Ohio State has landed the top-ranked safety in the transfer portal.
Former Syracuse safety Ja’Had Carter, who is ranked by 247Sports as the top safety in the transfer portal this year, announced his commitment to Ohio State on Tuesday.
Carter becomes the first non-specialist to commit to Ohio State via the transfer portal for the 2023 season. Ohio State also added former Arizona State long snapper John Ferlmann as a scholarship player and former Kent State kicker Casey Magyar as a walk-on.
A Freshman All-American in 2020, Carter was an All-ACC honorable mention safety in 2022. Over the course of his three years at Syracuse, Carter has recorded 138 total tackles with five interceptions, 12 pass deflections, two fumble recoveries (one returned for a 90-yard touchdown) and one forced fumble while making 28 starts in 31 total game appearances.
The 6-foot-2, 198-pound safety is ranked by 247Sports as the 12th-best prospect to enter the transfer portal this year. A native of Richmond, Virginia, Carter played at Henrico High School and spent one year at Jireh Prep Academy in North Carolina before starting his college career at Syracuse in 2020.
The Carter File
- Year: Junior
- Size: 6-2/198
- Pos: S
- School: Syracuse (2020-22)
- Stats: 138 TKL, 5 INT, 12 PBU, 1 FF, 2 FR, 1 TD
Carter brings two years of eligibility to the Buckeyes. He’s likely to be an immediate starter in Jim Knowles’ defense – though Ryan Day has said Ohio State will not promise starting jobs to any transfers – as the Buckeyes will have to replace at least two starters from the 2022 season. Ronnie Hickman is entering the 2023 NFL draft and Tanner McCalister has exhausted his collegiate eligibility while it’s also possible Lathan Ransom could enter the draft.
Carter played nearly half of his snaps for Syracuse last season in the slot, according to Pro Football Focus, which could make him a natural candidate to replace McCalister at the nickel safety position. He also has experience lining up as a traditional safety and has even played some snaps as an outside cornerback, making him a versatile piece who could potentially play multiple spots in the secondary.
Other safeties who could compete for starting jobs next season include sophomores Sonny Styles and Kye Stokes and redshirt juniors Cameron Martinez and Kourt Williams. Josh Proctor could also return to Ohio State for a sixth year of eligibility, though he told Eleven Warriors last week that he had not yet decided whether he would stay.