Ohio State football linebacker Dallas Gant enters NCAA transfer portal

Joey Kaufman
The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio State linebacker Dallas Gant has put his name into the NCAA transfer portal, The Dispatch has confirmed.

After waiting three seasons for a larger role with the Buckeyes, he saw limited playing time in the first three games this season, including appearing on the field for only one snap in Saturday’s win over Tulsa, according to Pro Football Focus.

It was a sudden drop-off as Gant had logged 41 snaps in the season opener at Minnesota, then five against Oregon. Over three games, he had 10 tackles.

His diminished role against Tulsa came despite starting linebacker Teradja Mitchell being unavailable. 

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Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Dallas Gant (19) makes a tackle on Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Mohamed Ibrahim (24) during the third quarter of their game in Huntington Bank Stadium at University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN on September 2, 2021.

Gant was once considered a potential starter after he had backed up Tuf Borland at middle linebacker in previous seasons, but his preparation this offseason was impacted by a foot injury, prompting him to be sidelined during spring practice and further limited in preseason training camp last month.

A switch to a 4-2-5 base defense this season has also had an effect as the Buckeyes are starting only two linebackers.

Tommy Eichenberg and Mitchell started in the first two games, while sophomore Cody Simon filled in for Mitchell last week.

While a senior, Gant can leave Ohio State with two remaining seasons of eligibility. By appearing in only three games this fall, he qualifies for a redshirt season, and all players were awarded an additional season of eligibility due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Joey Kaufman covers Ohio State football for The Columbus Dispatch. Contact him at jkaufman@dispatch.com or on Twitter @joeyrkaufman.