Lorenzo Styles is coming home.
The Pickerington, Ohio native is transferring to Ohio State, his father’s alma mater, where he’ll join his younger brother Sonny in the Buckeyes’ secondary after playing wide receiver for the past two years at Notre Dame.
As the No. 5 overall prospect in the state of Ohio in the recruiting class of 2021, Styles was recruited by the Buckeyes to play cornerback but chose to go to Notre Dame to play wide receiver. In two seasons with the Fighting Irish, Styles caught 54 passes for 648 yards and two touchdowns. He had the longest catch of his career on Notre Dame’s first play of the season last year at Ohio State when he turned a short pass into a 54-yard gain following a missed tackle by Josh Proctor.
Now, however, Styles has decided to continue his college football career on the defensive side of the ball, giving him the opportunity to continue the family tradition of playing for the Buckeyes.
Styles, who last played cornerback at Pickerington Central but had a brief stint on defense with Notre Dame this spring before entering the transfer portal, will face a steep path to immediate playing time in a talented Ohio State cornerback room led by Denzel Burke, Jordan Hancock, Davison Igbinosun and Jyaire Brown. That said, he still has two remaining years of eligibility and has a redshirt year available, potentially making 2023 a developmental season for Styles as he learns how to play cornerback at the collegiate level.
The addition of Styles gives Ohio State its desired amount of depth at cornerback as he joins a unit that also includes redshirt freshman Ryan Turner and true freshmen Jermaine Mathews Jr. and Calvin Simpson-Hunt.
With the addition of Styles, Ohio State’s 2023 roster now includes the top five prospects from the state of Ohio in the recruiting class of 2021: Jack Sawyer, Mike Hall, Reid Carrico, Jayden Ballard and Styles.
The Styles File
- Year: Junior
- Size: 6-1/192
- Pos: CB
- Previous School: Notre Dame (2021-22)
- Stats: 54 catches for 684 yards, 2 TD as WR
He becomes the second player in as many offseasons to transfer to Ohio State with a history of playing offense but an intention of playing defense. Former Arizona State running back Chip Trayanum transferred to Ohio State last year as a linebacker, though he’s now back in the running back room after moving back to his old position midway through last season.
He becomes the third overall transfer to join the Buckeyes’ secondary along with Igbinosun, who transferred to Ohio State from Ole Miss, and safety Ja’Had Carter, who joined the Buckeyes from Syracuse. He’s the sixth overall transfer to join the Buckeyes this offseason along with former Louisiana-Monroe offensive lineman Victor Cutler Jr., former Arizona State long snapper John Ferlmann and former Kent State walk-on kicker Casey Magyar.
Sonny Styles, who was also heavily recruited by Notre Dame but chose to stay home and play for Ohio State out of high school, is entering his second season with the Buckeyes as a safety. The Styles brothers will now play at least two seasons together in scarlet and gray, with the potential for a third if Lorenzo takes a redshirt year and Sonny stays at Ohio State for his senior year.
Their father, also named Lorenzo Styles, played for the Buckeyes from 1992-94 – earning first-team All-Big Ten honors in both of his years as a starter – before going on to a six-year career in the NFL.
By transferring to Ohio State, the younger Lorenzo Styles will also reunite with James Laurinaitis, who was a graduate assistant for Notre Dame last year before returning to his alma mater to be a graduate assistant for the Buckeyes this year.
Styles will return to South Bend to face his former team when the Buckeyes play at Notre Dame in their fourth game of the 2023 season on Sept. 23. That game will feature transfers from the opposite school on both sides as former Ohio State defensive end Javontae Jean-Baptiste transferred to Notre Dame in January.