Tyler Friday and Palaie Gaoteote IV Will Not Return to Ohio State for Additional Year of Eligibility
Tyler Friday and Palaie Gaoteote no longer play for Ohio State.
None of the Ohio State defensemen are returning to the Buckeyes for a sixth year of eligibility, Ryan Day confirmed Wednesday during his National Signing Day press conference at Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
Friday and Gaoteote could have played another season of college football thanks to the NCAA giving all athletes another year of eligibility in 2020, but instead decided to move on after injury-plagued careers.
Friday was expected to play a bigger role in Ohio State’s defensive line rotation after being named captain last season, but he ended up playing just 73 defensive snaps as a defensive end. rescue. The fifth-year Buckeye has recorded just three tackles in 2022 after missing the entire 2021 season with a torn ACL. He likely would have remained a backup behind slated starting defensive ends JT Tuimoloau and Jack Sawyer had he returned for a sixth year.
Gaoteote, who spent the first three years of his college career at USC before transferring to Ohio State in 2021, had just 129 defensive snaps in two seasons as a Buckeye as he struggled from injury during his two years at OSU. He told Eleven Warriors ahead of the Peach Bowl that it would be ‘fair to say’ he was unlikely to return to Ohio State for another year, but he never publicly commented on his final decision.
Of the seniors who still had the option of returning for another year of eligibility, Friday and Gaoteote were the last two whose statuses were not confirmed until Wednesday’s press conference. Xavier Johnson, Matt Jones and Josh Proctor are all confirmed for a sixth year at Ohio State while Kamryn Babb announced in January that he would end his playing career after battling knee injuries during his five seasons. as Buckeye.
With Friday and Gaoteote off the roster, Ohio State now has 89 scholarship players for 2023 — four over the 85-player limit, which it will need to hit before the season begins.