Ohio State CB Shaun Wade reverses course, will play in 2020 season

Shaun Wade, a Jacksonville native and Trinity Christian graduate, celebrates his interception with Ohio State teammate Jeff Okudah in the first quarter against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at SHI Stadium on November 16, 2019 in Piscataway, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) (Elsa, 2019 Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Days after declaring he would enter the NFL draft, Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade is opting back in.

Wade, a Trinity Christian product, announced on ESPN Thursday evening that he was planning to play the 2020 season. It came a day after the Big Ten’s announcement that it would play football this year, with games starting in late October.

Wade, a redshirt junior, said Monday that he was forgoing this year and turning his attention to the draft, but that came before the Big Ten changed its path.

The conference, along with the Pac-12, had pushed athletics off Aug. 11 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and had looked at potentially playing football in the spring. Several high profile players opted out in due to the coronavirus and safety concerns and to get a headstart on training for the NFL draft.

But all of that changed with the Big Ten’s decision to return to the field on Wednesday. League presidents and chancellors, after voting to cancel sports, reversed course. Wade did, too.

He told News4Jax earlier this year that he wanted to come back and earn his degree (he did this past spring) and try and help the Buckeyes win a national championship. Ohio State lost to Clemson in the national semifinals last season.

Wade was a projected first- or second-round draft pick last April. Mel Kiper has Wade rated as the No. 7 overall prospect in the 2021 draft.

Barring something unusual, Wade will become the highest-drafted player from Trinity Christian. Safety Guss Scott currently holds that distinction (third round, 95th overall to the Patriots in 2004).

Wade had 56 career tackles, four interceptions, two sacks and a pair of forced fumbles during two seasons with Ohio State.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.