Lakota West grad and veteran receiver among Ohio State players entering transfer portal

Kyle McCord hogged the headlines, but more than a handful of Ohio State players were looking to transfer as the NCAA transfer portal opened Monday.

Lakota West grad Jyaire Brown is one of four defensive backs, joining fellow cornerback Ryan Turner and safeties Cam Martinez and Kye Stokes, while senior receiver Julian Fleming is the next-biggest name after McCord.

Brown, who grew up in New Orleans, was a four-star recruit two years ago and played in 10 games as a true freshman. He was pressed into starting duty against Wisconsin because of injuries and ended up playing 197 defensive snaps in 2022, the most of any member of his signing class.

This season Brown made one tackle in four games, meaning he preserved a year off eligibility and has three remaining.

Turner was also a four-star recruit in 2022 coming out of Hollywood, Fla. He played in three games as a true freshman and two this season.

Martinez was a four-star prospect in 2020 after starring on both sides of the ball at Michigan prep powerhouse Muskegon High School. He settled on defense at Ohio State but never carved out a significant role.

Martinez was Ohio State’s No. 2 nickel back last season, but that position was manned mostly by Sonny Styles and Jordan Hancock this year. Martinez ended up seeing action in only three games and also can take a redshirt for this season.

Stokes was a four-star prospect at Armwood High School in Florida two years ago. He played in eight games as a true freshman but only three this fall after being passed on the depth chart by Malik Hartford, a true freshman from Lakota West.

Also looking to transfer are Fleming, sophomore linebacker Reid Carrico, senior centers Jakob James and Victor Cutler, redshirt freshman defensive end Omari Abor, third-year sophomore running back Evan Pryor, and kicker Parker Lewis.

Along with those decisions, Miyan Williams, a fourth-year running back from Cincinnati who had a season-ending injury this year, announced he will enter the NFL Draft.

McCord led Ohio State to an 11-1 record in his first season as the starting quarterback for the Buckeyes. He was named to the All-Big Ten third team and finished the regular season No. 2 in the Big Ten in passing efficiency, passing yards (3,170), touchdown passes (24) and yards per attempt (9.1).

Fleming was the nation’s No. 1-rated receiver recruit in the country in 2020, but injuries hindered him early in his career. He was a regular part of the rotation the past two seasons and finished his time at Ohio State with 80 catches for 990 yards and seven touchdowns.

The transfer portal was created in 2018 to give players more freedom to explore their options and facilitate communication with other schools.

Currently, the portal is open twice during the academic year, Dec. 4-Jan. 2 and May 1-15, for players who wish to be eligible to play at their new school next season.

Players from teams that are participating in the postseason (bowls or the playoff) get an extra five days after their game.

Combined with the NCAA eliminating the year-in-residence rule and thus making all players eligible to play immediately at their new school, the portal has created an explosion in player movement over the past few seasons.

Ohio State lost nine scholarship transfers last season and 13 the year before.

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