2. Jayden Ballard
We know that wide receiver is the deepest group on this Ohio State football team. They have some really strong talent because they recruit for that position well every year. Because there are so many great players in that room, not everyone gets playing time.
Jayden Ballard is one of those guys that doesn’t see a whole lot of time. He returns punts right now because the Buckeyes don’t want Emeka Egbuka to re-injure his leg, but that’s about the extent of the snaps he sees. Unless it’s a blowout, he doesn’t get receiver reps.
That’s not likely to change next year despite both Egbuka and Marvin Harrison Jr. leaving for the NFL. Julian Fleming will likely stay and true-freshman Carnell Tate is already getting reps over Ballard. Add that to Brandon Inniss and two more five-star freshmen coming in next year, and that doesn’t leave a spot for Ballard.
Ballard should leave and find a place that will give him some playing time. He’s still a good player. I think he could be a Power 5 starter, just not with the Buckeyes. If he wants to play at the next level, he has to get some playing time to show that he’s actually good.
I would expect Ballard to enter the transfer portal once the season is over. I’d be very surprised if he decided to stay. The next player on this list could also leave the Buckeyes in search of more playing time.