Ohio State football's Shaun Wade named Big Ten's top defensive back

Joey Kaufman
Buckeye Xtra
Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade (24), here breaking up a pass against Indiana, is the first OSU defensive back to be named the Big Ten's best in a season.

Shaun Wade received the Big Ten’s Tatum–Woodson Defensive Back of the Year award on Wednesday.

It was the first time a player from Ohio State had been recognized as the conference’s top defensive back since the award was introduced in 2011, even while several of its cornerbacks and safeties garnered All-American honors over the same span.

The top cover cornerback for the Buckeyes as a fourth-year junior, Wade has not been flawless this fall and surrendered three touchdowns in consecutive games against Penn State and Rutgers early in the season. But he has enjoyed a productive stretch in recent weeks.

In the two most recent wins, Wade picked off two passes, including returning one for a touchdown against Indiana that was critical for the Buckeyes in holding on for a 42-35 win.

He’s one of a dozen defensive backs in the conference with multiple interceptions in the shortened season.

Only Nebraska safety Myles Farmer has as many in as few games as Wade, who has appeared in five. The Buckeyes have had three games canceled due to outbreaks of coronavirus cases over the last month.

Wade also has broken up three passes while in coverage and has totaled 16 tackles.

He was joined by linebacker Pete Werner on the All-Big Ten first team as selected by the coaches. Wade was on both the coaches and media first teams.

Five other Ohio State players were selected to all-conference teams, including defensive end Zach Harrison and defensive tackle Tommy Togiai who were on the second team, as well as linebacker Baron Browning, defensive end Jonathon Cooper and defensive tackle Haskell Garrett who were on the third team.

Cornerback Sevyn Banks, linebacker Tuf Borland, safety Marcus Hooker, defensive end Tyreke Smith, safety Josh Proctor and cornerback Marcus Williamson received honorable mention recognition.

Annual offensive awards were announced Tuesday, which included quarterback Justin Fields receiving the offensive player of the year award for the second consecutive season.