Shaun Wade opts out, another Ohio State star is opting out.

With the Big Ten potentially on the precipice of announcing its return to play plans, another Ohio State star is opting out. 

Shaun Wade, the Buckeyes’ star cornerback, announced Monday morning that he won’t suit up for OSU whenever the Big Ten next plays football. Instead, Wade will declare for the 2021 NFL draft and begin preparing for his professional career. He could end up being a first-round pick. 

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“This has been an extremely difficult decision to make, but I know it’s the right decision for me,” Wade said in a video posted to Twitter. “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. I am forever grateful to Buckeye Nation and looking forward to the next chapter.”

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Wade was a five-star recruit in the 2017 class who combined for 57 tackles, 14 pass deflections and four interceptions over the last two seasons. He mulled leaving Columbus for the NFL draft after the 2019 season, but opted to return for his redshirt junior season. He was named a team captain earlier this year and was expected to move to an outside cornerback position after mainly defending the slot the past two years.

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Instead, Wade has decided to get a jumpstart on his pro career just as the Big Ten’s presidents and chancellors are on the verge of voting to reverse the decision they made in August to postpone fall sports due to uncertainty about COVID-19.  

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