COLUMBUS — Ohio State officially will have both star opt-outs back in the fold this season.
According to a school spokesman, both cornerback Shaun Wade and offensive guard Wyatt Davis have received clearance to return to action for the Buckeyes after declaring for the NFL Draft prior to the Big Ten reversing course on a fall season, decisions that were expected but not guaranteed after they elected to rejoin the program.
That pair of likely first-round picks were the only Buckeyes who announced any definitive decisions to forego eligibility this year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting uncertainty from the conference’s August move to postpone the fall schedule. The two captains made clear even while turning pro that their preference would be to compete for a national title at Ohio State this year if at all possible, and the Big Ten reinstating a season that starts on Oct. 24 was the first step.
The second was withdrawing from the NFL Draft and then getting clearance from the NCAA due to the unusual circumstances that prompted them to leave Ohio State before they were ready.
“There was no clarity, and now there’s some clarity going on with a season and with the protocols and everything. I feel comfortable playing with the season going on now. But at the end of the day, I knew I wanted to come back. That was where my heart was. I came back the first time for a reason, and that’s to win a national championship.”
Both Shaun Wade and Wyatt Davis were already back in Columbus participating in practices ahead of the start of a full training camp with pads going on for the Buckeyes this week. Now they know for sure that they’ll be able to play games when the time comes as well.