Cornerback Shaun Wade has not ruled out return to Ohio State football in 2021

Joey Kaufman
Buckeye Xtra
Losing to Alabama in the national championship was not the way Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade had wanted to end his Buckeyes career, so he is considering a return next season.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Cornerback Shaun Wade left open the possibility for a return to Ohio State for a fifth season.

Speaking with reporters following Monday night’s loss to Alabama in the College Football Playoff championship game, Wade said he planned to mull a decision in the coming days.

“I do want to come back and everything,” Wade said. “I’ve got to talk to my parents. It is upsetting that we got here and we just didn't accomplish the goal. And that's just been my goal, winning a national championship and winning big games like this. I’ll just go back with my parents, go talk to them and go from there.”

The deadline for underclassmen to enter the draft is Jan. 18, leaving Wade with less than a week to finalize his future plans.

When asked if the final was his last game with the Buckeyes, he said, “I really can’t say.”

Wade previously contemplated turning pro last January following his redshirt sophomore season and declared for the draft in September while Ohio State’s season was in limbo. He opted back in once the season restarted.

His parents had previously thought he should enter the draft, but Wade wanted to remain in school to complete his undergraduate degree and contend for a national championship. He graduated with a sport industry degree in August.

At times, he struggled with a move to outside corner, after lining up in the slot and at safety earlier in his college career, before seeing enough improvement late in the season to be named the Big Ten’s defensive back of the year.

Wade broke up a pass against Alabama, but was a part of a secondary that struggled to slow down Heisman Trophy-winning receiver DeVonta Smith, who caught 12 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half. Smith missed most of the second half with a dislocated finger.

Davis hurts knee

Right guard Wyatt Davis reinjured his left knee late in the second quarter against Alabama and watched the second half in crutches.

“I’m not sure what the diagnosis is,” Buckeyes coach Ryan Day said. “We'll have to check with our doctors. But he's sore. He's certainly in pain.”

Davis had been hampered by the knee injury in previous games, prompting it to be looked at by the team’s medical staff, but he never missed a game.

Without Davis available for the second half against the Crimson Tide, sophomore Harry Miller filled his spot at right guard.

Miller started at left guard this season until a positive COVID-19 test sidelined him for the Sugar Bowl, and he was replaced by Matthew Jones. For the title game, Jones held onto the starting spot at left guard.

Kick is good

Freshman kicker Jake Seibert made his first career field goal late in the second quarter when he pushed a 23-yard attempt through the uprights. He had missed his only previous field-goal attempt, from 44 yards in November against Indiana.  

Seibert handled placekicking duties in the absence of Blake Haubeil, who announced he tested positive for the coronavirus. Walk-on kicker Dominic DiMaccio also was unavailable. Punter Drue Chrisman replaced DiMaccio on kickoffs.

Poll position

Ohio State was ranked second in the season’s final Associated Press poll, its highest postseason ranking since winning the national championship in 2014.

The Buckeyes had finished at No. 3 in the past two seasons.

Alabama, which was atop the poll, received all 61 first-place votes.