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Pair of Buckeyes land on On3's 2024 preseason All-Transfer Portal team

Spencer-Holbrookby:Spencer Holbrook06/11/24


COLUMBUS — Ohio State had the best offseason of any program in the country, particularly in the transfer portal.

During the two portal windows, the Buckeyes added 10 players – seven of whom took part in spring practices at Ohio State.

The group of additions to the roster included former Kansas State starting quarterback Will Howard, former Alabama starting center Seth McLaughlin, former Alabama starting safety Caleb Downs, former Ole Miss All-SEC running back Quinshon Judkins, former Ohio tight end Will Kacmarek, former five-star quarterback — and Alabama signee — Julian Sayin and former Michigan walk-on linebacker Joey Velazquez. Former South Carolina safety Keenan Nelson Jr., former Presbyterian return specialist Shawn Lodge and former Buffalo punter Anthony Venneri joined the program this summer, too.

On3 national college football writer Jesse Simonton didn’t list every new Buckeyes addition in his edition of the preseason All-Transfer Portal team, but he did list two of the best Ohio State portal additions. Simonton has Judkins and Downs, two former SEC superstars, on his all-portal team.

He is extremely high on Judkins as a potential star alongside Buckeyes running back TreVeyon Henderson in the Chip Kelly and Ryan Day offensive backfield.

Here’s what Simonton said about Quinshon Judkins:

After a record true freshman season at Ole Miss (1,567 yards and 16 touchdowns), Judkins wasn’t quite as efficient or productive as a sophomore (1,158 yards). Still, he has All-American potential and alongside TreVeyon Henderson, gives the Buckeyes the best 1-2 tailback tandem in the country. 

Jesse Simonton, On3

Judkins chose Ohio State to help the Buckeyes win a national title.

“My answer would be, ‘Why not Ohio State?’ a soft-spoken Judkins said earlier this offseason during a media appearance. “A place with great culture, the best coaches, the best players, the best fan base that’s very passionate about their team and about the whole city — that was my reasoning.”

On the defensive side, Simonton is quite excited — aren’t we all? — to see Downs in the loaded Ohio State defensive backfield.

Here’s what Simonton said about Caleb Downs:

Downs is arguably the most impactful transfer of the 2023 cycle, as the former 5-star recruit was among the best safeties in the country as a true freshman and still has two seasons of eligibility remaining. Downs led Alabama with 107 tackles, adding two picks and 3.5 TFLs. 

Jesse Simonton, On3

Simonton isn’t alone in his praise for Downs.

“He’s a supernatural athlete,” senior linebacker Cody Simon said. “I’m not trying to exaggerate. But he can come in and he can really play whatever he really wants to play. You know, not many people have that kind of physical nature. I certainly don’t. His ability is above a lot of what I’ve seen here.

The portal was kind to Ohio State this offseason. And Jesse Simonton can see a pair of the Buckeyes portal additions becoming stars come fall.

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