Ohio State Buckeyes: Linebacker enters transfer portal

Ohio State players, including Dallas Gant, center, practice at Ohio Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff
Caption
Ohio State players, including Dallas Gant, center, practice at Ohio Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

Ohio State linebacker Dallas Gant has entered the transfer portal, a school spokesman confirmed Wednesday.

Gant arrived at Ohio State as a four-star recruit from Toledo St. John’s in the class of 2018.

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He was a favorite to crack the starting lineup this season after waiting behind veterans Tuf Borland, Pete Werner, Baron Browning and Justin Hilliard, but he missed much of spring practice with a foot injury and was not 100 percent in preseason camp, either.

The 6-3, 232-pounder has played in all three games off the bench this season and tallied 10 tackles. He has 53 career tackles, including 3.5 for loss, and has forced two fumbles.

Classmate Teradja Mitchell and sophomore Tommy Eichenberg started the first two games with sophomore Cody Simon starting in place of an injured Mitchell last week.

Former running back Steele Chambers has also entered the mix along with USC transfer Palaie Gaoteote while senior K’Vaughn Pope has filled a role on some passing downs.

According to Pro Football Focus, Gant played 47 snaps in the first three games. The site gave him a grade of 45.5, which is well below average but not far ahead of Chambers or far behind Mitchell as the position group as a whole has gotten off to a slow start to the season.

If Gant follows through and leaves the program, Ohio State will be left with eight scholarship linebackers, a group that includes true freshman Reid Carrico and redshirt freshman Mitchell Melton. Melton is out with a long-term injury suffered in the spring.

The linebackers room also includes walk-ons Cade Kacherski, a senior contributor on special teams, Ryan Batsch, Jackson Kuwatch and Jalen Pace.

Kuwatch is a freshman from Lakota West while Pace is a freshman from St. Louis and the son of Ohio State Hall of Fame offensive lineman Orlando Pace.

Gant, who is eligible to return after entering the portal but not guaranteed to be allowed back on scholarship, would be the seventh Ohio State scholarship player to transfer since the end of last season.

The only other one from the defensive side of the ball is Tyreke Johnson, former five-star recruit cornerback who transferred to Nebraska.