Palaie Gaoteote, Quinn Ewers, Jake Seibert Among Notable Buckeyes Left Off Ohio State Travel Roster for Minnesota

By Griffin Strom on September 2, 2021 at 5:49 pm
Palaie Gaoteote

Ohio State released its official 74-man travel roster just hours before kickoff in Minneapolis, and there was more than one notable absence on the list.

Although he was not listed as unavailable on the Buckeyes' official status report, USC transfer linebacker Palaie Gaoteote did not travel for Ohio State. Head coach Ryan Day said earlier in the week that the former five-star recruit had still not heard back from the NCAA regarding an eligibility issue that has forced Gaoteote to pay his own way since joining Ohio State over the summer.

Five-star quarterback recruit Quinn Ewers, who reclassified from the 2022 recruiting class to join the Buckeyes' preseason camp ahead of the 2021 season in August, did not travel with the team either.

Of note on special teams, Ohio State redshirt freshman kicker Jake Seibert did not make the trip to Minneapolis. Seibert attempted two field goals and 16 extra points as a true freshman in 2020 while regular starter Blake Haubeil dealt with injury issues, and the Cincinnati, Ohio, native was expected to compete for the starting job this season.

Ohio State added North Carolina kicker Noah Ruggles to the roster over the summer, and Ruggles and senior Dominic DiMaccio were the lone kickers to make the travel roster for Ohio State on Thursday.

At running back, top-100 class of 2021 recruit Evan Pryor will not get a chance to touch the ball in the first game of his true freshman season. Pryor did not make the trip for the Buckeyes, but Master Teague, Miyan Williams, Marcus Crowley and TreVeyon Henderson are all on the travel roster at running back.

Other notable absences from the travel roster that were not listed as unavailable include true freshman defenders Reid Carrico and Andre Turrentine, redshirt freshman defensive end Darrion Henry-Young and redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Cormontae Hamilton.

In total, 14 true freshmen made the trip for Ohio State: Henderson, wide receivers Emeka Egbuka, Marvin Harrison Jr. and Jayden Ballard, quarterback Kyle McCord, defensive ends Jack Sawyer and J.T. Tuimoloau, offensive lineman Donovan Jackson, defensive tackles Mike Hall and Tyleik Williams, cornerbacks Denzel Burke, Jakailin Johnson and Jordan Hancock and punter Jesse Mirco.

The Buckeyes have 75 total players on their travel roster for Thursday night's game, one more than the 74-man limit, because redshirt junior wide receiver Kamryn Babb, who is unavailable for the Buckeyes due to an ACL injury, also made the trip as a team captain.

The Buckeyes and Golden Gophers will kick off their respective seasons at 8 p.m. in Minneapolis.

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