Ds Scholarship

A Look at How Much Eligibility Every Ohio State Scholarship Player Has Entering the 2022 Season

It’s never been more difficult to keep track of how many years of eligibility each college football player has left.

Because the NCAA gave all players a free year of eligibility in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no longer as simple as calling players seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen – or at least it won’t be for a few more years .

While the incoming freshman class and last year’s freshman class only have the traditional four years of collegiate eligibility (plus a redshirt year), there will be many “super seniors” playing on a fifth year of eligibility once again in 2022 while non-super seniors , juniors and redshirt sophomores still have the extra year of eligibility in their back pockets.

That can make it confusing to keep up with how much more eligibility each Ohio State player has remaining, so to keep you from having to take out a calculator and do the math yourselves, we’ve gone through Ohio State’s full roster of scholarship players – which currently sits at 91 players, though it will need to be reduced to be 85 before the start of the season – and categorized all of those players by how many years of eligibility each of them have left.

Super Seniors in Final Year of Eligibility (5)

TE Mitch Rossi
DT Jerron Cage
LB Teradja Mitchell
S Tanner McCalister
K Noah Ruggles

If super seniors didn’t count against the scholarship limit like they didn’t last year, Ohio State would be only one player above the limit. Cage, McCalister, Mitchell, Rossi and Ruggles were all already seniors playing their fourth year of college football in 2021, but each of them opted to use their extra year of eligibility to play another season at the collegiate level, with McCalister transferring to Ohio State to play one season with the Buckeyes after already playing four seasons at Oklahoma State.

Cage, Rossi and Ruggles (who transferred to Ohio State from North Carolina last year) are all in their sixth year of college football after redshirting as true freshmen in 2017, while McCalister and Mitchell are fifth-years who have not taken senior redshirts.

Redshirt Seniors with Two More Years of Eligibility (9)

WR Kamryn Babb
OL Matt Jones
DE Tyler Friday
DE Javontae Jean-Baptiste
DT Taron Vincent
LB Palaie Gaoteote
CB Cameron Brown
S Marcus Hooker
S Josh Proctor

All nine of these players were members of the recruiting class of 2018 and are now fifth-year seniors yet still have two remaining seasons of eligibility thanks to the free year of eligibility that everyone received last season.

Babb, Hooker, Jean-Baptiste and Jones all took redshirts as freshmen while Vincent redshirted in 2019, Brown and Gaoteote (who was at USC at the time) redshirted in 2020 and Friday and Proctor redshirted last season due to season-ending injuries. Because of those redshirts, all of them would have been eligible to play this year even without the extra year of eligibility, but now they will also have the option to play another season as sixth-year seniors in 2023.

Josh Proctor could still play two more seasons at Ohio State after taking an unexpected redshirt last year due to a season-ending injury.

Seniors with Two More Years of Eligibility (2)

OT Dawand Jones
DE Zach Harrison

As the only two members of Ohio State’s recruiting class of 2019 that haven’t redshirted and remain with the Buckeyes, Harrison and Jones will be the only traditional seniors on this year’s roster.

Considering that both of them weighed the option of entering this year’s NFL draft after their junior seasons, it would come as a surprise if either of them returns for a fifth year in 2023, but they will have that extra year of eligibility available to them.

Redshirt Juniors with Three More Years of Eligibility (10)

RB Marcus Crowley
OL Harry Miller
OL Enokk Vimahi
DT Jaden McKenzie
DT Noah Potter
LB Steele Chambers
LB Tommy Eichenberg
LB Cade Stover
S Ronnie Hickman
S Bryson Shaw

Even though all 10 of these players were also members of Ohio State’s recruiting class of 2019, they still have three more years of eligibility because they have taken redshirts – all as freshmen except Crowley (who redshirted in 2020) and Miller (who redshirted last year ) – and still have their junior and senior seasons of traditional eligibility as well as the additional year given to all players during the pandemic.

That means some of their Ohio State careers might be only halfway over at this point. Although all of them will have decisions to make about whether they want to play one, two or three more years at Ohio State, most of them still have a lot to prove if they’re going to become NFL prospects, which could increase the likelihood that they play five or six years of college football.

Steele Chambers and Cade Stover

While both of them are making up for lost time after position changes, Steele Chambers and Cade Stover could each still play as many as three more seasons at Ohio State.

Juniors with Three More Years of Eligibility (7)

WR Julian Fleming
WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba
TE Gee Scott Jr.
OT Paris Johnson Jr.
LB Cody Simon
LB Chip Trayanum
S Lathan Ransom

Although these players haven’t taken an actual redshirt year, they could effectively be considered redshirt sophomores since they were true freshmen in 2020. All of them still have three more years of eligibility entering their third season of college football, but all of them are listed as juniors by Ohio State since they have already played two collegiate seasons, with Trayanum playing two seasons as a running back at Arizona State before transferring to Ohio State as a linebacker.

Smith-Njigba and Johnson are far more likely to enter the NFL draft after three years than they are to stay at Ohio State for five years, but for players like Scott and Trayanum who are still finding their footing at the collegiate level after position changes, The opportunity to play three more seasons for the Buckeyes could be beneficial to their football careers.

Sophomores with Three More Years of Eligibility (11)

QB Kyle McCord
RB TreVeyon Henderson
WR Emeka Egbuka
WR Marvin Harrison Jr.
OL Donovan Jackson
DE Jack Sawyer
DE JT Tuimoloau
DT Tyleik Williams
CB Denzel Burke
CB Jordan Hancock
P Jesse Mirco

This is where things really get weird. As true sophomores who started their college careers in 2021 and did not redshirt as freshmen, these 11 second-year Buckeyes actually have one fewer year of eligibility remaining than the 15 third-year Buckeyes who redshirted in 2020, even though they won’t be Eligible for the NFL draft for two more years while the redshirt sophomores will be draft-eligible after this year.

Players who started their career in 2021 did not receive the extra year of eligibility that everyone received in 2020, so these Buckeyes now have just three years of eligibility remaining after playing more than four games as true freshmen.

Redshirt Sophomores with Four More Years of Eligibility (15)

QB CJ Stroud
RB Miyan Williams
TE Joe Royer
OL Josh Fryar
OL Jacob James
OL Trey Leroux
OL Grant Toutant
OL Luke Wypler
DE Jacolbe Cowan
DT Ty Hamilton
LB Mitchell Melton
CB Lejond Cavazos
S Cameron Martinez
S Court Williams
K Jake Seibert

While it’s extremely unlikely Stroud will play four more years of college football – it’s unlikely he’ll even play two more, as he projects as a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL draft – he technically could if he wanted to, as he still has three years of traditional eligibility as well as the additional year of eligibility after redshirting in 2020.

Even though all of these 15 players have already been at Ohio State for two years – and a few of them, like Stroud and Wypler, have already played major roles – they’re effectively still freshmen, minus the redshirt year they’ve already used , from an eligibility standpoint.

Luke Wypler and CJ Stroud

They’ve already been at Ohio State for two years and were both starters last season, but Luke Wypler and CJ Stroud could still play four more years of college football if they wanted to.

Redshirt Freshmen with Four More Years of Eligibility (11)

RB Evan Pryor
WR Jayden Ballard
TE Sam Hart
OL Ben Christman
OL Zen Michalski
DT Mike Hall
LB Reid Carrico
CB Jakailin Johnson
S Jantzen Dunn
S Jaylen Johnson
S Andre Turrentine

While these Buckeyes also still have four years of eligibility remaining, that’s only because they redshirted as true freshmen last year.

As members of the recruiting class of 2021, these 11 Buckeyes did not receive the additional year of eligibility that the players in classes before them did, but all of them could still play as many as four more seasons at Ohio State after playing in no more than four games in their first year as Buckeyes.

True Freshmen with Four More Years of Eligibility (21)

QB Devin Brown
RB Dallan Hayden
WR Kojo Antwi
WR Kaleb Brown
WR Caleb Burton
WR Kyion Grays
TE Bennett Christian
OT George Fitzpatrick
OT Avery Henry
OL Carson Hinzman
OL Tegra Tshabola
DE Omari Abor
DE Caden Curry
DE Kenyatta Jackson Jr.
DT Hero Kanu
LB CJ Hicks
LB Gabe Powers
CB Jyaire Brown
CB Ryan Turner
S Kye Stocks
S Sonny Styles

Like last year’s freshman class, all of this year’s freshmen will begin their college football careers with a traditional eligibility clock. While any of them could potentially spend as many as five years at Ohio State if they take a redshirt year, they will only have the opportunity to play four full seasons with the Buckeyes as they have not been awarded an additional year of eligibility.

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