Ohio State junior linebacker Keandre Jones has put his name into the NCAA’s transfer portal.
First reported by the SEC Network’s Cole Cubelic, The-Ozone has confirmed that Jones’ name is listed in the portal.
Jones, a former 5-star signee out of Olney, Maryland, was once committed to the Maryland Terrapins. Following the firing of then-head coach Randy Edsall, Jones and former Buckeye quarterback Dwayne Haskins decommitted on the same day, flipping to Ohio State in the process.
Jones played in five games as a true freshman in 2016, and then in every game in 2017. He spent each of those first two years as the backup to current Miami Dolphin linebacker Jerome Baker.
Jones played in every game the last two seasons, with most of it coming via special teams. Jones finished with 10 tackles this past season, including a sack and a safety. A leader of the special units, Jones is well-respected among his teammates and former coaches.
Looking to transfer is not a big surprise for Jones, however, as he is currently one of the backups to rising senior Malik Harrison. Harrison has led the Buckeyes in tackles the past two seasons.
If Ohio State molds their defense more in Michigan’s image with a hybrid safety/linebacker, there may also not be as many linebackers needed.
Transfers during this offseason are expected, as they always occur with coaching changes, and the Buckeyes have had plenty with the change from Urban Meyer to Ryan Day.
Without Jones, the Buckeyes still have a good number of linebackers to turn to regarding depth, special teams, and starting competitions.
As to where Jones might end up, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him head back home to Maryland under new head coach Mike Locksley, who is very well known and well liked by everyone in that area.