributors on both sides of the ball. As always, talent isn't in short supply in Columbus. However, like all contenders in college football, coach Ryan Day and staff targeted help from the transfer portal to speed up the reloading process. The Buckeyes didn't add a massive amount of players, but a couple of key players are on their way to Columbus. Also, with the portal set to open again in April, more help could be coming later this offseason.

Which players are the biggest and most important additions for Ohio State through the transfer portal? Athlon Sports breaks down the transfers for the Buckeyes' offense and defense in 2023:

Ohio State's Most Important Transfer Portal Additions on Offense and Defense for 2023


Best Offensive Addition: OL Victor Cutler (from ULM)

The Buckeyes have been quiet in the portal on the offensive side of the ball. As of late January, coach Ryan Day and staff have added just one player to its high-powered offense for 2023.

Cutler played more than 1,000 snaps in three years at ULM, seeing time at left tackle, center and right tackle. The Louisiana native did not earn All-Sun Belt honors in his career with the Warhawks but was a steady player for an offense that's experienced a lot of transition in recent years.

With some significant turnover up front, Cutler could factor into the mix on the interior or provide solid depth this fall. Although the bulk of his experience at ULM came on the edges, the Buckeyes are expected to slide him into the interior.

Ohio State's line is set to lose key starters in center Luke Wypler and tackles Paris Johnson Jr. and Dawand Jones. However, guards Donovan Jackson and Matthew Jones are slated to return, giving line coach Justin Frye plenty of options to shuffle and find the right five in the spring.

Other Additions on Offense

QB Tristan Gebbia (from Oregon State)Kyle McCord and Devin Brown are set to compete to replace C.J. Stroud, but Gebbia was added to provide depth under center. The former Oregon State signal-caller should work as the No. 3 quarterback for Day after throwing for 1,250 yards and five touchdowns to four picks in 12 appearances in Corvallis.

Related: Early Big Ten Predictions for 2023


Best Defensive Addition: DB Ja'Had Carter (from Syracuse)

Ohio State ranked 10th in the Big Ten in pass efficiency defense and gave up the most completions of 40-plus yards (13) in the conference last year. Coordinator Jim Knowles needs to get better secondary play overall to beat Michigan and reclaim the top spot in the Big Ten once again. After uneven season in '22, targeting help through the portal was a must for the staff.

Carter spent most of his time playing safety or slot corner for the Orange last fall, accumulating three picks, three pass breakups and 36 tackles over 12 games. With Carter's versatility an asset, Knowles could slide the Syracuse transfer into the nickel role. The Buckeyes aren't losing a ton in the secondary, but safety Ronnie Hickman and cornerback JK Johnson are big losses for this unit to overcome.

Related: Projecting College Football's Starting QBs for 2023

Special Teams

Key Additions: K Casey Magyar (from Kent State) and LS John Ferlmann (from Arizona State)

The Buckeyes are looking for a new kicker with standout Noah Ruggles out of eligibility. Magyar (one extra point and zero field goals made at Kent State) is expected to battle Jake Seibert, Jayden Fielding and Parker Lewis (a former USC kicker). John Ferlmann could push for snaps as the team's primary long snapper.

Podcast: Debating the Way-Too-Early Preseason College Football Top 25 for 2023

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