Transfer LB Palaie Gaoteote enrolls at Ohio State

Field Level Media

June 19, 2021 at 6:49 pm.

Palaie Gaoteote, a linebacker who entered the transfer portal after late in his third season at Southern Cal, has enrolled at Ohio State.

The Buckeyes haven’t confirmed his spot on the football team yet, but the next practice session begins Tuesday.

The Ohio State student directory, however, lists him as a human development and family science major.

The Buckeyes were all in on the initial recruitment of Gaoteote, who was ranked as the No. 1 inside linebacker and the No. 15 player overall in the 247Sports composite for the Class of 2018. The five-star linebacker played at football powerhouse Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas and ultimately chose to stay West.

His high school teammate and cousin, Haskell Garrett, is a standout defensive tackle at Ohio State.

Ohio State lost four linebackers from the 2020 roster — Tuf Borland, Baron Browning, Justin Hilliard and Pete Werner — to graduation.

An ankle injury and a concussion limited Gaoteote’s playing time at USC the past two seasons. With the Trojans, he appeared in 20 games (14 starts) over three seasons and had 105 tackles, including 7 1/2 for loss, plus two sacks.