With Major Portal Additions Likely Finished in Quiet Spring Window for Ohio State, Buckeyes Will See if Ryan Day's February Statement of Title Abilities Rings True

By Andy Anders on May 18, 2024 at 8:40 am
Ryan Day

The thought was underlying throughout Ryan Day’s first press conference of the offseason three months ago, but he drilled down on specifics when asked a question about evaluating the status of Ohio State’s offensive line during spring practice.

“The idea right now is that we have enough to go win a national championship with the guys that we have in this building right now,” Day said on Feb. 7. “If we come out of the spring and recognize that we don’t, then we’ll have to go from there.”

No itch tickled his skin about upgrading more starters through the transfer portal during the spring window. The Buckeyes pushed all their chips to the center of the table in the first two months that litter the calendar, landing massive transfers like Caleb Downs and addressing inefficiencies in their coaching staff with hires like Chip Kelly.

Roster building and major leadership changes are done. All that remains is to develop what’s there and go try to claim the same three goals Day states at the start of each season: Beat Michigan, win the Big Ten and win a National Championship.

Speaking in such absolutes seems premature when Ohio State could technically add more transfers. After all, it has until the fall to take anyone who submitted their name to the portal this offseason. But, in terms of changing the starting lineup or even rotations at certain positions, no one is out there who plausibly could.

Each of the top 64 prospects in 247Sports’ transfer rankings have already selected their next destination. Only two of the top 100 remain uncommitted. One is a safety, where the Buckeyes have defined starters and just added depth in the form of South Carolina’s Keenan Nelson Jr., and the other is an edge rusher. Ohio State returns both starters at defensive end in Jack Sawyer and JT Tuimoloau and has plenty of depth between Kenyatta Jackson Jr., Caden Curry, Mitchell Melton, Joshua Mickens and five-star freshman Eddrick Houston.

The only position with true question marks that could have been addressed via the spring window was the aforementioned offensive line, but no marquee targets ever emerged for the Buckeyes. There isn’t an uncommitted O-lineman left in the top 500 spots of the portal rankings.

I have a habit of breaking the fourth wall when I break out my column-writing fingers. Call it an homage to Chase Brown’s brilliance, call it the anxious quiet I get during the offseason while sweating out what stories I will write.

I do it here to say that I don’t have much to say on this angle. There’s no sense in belaboring the point. We have already evaluated Ohio State’s post-spring roster at length. Perhaps too much length at times (I promise I’m working on not repeating myself, Real Pod Wednesdays listeners).

This isn’t a story so much as it’s an observation of a demarcation, a line drawn in the sand. Day said in February that he believed Ohio State had what it needed to win a national title. Its moves — or lack thereof — in the post-spring window backed that statement. 

Retention of the pieces it already had was the main goal and that goal was met with flying colors.

I’d tell you the time for talk is over, but it’s only just begun. The time for changes in personnel, that’s done. This all-in season has the cards it believes will win, all that’s left is to play them.

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