The Big Ten is slated to play in the spring — at least for now. Of course, that could change at any second. Whenever the conference decides to kick off, it’ll do so without one of its biggest stars. Ohio State defensive back Shaun Wade announced Monday that he will opt out of the season and prepare for the NFL Draft.
“Given the circumstances and the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season, I know in my heart that the best decision for my future is to begin preparing for the next chapter in my life,” he wrote on Twitter. “This decision does not come lightly, and I want to thank all who have helped me get to where I am today.”
Wade, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound junior from Jacksonville, Florida, had 25 tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks, one interception and eight pass breakups last season for the Buckeyes. He passed up on the NFL Draft last spring in order to try to up his stock and bring Ohio State a national championship this season.
“To Buckeye nation — thank you for the support, the love, the cheers and the opportunity to play the sport I love in front of the best fans in the nation,” he wrote. “The memories I’ve made during my time as a Buckeye will last a lifetime because of all of you.”
Wade is the 13th-ranked overall prospect and No. 2-ranked cornerback in the latest CBS Sports 2021 NFL Draft prospect rankings.
Wade’s father, Randy, was one of the parents who organized the protest at the Big Ten headquarters outside of Chicago urging the conference to reconsider its decision to postpone the season.