Instead of competing for playing time in Ohio State’s secondary next season, Ryan Watts will be continuing his college football career elsewhere.
After two seasons with the Buckeyes, Watts entered the transfer portal on Friday, becoming the fourth Ohio State player to enter the portal since the end of the regular season.
Much love Columbus pic.twitter.com/wyDhWmqzYx— Ryan Watts (@TheRyanWatts) December 11, 2021
A 6-foot-3, 205-pound cornerback, Watts entered the 2021 season as a candidate to play significant snaps in Ohio State’s secondary this year. After starting the season opener and playing 49 snaps at cornerback against Minnesota, however, Watts played only 73 defensive snaps in the Buckeyes’ final 11 regular season games, with those snaps coming primarily in the second half of blowout wins.
Ohio State briefly explored moving Watts to safety after Josh Proctor went down with a season-ending injury in the second game of the season against Oregon, but he ended up staying at cornerback, where he was a backup behind the top trio of Denzel Burke, Sevyn Banks and Cameron Brown.
With Banks and Brown both potentially leaving for the NFL after this season, there appeared to be an opening for Watts to compete for significant playing time at cornerback in 2022. Instead, the Little Elm, Texas, native will be looking to play a bigger role somewhere else.
His departure leaves third-year Lejond Cavazos and second-years Jordan Hancock and Jakailin Johnson as the top candidates to compete for a starting job opposite Burke if Banks and Brown go pro. Ohio State is also set to have three true freshman cornerbacks on its 2022 roster in Terrance Brooks, Jyaire Brown and Ryan Turner, who are all expected to sign with the Buckeyes next week during the early signing period.
Ohio State is not expected to pursue a cornerback through the transfer portal after opting not to bring in former LSU cornerback Eli Ricks for an official visit.