Final thoughts about Ohio State football players leaving in the transfer portal

The Buckeyes did not sustain many losses to their roster in the spring transfer portal window.
Dallan Hayden
Dallan Hayden / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

The spring transfer window has come and gone, with it opening on April 16th and ending April 30th. It is possible for those players who entered the transfer portal during that time frame to enroll at a new school; it is just not possible for players to enter the transfer portal now until the next window, which is next December.

Ohio State was able to get through all of its spring football practices with no substantial injuries that would eliminate anyone on their roster from participating this fall, and only a limited number of players who decided to enter the spring transfer portal. Ohio State has to be at or under 85 scholarship athletes and is unofficially within that prescribed scholarship limit.

Even though the spring transfer portal window has closed, and there were only six players who decided to leave Ohio State for other venues, I wanted to offer up some thoughts on the spring transfer portal. Here are some quick thoughts...

1. Dallan Hayden to Colorado was a puzzler

It was disappointing to see Dallan Hayden enter the spring transfer portal before the conclusion of spring football practices. It had been rumored, and Hayden made it official before the Ohio State spring game on April 13th.

While I understand Hayden's frustration at sitting third on the Ohio State depth chart at running back, behind TreVeyon Henderson and Quinshon Judkins, I was hoping that Hayden was going to realize that his opportunities for more playing time were going to increase this year, with the hiring of Chip Kelly as Ohio State's offensive coordinator - Ohio State is going to run the ball in 2024, and Hayden could have been a beneficiary of this offensive philosophy, if not the primary beneficiary.

Even more importantly, Hayden decided to go to Colorado. Under Deion Sanders, Colorado has had a revolving door of players coming and going via the transfer portal, and the offensive line for Colorado is a definite weak spot. Hayden had other options; I am just surprised that he selected a school that may not be able to showcase his talents better than some of the other schools that were on his list.

2. We hardly knew ya

That caption was not meant to be a slam or mocking of the players who fit that description, but it was used to merely represent the point that some of the players who entered the spring transfer portal were players who had not established themselves during their time within the Ohio State football program.

Dallan Hayden was the biggest name who entered the portal, but the others - S Ja'Had Carter, LB Nigel Glover, WR Kyion Grayes, S Cedric Hawkins, Jr., and OL Enokk Vimahi - were backups who were struggling to move up on the depth chart (more on Vimahi below). In the cases of Ja'Had Carter and Nigel Glover, both had previously been in the transfer portal before and are now looking again for a home. Best wishes to all of these young men, and good luck in your future destinations and endeavors.

3. Dial back frustrations about the Ohio State football team not being active in the portal

Enokk Vimahi was a member of Ryan Day's initial 2019 recruiting class. Recruited out of Hawaii, Vimahi redshirted in 2019 and then was a backup contributor on the offensive line for most of his career. Vimahi did start against Michigan in 2022, and in The Cotton Bowl versus Missouri in 2023. Vimahi has already committed to play his final season of college football at Washington.

Ohio State fans are hoping that the coaching staff will find a starting caliber right guard, or right tackle, for the offensive line. The reality is that even with the spring transfer portal, there are very few offensive linemen within the portal who are capable of coming to Ohio State, over the summer, and being able to master the offense well enough to become a starter.

Ohio State fans are quick to say, "Hey Minnich, don't forget about last year with Josh Simmons. He was a spring transfer portal entry who came in over the summer and started.". Good point. Some other things to keep in mind with Josh Simmons - he not only had been a starting offensive tackle at San Diego State, but he had also been recruited out of high school by Ohio State offensive line coach Justin Frye, when Frye was at UCLA. Those factors were what attracted Ohio State to Simmons, and vice versa. The circumstances this season, so far, seem to be entirely different. And let us not forget - Simmons had his share of rough spots in 2023, especially in the earlier portions of the season.

Will Ohio State be active in the spring transfer portal? It is possible, but Ryan Day and his coaching staff are trying to make sure that any player they bring in will be able to contribute. So far, it seems like the coaching staff have made inquiries about possible additions at the safety position, and even those players would be looked upon as helping the depth at the position.


The spring transfer portal window has closed, and Ohio State's coaches and fans should be exhaling now that only six players decided to leave. Now all of the focus can be on summer conditioning for what could be an exciting year for the Buckeyes this upcoming season.