Ohio State football reserve safety Jaylen Johnson enters transfer portal

Joey Kaufman
The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio State safety Jaylen Johnson has put his name in the NCAA transfer portal, The Dispatch confirmed Monday.

Johnson spent two seasons with the program, but never appeared in any games for the Buckeyes.

A torn anterior cruciate ligament prevented him from debuting when he arrived as a freshman last fall, then a logjam of safeties kept him from moving into the rotation this season. The Buckeyes have had 10 safeties on scholarship this year.

Aug 11, 2022; Columbus, OH, USA;  Ohio State Buckeyes safety Jaylen Johnson (25) lines up across from wide receiver Xavier Johnson (10) during football camp at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

Johnson is a native of Cincinnati and was a three-star recruit while coming out of La Salle High School.

He’s first player from Ohio State to enter the portal since the regular season ended a little more than a week ago.

Monday marked the opening of the transfer portal window, a newly instituted 45-day period for players to put their names in the online database that allows them to be contacted by others schools. It closes on Jan. 18 before a second 15-day window comes in April after spring practices.

The Buckeyes on Sunday received a berth to the College Football Playoff, where they will face top-seeded Georgia in a semifinal in the Peach Bowl.

On a teleconference held with Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart that followed the matchup's announcement, Ohio State coach Ryan Day said the Buckeyes have had conservations with players about the portal, but expected most to remain on the roster.

"I think our culture is such that there's a lot of guys on our team that want to be Buckeyes moving forward," he said.

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

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