Ohio State Linebacker/Safety Brendon White Enters Transfer Portal

By Dan Hope on December 13, 2019 at 3:34 pm
Brendon White

Brendon White's Ohio State career appears to be coming to an end.

The junior linebacker/safety has entered the transfer portal, according to multiple reports. Rainer Sabin of the Detroit Free Press was the first to report the news.

An Ohio State spokesperson said he had not yet heard whether White has entered the portal.

White's decision to transfer comes near the end of a season in which he was expected to be an impact player for the Buckeyes' defense but instead ended up playing seldomly as a backup linebacker in Ohio State's new defensive scheme.

After playing only sparingly as a true freshman, when he switched back and forth between safety and wide receiver multiple times, White played only 47 snaps in the first eight games of 2018, and a source told Eleven Warriors that he was considering a transfer at that time.

That changed, however, in the second half of White's sophomore season, when he took Jordan Fuller's place in the lineup at safety following an ejection and recorded 13 tackles against Nebraska. White went on to start alongside Fuller in Ohio State's final five games of the season and became one of the best players on a struggling Buckeye defense, earning defensive player of the game honors in the Rose Bowl.

With the arrival of a new defensive coaching staff this spring, however, White was moved from safety to "bullet," a hybrid linebacker/safety position in which he was expected to be a versatile playmaker for the Buckeyes this year. That role never materialized into much playing time, as he spent most of the season backing up at Pete Werner at strongside linebacker in Ohio State's new defensive scheme, which uses only one safety and three cornerbacks in its base personnel alignment.

Of the 176 snaps that White played for Ohio State this season, most of them came in second-half action after the Buckeyes had already taken their starting linebackers out of the game. He played only three combined snaps in Ohio State's last three games and did not make the trip to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game for what Ryan Day described as “personal reasons.”

Day said earlier this week that it was not yet known whether White would return to Ohio State for the College Football Playoff, but now, that decision has been made.

With a deep Ohio State linebacker corps that is currently set to lose only one scholarship player (Malik Harrison) after this season, White faced an uncertain future in terms of the playing time he would have gotten with the Buckeyes next season, too.

That said, White's performance down the stretch in 2018 should make him a coveted commodity in the transfer portal, as he has proven he has the ability to be an impact player in a defense that uses a traditional strong safety.

A native of Powell, Ohio, White was a four-star recruit in the class of 2017 whose offers out of Olentangy Liberty High School also included Michigan State, Notre Dame, Boston College, Illinois and Kentucky. He is the son of former Ohio State and NFL cornerback William White, a four-year starter for the Buckeyes from 1984-87.

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