Tracking Former Ohio State Football Transfers: Offense

Ohio State Buckeyes football Antonio Williams transfer UNC

Tate Martell’s move to Miami this week is just the latest in one of college football’s unfortunate annual offseason traditions: transfers.

Every FBS program can have 85 players on scholarship, the vast majority of whom think they’re good enough to be playing. With barely half of those guys even cracking the two-deep in any given year, frustration and a handful of transfers every year from every school is pretty much inevitable.

Other guys may leave for academic or personality-based reasons, or because a favorite coach left the program.

Ohio State has been no exception in recent years, with a number of players leaving for greener – or at least different – pastures.

Some have thrived in their new homes, while others have basically fallen off the map.

Thursday, we’ll look at where some former OSU defensive players ended up after leaving Columbus.

Here’s an alphabetical look at how some former Buckeyes on the offensive side of the ball are faring in colors other than scarlet and gray.

Matthew Burrell

Burrell was among the players in the mix for the starting center job at Ohio State during 2018 spring practice, but packed his bags after it became clear he wasn’t at the top of the depth chart.

Burrell transferred to Sam Houston State, an FCS powerhouse. Burrell played in eight games for the Bearkats this year, including six starts.

It was a rare down year for SHSU, which finished just 6-5, a year after reaching the FCS semifinals.

Joe Burrow

You probably remember this guy, and have a pretty good idea what happened to him after he left.

Burrow was a grad transfer after spring practice in 2018. He ended up choosing LSU over other suitors like Cincinnati, and was an immediate impact player in Baton Rouge.

He finished the 2018 season with 2,894 yards passing, and 16 touchdowns to just five interceptions.

The Bayou Bengals won 10 games, and were Fiesta Bowl champions.

Kevin Feder

A guy named Kevin Feder who plays on the line seems like an easy target for extremely dated jokes about Brittany Spears’ ex-husband. So it’s probably fortunate for him that his eligibility ran out before Les Miles got to Kansas.

Feder announced in January 2018 that he planned to transfer away from Ohio State, ultimately ending up with the Jayhawks.

He started all 12 games at right tackle for KU, including an upset win over TCU.

Trevon Grimes

Probably the second-highest profile former Buckeye on this list, Grimes was in the headlines mainly for off-field reasons. Questions surrounding his transfer were at the center of a… vaguely-sourced… report about an alleged practice altercation with former wide receivers coach Zach Smith.

Grimes played in only two games as a Buckeye in 2017, catching three passes for 20 yards, then went home to be with his ailing mother.

He transferred to Florida and 26 catches for 364 yards and two touchdowns in 2018. He had a career-high 118 yards and a touchdown in the Gators’ win over Florida State, and is poised for big things in 2019.

Kierre Hawkins

Hawkins came to OSU as a four-star prospect, but never got on the field in two seasons in Columbus.

He transferred to Youngstown State, where he played in five games in 2018, and caught one pass for 15 yards.

Grant Schmidt

Schmidt had one of the more unusual backgrounds of any recent OSU recruit, coming to Columbus from South Dakota. He was the first player from that state to ever sign with the Buckeyes, but he wasn’t on campus long.

He redshirted in 2015, and then left for Cincinnati after spring practice in 2016.

He didn’t play there that fall, and then transferred again. This time it was back to FCS South Dakota State.

He sat out the 2017 season due to NCAA transfer rules, and was seemingly poised to get on the field in 2018. Then he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury.

Four years after high school, he has yet to play a snap of college football.

Alex Stump

Stump caught one pass for eight yards in two seasons as a Buckeye before deciding to transfer following the 2016 season. He ended up at Vanderbilt, where he sat out 2017 due to transfer rules and then played mostly on special teams as a redshirt junior in 2018.

He did not record a catch for the Commodores this season.

Kyle Trout

A former four-star recruit on the offensive line, Trout redshirted in 2014 and was on the scout team in 2015. He played in nine games as a redshirt sophomore for the 2016 Buckeyes, including the Fiesta Bowl for the 2016 team.

He earned his degree after that season, and was a grad transfer to Cincinnati. He started six games for the Bearcats in 2017, and was a starter at left guard as a redshirt senior in 2018.

Antonio Williams

A North Carolina native, Williams flipped his commitment from Wisconsin to Ohio State and signed with the Buckeyes’ 2016 class. He was a popular figure for two seasons on the OSU team as a backup running back. He rushed for 290 yards and three touchdowns as a sophomore in 2017.

Williams announced that he was transferring back to his home state to play for the UNC Tar Heels after the 2018 spring game. He was granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA due to a family issue.

As a junior, he put up 504 yards and five touchdowns for the Heels. He had 114 yards and two scores on just 16 carries against Pitt, and 116 yards and a touchdown on 15 rushes at Syracuse.

Jack Wohlabaugh

Wohlabaugh came to Ohio State as a 3-star prospect, but never made an impact with the Buckeyes. He redshirted in 2016, and was not on the depth chart in 2017.

In January 2018, Wohlabaugh announced that he was transferring to Duke. He was granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA and made an immediate impact at his new home.

Wohlabaugh played in all 13 games for the Blue Devils in the fall. He followed in the footsteps of another former Buckeye offensive lineman, Evan Lisle, who played at Duke until 2017.

6 Responses

  1. I always knew Joe Burrow could play….

  2. You missed AJ (Aramis) Alexander at Slippery Rock

  3. Really good article Tom…grass isn’t necessarily greener…all played but accepted a level lower than OSU offered…probably worked out for all of them but I’m guessing not as they imaged as they left high school…and maybe that’s the real lesson here–you are as good as you–not others–say you are.

  4. Great article, but I wouldn’t say that transfers are necessarily unfortunate. Circumstances can change. Have you thought about writing something similar regarding recruiting commitments who eventually signed and played somewhere else?

    1. Quite ironic if James Bryant fan is speaking of Harrisburg, Pa running back James Bryant who played from the Buckeyes in the 80’s. He was a high school stud who went to OSU and a very crowded running back position. He never really got a chance to shine and I often wondered why he didn’t transfer.

      1. Bill Marks – You are correct and have a great memory. I am repeatedly amazed by the things that commenters here can remember.

        James Bryant and Kenny Coleman were my next door neighbors back in 87/88 (Centennial Hall) and were both great guys. If I remember correctly Bryant was stuck playing behind Vince Workman at first and then Carlos Snow.

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