July 23, 2024

Former Massillon football star Willtrell Hartson leaves Ohio State, enters transfer portal

COLUMBUS — Another Ohio State Buckeye is on the move. This time, it is former Massillon Tigers star running back Willtrell Hartson.

On Monday, Hartson announced on social media he had entered the transfer portal. The walk-on becomes the 15th Buckeye to leave OSU since the regular season ended.

“Thank you,” Hartson wrote in his statement. “First and foremost, I want to thank God for giving me a great opportunity to play this game. I want to thank you, Coach (Tony) Alford and Coach Riley (Larkin), along with the rest of the coaching staff, for recruiting me and helping me build and grow as a person and as a player. With that being said, I will be entering the transfer portal with four years of eligibility left. ”

Hartson was a three-star prospect when he played for Massillon and broke several records and earned All-Ohio honors.

In 2022, Hartson broke Travis McGuire’s 30-year-old for most rushing yards in a season, becoming the first Massillon player to hit the 2,000-yard mark (finishing at 2,042). He also broke Edwin Hill’s 100-year-old record for most points in a season by scoring 208 and tied Hill’s mark for most touchdowns in a season with 34. Hartson helped power Massillon to a 12-2 season in 2022 and a trip to the Division II state semifinals.

Massillon’s Willtrell Hartson makes a cut against Lake in a 2022 regional final.
While there were other Division I college options on the table, Hartson decided to walk on at Ohio State, being the lone running back in the 2023 recruiting class.

Recruit Willtrell Hartson visits Ohio Stadium during the Ohio State, Michigan game.

Willtrell Hartson
Hartson did not play in a game this season for Ohio State, but he appears to have made a good impression on the practice field. Late in the regular season, he had the black stripe removed from his helmet in favor of the scarlet stripe. All freshmen and walk-ons wear the black stripe on their helmet in practice until they’ve proven themselves with their hard work.


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