Ohio State CB Shaun Wade Says He Will Play 2020 Season After Opting Out

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2020

FILE - Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade (24) is shown during the first half of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game against Clemson, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. Ohio State stars Shaun Wade and Wyatt Davis got tired of waiting for a decision on the football season and chose to opt out and begin preparing for the NFL draft. Wade, a preseason All-American and likely first-round pick in the 2021 draft, announced his decision Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, on Twitter, saying the Big Ten waited too long to decide what to do about playing.(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File).
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

It's been quite the week for the Ohio State Buckeyes football program.  

First, the Big Ten announced it was returning for a fall season starting on the weekend of Oct. 23 and 24, reigniting the Buckeyes' realistic national championship hopes. Then, All-American offensive lineman Wyatt Davis announced he would return to play for Ohio State after previously opting out.

Finally, star cornerback Shaun Wade said he would return, as well.

Wade broke the news on SportsCenter Thursday, saying he wants to return and compete for the national championship his team just narrowly missed out on last season.

The cornerback, who has played both on the outside and in the slot for the Buckeyes, was ejected because of a controversial targeting call in last season's College Football Playoff loss to Clemson, which was filled with questionable calls.

He said during the interview on SportsCenter he did not want his collegiate career to end with that play.

His return allows him to rewrite that script and is a massive boost for an Ohio State squad that needed a leader at the cornerback position. Both Jeff Okudah and Damon Arnette were selected in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft, leaving the Scarlet and Gray dangerously short of proven playmakers at cornerback.

Wade's return changes that.

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Bleacher Report's Matt Miller projected him as the No. 18 overall pick of the 2021 NFL draft in his most recent mock.

"Wade needed the 2020 season to show he could handle full-time reps on the outside, but unless the Big Ten changes positions and allows a season, he will be betting on his potential to still land in the top 20 selections," Miller wrote.

The Big Ten did change its position, which means Wade and the Buckeyes can compete for a title while he attempts to bolster his draft stock.