When players officially put their name into the transfer portal, especially if they played for the Ohio State football team, you can almost guarantee that they are going to land on their feet at one of the other 132 Division I programs. What you don’t see are those players returning to Ohio State. That was until Bryson Rodgers did exactly that, announcing via X that he will be returning to Ohio State after testing the waters in the portal for 11 days.
The four-star receiver from Zephyrhills, Florida didn’t see the field much in 2023, accumulating no stats in his first season at Ohio State. Rodgers kept his redshirt status due to not participating in more than four games giving him four years of eligibility remaining.
Maybe it was the fact that fellow freshman receiver Noah Rogers, along with senior Julian Fleming, both decided to enter the portal coupled with Marvin Harrison Jr. announcing that he would be turning pro that led to Rodgers' decision. Due to the process of elimination, Rodgers has automatically moved up the depth chart.
Ohio State wide receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator, Brian Hartline, has a terrific reputation for developing NFL-caliber receivers. Obviously, that development is unique for each individual Buckeye. If Hartline didn’t believe Rodgers could develop into a solid contributor in this offense, then he wouldn’t have been welcomed back.
Keep your eye on Rodgers this spring. If he cracks the two deep, then obviously that development was worth the squeeze. The Ohio State football team still has a lot of great receivers, so it will be tough for Rodgers to do that. I do think he'll see the field more in 2024 though.
It's never bad to get a player of his caliber back for next year. Keeping good players is always the goal.