The Ohio State Buckeyes have been among the strongest teams in college football at attracting players via the transfer portal. Just in the last two months, the Bucks have added quarterbacks Will Howard (Kansas State) and Julian Sayin (Alabama), offensive lineman Seth McLaughlin (Alabama), running back Quinshon Judkins (Ole Miss), and safety Caleb Downs (Alabama), the latter two of whom are considered two of the portal’s biggest stars and difference makers. As a result, Josh Pate of 247Sports feels Ohio State has emerged as the ‘Apex Predator’ of the NIL and transfer portal game.

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“Ohio State, once a program I would reference on this show as not a big NIL player, has all of a sudden become the apex predator of NIL players in the game,” he said. “Ohio State has already gained more five-star talent in this cycle — portal and recruiting combined — than the rest of its conference. They have acquired more than Alabama and Texas combined.”

Is a five-star rating the most essential thing in the world? Not necessarily. Look no farther than Judkins. Judkins was a three-star recruit out of high school and became one of the top running backs in the country from the start of his freshman year at Ole Miss. The Buckeyes are also far from having the best portal haul in the country, placing seventh in the 247Sports team rankings and 15th on On3.

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Having said that, the Buckeyes’ accomplishments are nothing short of astounding. Not only did they obtain three of the portal’s top players in Sayin, Judkins, and Downs, but they also replaced former quarterback Kyle McCord with Howard. Not to mention getting an exceptional recruiting class led by the nation’s top overall recruit, Jeremiah Smith. Combine all of this with an incredible quantity of NFL talent coming to Columbus, and it’s no surprise that Ohio State is one of the favourites to win the 2024 national championship.

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