Freshman S Caleb Downs exits Alabama for Ohio State

League: NCAA Football

Posted on: 20 Jan, 2024 at 03:12 PM

Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama freshman safety Caleb Downs is headed to Ohio State.

The All-Southeastern Conference selection won the Shaun Alexander Award as national freshman of the year and was considering Georgia and Notre Dame, along with the Buckeyes, who were involved in his initial recruiting, according to Deuce Recruiting. Gary Downs, the former NFL running back and Caleb's father, owns the service.

Caleb Downs was considered a candidate to return to the Crimson Tide, but with an official visit to Georgia, near his hometown, Ohio State wasn't on the radar.

The Buckeyes have scored a series of significant wins in the transfer portal since the end of the 2023 season. Alabama center Seth McLaughlin is enrolled at Ohio State. Crimson Tide freshman quarterback Julian Sayin, the top-ranked offensive player in class according to ESPN, entered the transfer portal following Nick Saban's retirement and has the Buckeyes in mind along with LSU and Florida State, according to reports.

Downs led Alabama with 107 tackles in 2023, adding two interceptions and punt return for a touchdown.

New Crimson Tide head coach Kalen DeBoer's defense has been hard hit by transfer portal entrants since he was hired to replace Saban. Another safety, Jake Pope, transferred back to his home state of Georgia after playing 11 games on special teams at Alabama in 2023.

Linebacker Shawn Murphy became the fifth Crimson Tide transfer to commit to Florida State on Monday. Cornerback Earl Little Jr. and running back Roydell Williams also joined the Seminoles from Alabama.

--Field Level Media