As the chances of the Big Ten Conference playing a football season slip away, two of Ohio State’s best players have chosen to opt out and begin preparing for the NFL draft.
Cornerback Shaun Wade, an all-American and likely first-round pick in the 2021 draft, announced his decision on Twitter on Monday, saying the big ten waited too long to decide what to do by playing. Wyatt Davis, an offensive guard who is yet another potential pick in the first round, announced his decision Friday.
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“I came back to get my master’s degree and play another season and win a national championship,”
Wade’s father was one of the football parents who led a fee to persuade the Big Ten to play one fall season. Big ten school presidents met Sunday but did not vote on when and when to start next season, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told the Associated Press and spoke on condition of anonymity because the big ten did not return to competition plans in public.
“I should be in the middle of preparing for our game this week,” Davis said in his Twitter post Friday. “Because of the events of 2020, I instead spent the last few weeks with my family and coaching staff to determine my future.”
All eyes will now be on quarterback Justin Fields, who may be one of the best picks in the 2021 draft, whether or not he plays another football game for the Buckeyes. Fields has not recently commented publicly on his situation.
Time slips away for players who choose to stay with available Big Ten and Pac-12 teams, who now have to watch teams from other conferences – including the SEC and ACC – who decided to move on with their seasons.
The Big Ten postponed the entire fall sports season on August 11 due to COVID-19 concerns and how football could be played safely. The advent of daily rapid response COVID-19 testing, which is not available when university leaders decided to pull the plug on the season, is now weaving big.
If the presidents vote to start in late October, a season of eight games and a championship conference in mid-December is still possible. This schedule could create big ten teams to be part of the College Football Playoff.