Former Alabama freshman safety Caleb Downs is transferring to Ohio State, a source told ESPN on Friday night.
Downs led the Crimson Tide in total tackles this season with 107 and was the first true freshman in program history to do so. He was a five-star prospect in the 2023 class, ranked No. 11 overall and was the No. 1 safety out of Hoschton, Georgia.
Downs entered the transfer portal Jan. 17, and many believed he would end up at Georgia. His previous defensive backs coach, Travaris Robinson, joined the Georgia staff and, despite an effort from new Alabama coach Kalen DeBoer to get Robinson back on the Crimson Tide staff, Robinson stayed with the Dawgs.
Downs had considered Ohio State during his recruitment, however, and it was thought that the Buckeyes finished second to Alabama at the time.
The Ohio State coaches got another opportunity to recruit Downs and, after an in-home visit with Downs and his family, he is now transferring to Ohio State.
He has three years of eligibility remaining and will immediately contribute to a Buckeyes defense that has improved tremendously in Year 2 under coordinator Jim Knowles.
Downs adds to an already extensive list of impact transfers coming for the Buckeyes with Kansas State quarterback Will Howard, Ole Miss running back Quinshon Judkins and Alabama center Seth McLaughlin.