Three players Ohio State football team can poach from UCLA in the transfer portal

The Ohio State football team has just hired Chip Kelly away from UCLA, meaning that a 30-day transfer window has opened up for UCLA players. Here are three players the Buckeyes could poach if they decided to enter the transfer portal.

North Carolina Central v UCLA
North Carolina Central v UCLA / Harry How/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

The Ohio State football team has a new offensive coordinator in Chip Kelly. Kelly moves on from being the head coach of UCLA to being the OC under his former player Ryan Day. Kelly was clearly frustrated with the lack of NIL and wanted to move on from that program.

Since Kelly has left the Bruins, that opens up a 30-day window for any UCLA player to enter the transfer portal if they want. That opens up some opportunities for the Buckeyes considering they now have two former UCLA coaches on their staff.

There are three players that could help the Buckeyes in the future if these guys decided to actually enter the portal. One of these guys can help them right away this season while the two others can provide depth and perhaps get more time next season.

The first player on this list is at a position of great need for the Buckeyes.

1. Garrett DiGiorgio, Tackle

We know that the biggest need for the Ohio State football team is the offensive line. Specifically, the tackle spot. It seems like Ryan Day likes Josh Simmons at left tackle still, although I'm not entirely sure why. Josh Fryar seems like he could lose his spot at right tackle though.

That opens the door for the Buckeyes to go after a tackle to improve that position. The best offensive lineman Ohio State can go after is Garrett DiGiorgio. He is a former three-star recruit but has been the starter at right tackle for the Bruins for the last two seasons.

DiGiorgio has started all 13 games in each of the last two seasons, so you know he's durable. He was also recruited by Justin Frye, who is the offensive line coach with the Buckeyes. That connection could help facilitate a portal jump if DiGiorio decides he wants to leave.

The offensive line of UCLA was a semifinalist for the Joe Moore Award for the best offensive line in the country in 2022 with DiGiorgio at right tackle. The Bruins led the Pac-12 in rushing that season. It was the first time UCLA had done that since 1976.

If Ohio State doesn't think Luke Montgomery is quite ready to jump into that starting spot, DiGiorgio would be an excellent option. I wonder if Kelly will have any backchannel conversations with him once he gets to Columbus to see if he'd be interested in jumping into the portal.

The next player on this list likely wouldn't see action right away with the Buckeyes but could start next year.


Oct 7, 2023; Pasadena, California, USA; Washington State Cougars wide receiver Kyle Williams (2) is
Oct 7, 2023; Pasadena, California, USA; Washington State Cougars wide receiver Kyle Williams (2) is / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

2. Kamari Ramsey, S

The Ohio State football team got a big upgrade at safety in the offseason when Caleb Downs transferred into the program He will start right away and will play for the next two years. Lathan Ransom is back for the Buckeyes as well, so those will be the two starters this year.

Sonny Styles is likely moving to linebacker, so that opens up a starting safety spot in 2025. Kamari Ramsey would be a great player to add to safety if he jumps into the portal. He's about to be a sophomore and started 11 games last season for the Bruins.

Ramsey is a former four-star recruit and has good ball skills. He can also come up and make tackles in the run game, which is something Jim Knowles likes to see from his safeties. He's an athletic guy who has a pretty high ceiling in my view. Ramsey would definitely start in 2025.

The question is whether or not Ramsey would go somewhere that he wouldn't start right away. He would still get playing time when the Buckeyes need to give Downs, Ransom, or Jordan Hancock a blow. He just wouldn't see as much time as he is at UCLA.

The final player on our list is another guy who would help with depth at a position that can use it.


Sep 9, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; UCLA Bruins running back T.J. Harden (25) celebrates after
Sep 9, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; UCLA Bruins running back T.J. Harden (25) celebrates after / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

3. T.J. Harden RB

DIdn't the Ohio State football program just get a running back from the transfer portal? Yes, they did. Adding Quinshon Judkins was huge for the Buckeyes and they will have a deadly one-two punch with him and Henderson at the running back position in 2024.

Once the season is over though, the Buckeyes have a depth problem at running back. Heck, they kind of have one this season. If Henderson gets hurt (which is not unlikely) the Buckeyes are down to Judkins and Dallan Hayden as far as backs who have seen action in a college football game.

Adding T.J. Harden to the fold would be a dream for the Buckeyes. He started at UCLA last year and ran for 827 yards and 8 touchdowns. If one of the two big guns goes down, Harden can step right in and take the load off the other healthy guy. He can also pair with Judkins in 2025 to be a nice one-two punch.

Of the three guys I've listed, Harden is the guy who has the least chance of coming to Columbus. He likely wouldn't want to go to a program that already has a loaded backfield. Running backs already have short shelf lives, so he's going to want to be the man and then go to the NFL.

If Harden cares more about winning than his stats though, the Ohio State football program could definitely be an option. It would certainly make Ohio State's already scary running game even more frightening.

dark. Next. Next story. C.J. Stroud wins NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year

Ohio State could go after some other Bruins, but these are the three guys they should have near the top of their list.