Big 12 News

Oklahoma State Veteran Safety Tanner McCalister Transfers to Ohio State

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State safety Tanner McCalister, who started all 13 games for Oklahoma State in 2021, will follow defensive coordinator Jim Knowles to Ohio State.

After spending four seasons under Knowles at Oklahoma State, the senior will use his final year of eligibility to play for Knowles once again in Columbus, Ohio.


This addition is huge for the Buckeyes because McCalister gives them a reliable veteran that knows the system and someone who can help get everyone lined up correctly in year one.

Austin Ward of Letterman Row, Ohio State’s affiliate, interviewed McCalister after his decision to follow Knowles to the Big Ten’s premier football program.

“The beginning of it was all about relationships,” McCalister said. “I think with Coach Jim Knowles, the players at Ohio State are going to begin to realize that he’s a player’s coach. … And for me, I think what’s best is coming back for college for another year.

“This draft classes, it’s going to be kind of hectic with COVID happening and a lot of guys being able to come back. So I think for me personally, the best thing I could do is come back to college for one more year, continue to work on my game, continue work on my craft, maybe put some more things on tape — and hopefully bring a national championship to Columbus.”

In his four years with the Cowboys, McCalister totaled 123 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 12 pass breakups, and one interception.

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