Should the Florida Gators Pursue OSU DB Tyreke Johnson in Transfer Portal?

The former five-star safety, Tyreke Johnson, has decided to take his talents elsewhere after not receiving enough opportunities early with Ohio State.
Author:
Publish date:

On Wednesday, one of the top recruits of the 2018 recruiting class, Ohio State defensive back Tyreke Johnson entered the transfer portal. After three years with the Buckeyes, Johnson's desire to leave came at no surprise as his playing time was incredibly limited over the years.

He officially announced his intentions on Wednesday via social media.

During his recruitment, Johnson was thought to be the No. 2 safety in the entire class, according to 247Sports Composite rankings. He was also seen as the No. 5 player in all of Florida, along with the No. 21 player nationally.

Hailing from Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville (Fla.), there are certainly ties to the sunshine state for Johnson, but would he make the move to come to the Florida Gators, and would the Gators want to bring him in? 

At 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, Johnson would play cornerback for the Buckeyes. He spent his freshman season as a redshirt and didn't play much his second season, overshadowed by the likes of Shaun WadeKendall Sheffield, Damon Arnette and Jeff Okudah.

The following year, Johnson was once again expected to get an opportunity but was once again overshadowed. This time by Wade once again, along with juniors Sevyn Banks and Cameron Brown. He simply couldn't get on the field and has played in just four games for the Buckeyes since his arrival.

Now, he's entered the transfer portal, and there's perhaps some reason to believe the Gators could be one of the landing spots.

Aside from hailing from Florida, Johnson was heavily recruited by Florida coming out of high school. He was originally offered by the team in Jan. 2015 and made multiple unofficial visits to the program in 2015, 2016 and 2017. He committed to the Buckeyes in December of 2017.

Florida has been in need of help within its secondary for quite some time. While the team has successfully recruited high-ranked players such as five-star prospect Jason Marshall (2021), among others, the Gators still have plenty of room to grow, especially when other players such as junior cornerback Kaiir Elam leaves, as expected, following this season.

Florida, and head coach Dan Mullen, hasn't been shy about bringing in talent via the transfer portal. Most recently, the team acquired two big men via the portal, defensive linemen Daquan Newkirk and Antonio Shelton, along with promising former five-star running back Demarkcus Bowman.

UF has reportedly reached out to Johnson since he put his name in the proverbial transfer portal hat but is one of many schools to have done so rather immediately.

Johnson may not add much playing experience to Florida's secondary should he elect to join the Gators this offseason, but he does offer the athletic upside to at least take the field on special teams and perhaps earn a shot on the backend. His three years in a college program could allow him to serve as a guide for UF's youthful group of defensive backs as well.

While it remains to be seen where Johnson ultimately lands, it is certainly worth keeping an eye on as he makes his decision in the coming weeks.