The transfer portal activity is heating up for Ohio State. After the Buckeyes lost to Georgia by one point in the College Football Playoff semifinal on New Year’s Eve, the Scarlet and Gray’s season is done and players are making their decisions on their future.
On Monday evening, graduate year senior Javontae Jean-Baptiste entered his name in the transfer portal. The defensive end will leave Ohio State after five seasons with the program.
Jean-Baptiste came to the Buckeyes out of Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell, New Jersey. He was a four-star prospect in the 2018 recruiting class, per the 247Sports Composite, and was the No. 16 outside linebacker, the sixth-best player from his home state and the No. 219 prospects overall in the country. The Scarlet and Gray got in on Jean-Baptiste late but he committed to Ohio State on National Signing Day over offers from Nebraska, Texas A&M and other top programs.
As a true freshman in 2018, Jean-Baptiste did not play for the Buckeyes and took a redshirt year. The next season, Jean-Baptiste served as a backup for the Scarlet and Gray behind the likes of Chase Young spirit Jonathan Cooper and along with classmate Tyreke Smith. The defensive end played in all but one game, the Playoff semifinal against Clemson, and recorded 14 total tackles, 1.5 sacks and 1.5 tackles for a loss.
In 2020, Jean-Baptiste saw his role increase, playing at least 10 snaps in all but one game (which he missed) and as many as 32. He played 22 snaps in the national championship game loss to Alabama. Jean-Baptiste finished his redshirt sophomore year, which was shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic, with six total tackles, two tackles for a loss, one sack and one fumble recovery.
Back to normal in 2021, Jean-Baptiste was in a rotational role again on the defensive line. The defensive end played in all but two games on defense and recorded 12 total tackles, two tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks and one pass defended.
This past season, Jean-Baptiste again saw a regular rotational row on Larry Johnson‘s defensive line. He played in all 13 games for Ohio State, managing a career-high 19 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks and one forced fumble. Jean-Baptiste recorded two tackles, half a sack and half a tackle for a loss in the Buckeyes’ loss to Georgia on Saturday.
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With both JT Tuimoloau spirit Jack Sawyer returning as defensive ends for the Scarlet and Gray in 2023, along with a number of young players at the position on the roster, it’s like Jean-Baptiste wouldn’t see his role increase much next year. Jean-Baptiste has one season of eligibility remaining for whatever program he picks next.
Jean-Baptiste now joins safeties Jantzen Dunn spirit Jaylen Johnson, linebacker Teradja Mitchell and long snapper Mason Arnold in the transfer portal.