Ohio State lands Utah State graduate transfer Abel Porter

Adam Jardy
Utah State guard Abel Porter (15) passes past Florida forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, part of the Orange Bowl Classic tournament, Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Ohio State has landed a commitment from Utah State graduate transfer Abel Porter.

In four years at Utah State, Porter averaged 4.3 points, 2.4 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 94 career games including 55 starts. As a fourth-year junior last season, Porter started all 34 games for an Aggies team that went 26-8 and won the Mountain West conference tournament, averaging a career-high 5.6 points per game and shooting 38.2% from the floor.

Porter comes to Ohio State to add depth to a thin backcourt that otherwise only features fifth-year senior CJ Walker and junior Duane Washington Jr. He projects as a backup point guard and helps fill a void left by last Sunday's transfer of two-year starter Luther Muhammad.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Porter gives Ohio State a full roster for next season with Kaleb Wesson exploring his NBA draft stock. He is not expected to return for a senior year, although he has kept the option open in part to the uncertainty around the league's pre-draft process this year.

Porter will have just one season of eligibility with the Buckeyes. He took a medical redshirt as a walk-on freshman at Utah State after playing in three games before suffering a foot injury.

He has some experience in Columbus. Utah State played at Nationwide Arena as part of the 2019 NCAA Tournament, the same season in which he was awarded a scholarship, and Porter scored 10 points in a 78-61 loss to Washington.

Porter brings life experience to the roster, too: he served a two-year LDS Church mission in Samara, Russia from 2014-16 before enrolling at Utah State. He married his wife, Presley, in May, 2019.

He will be the fifth player on Ohio State's roster with experience at a previous school and the third to join this offseason. Harvard's Seth Towns and Bucknell's Jimmy Sotos will be in their first years with the Buckeyes, although Sotos will sit out the season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, while Justice Sueing (California) and Walker (Florida State) will be eligible to play.