Tyler Friday and Palaie Gaoteote IV Will Not Return to Ohio State for Additional Year of Eligibility

By Dan Hope on February 1, 2023 at 9:57 am
Tyler Friday

Tyler Friday and Palaie Gaoteote are no longer playing for Ohio State.

Neither Ohio State defender is returning to the Buckeyes for a sixth year of eligibility, Ryan Day confirmed Wednesday during his National Signing Day press conference at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

Both Friday and Gaoteote could have played another season of college football thanks to the NCAA giving all athletes another year of eligibility in 2020, but they’ve instead decided to move on after injury-plagued careers.

Friday was expected to play a bigger role in Ohio State’s defensive line rotation after he was elected a captain last season, but he ended up playing only 73 defensive snaps as a backup defensive end. The fifth-year Buckeye recorded just three tackles in 2022 after missing the entire 2021 season with a torn ACL. He likely would have remained a backup behind projected starting defensive ends JT Tuimoloau and Jack Sawyer if he had returned for a sixth year.

Gaoteote, who spent the first three years of his collegiate career at USC before transferring to Ohio State in 2021, played only 129 defensive snaps in two seasons as a Buckeye as he battled injuries in both of his years at OSU. He told Eleven Warriors before the Peach Bowl that it would be “fair to say” he was unlikely to return to Ohio State for another year, but he never commented publicly on his final decision.

Among seniors who still had the option to return for another year of eligibility, Friday and Gaoteote were the last two whose statuses remained unconfirmed before Wednesday’s press conference. Xavier Johnson, Matt Jones and Josh Proctor are all confirmed to be returning for a sixth year at Ohio State while Kamryn Babb announced in January that he would end his playing career after battling knee injuries throughout his five seasons as a Buckeye.

With Friday and Gaoteote off the roster, Ohio State now has 89 players on scholarship for 2023 – four above the 85-man limit, which it will need to get down to before the start of the season.

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