Ohio State’s Shaun Wade has opted out of the upcoming season (Twitter link). The cornerback is widely projected to be a top-10 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and he’ll get an early jump on preparing for the combine.
“This has been an extremely difficult decision to make, but I know it’s the right decision for me. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty surrounding our season I have decided to forgo my remaining eligibility and officially declare for the 2021 NFL draft,” Wade said. “I am forever grateful to Buckeye Nation and looking forward to the next chapter.”
Of course, it remains to be seen whether the Big Ten will go ahead with its season, though it’s expected that the conference will forge ahead with an announcement in the coming days. For Wade, the risk of COVID-19 coupled with the ever-present injury risk didn’t add up.
In April, Wade will likely become the 15th Ohio State cornerback in NFL history to hear his name called in the first round. Earlier this year, Jeff Okudah became the 14th CB to go in Round 1 when the Lions tapped him at No. 3 overall. Other recent first-round Buckeyes include Denzel Ward, Marshon Lattimore, Gareon Conley, Eli Apple, Bradley Roby and Malcolm Jenkins.