Buckeyes’ Wade undecided if he’ll opt back in

  • ESPN staff writer
  • Joined ESPN in 2011
  • Graduated from Central Michigan

Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade on Wednesday said he is undecided on a return to college football this fall, having previously declared for the NFL draft.

The Big Ten on Wednesday announced a return to play plan starting in late October, but Wade’s eligibility remains a question because of his relationship with an agent.

Wade, appearing on ESPN’s Outside the Lines on Wednesday, wouldn’t commit to a return.

“Right now, I haven’t decided,” said Wade, who turned 22 on Wednesday. “… I knew it was going to come back, but I just didn’t know it was going to come back soon. They have been saying a lot of stuff on Twitter and different sources, but at the end of the day, it just, I really don’t know …

“Today’s just been a wild day for me. Really, I just don’t know what I’m going to do, what decision I’m going to make right now. … I’ll come back tomorrow and really think about it.”

Wade said that he had an agent, “but I haven’t signed nothing.”

The relationship with that agent will need to be defined by the NCAA to determine if Wade is eligible to opt back in, if he wants. If he is ineligible for signing with an agent, then he has the option to go through the reinstatement process.

By NCAA rules, a player who declares for the draft and signs with an agent is technically ineligible. However, depending on the circumstances, the athlete and his school could try to go through the Student-Athlete Reinstatement process to regain eligibility for a season.

Ohio State coach Ryan Day on Wednesday said he felt that Wade and fellow opt-out Wyatt Davis should be able to return if they chose to do so.

The Big Ten plans to start the football season on the weekend of Oct. 23-24. The conference will require student-athletes, coaches and other personnel that are on the field for all practices and games to undergo daily antigen testing. The test results must be completed and recorded prior to each practice or game.

Wade had previously announced Sept. 14 that he would forgo his senior season to prepare for the NFL.

“I came back to get my degree and to play another season and win a national championship,” Wade said of his decision. “But when the Big Ten canceled, I was focused on still playing, but I felt like they were holding off for so long I thought it was the best decision for me to declare for the draft and just go on with preparing and getting ready for the draft.”

Wade’s return for Ohio State would be meaningful for their defense. A team captain for the Buckeyes and a preseason All-American, Wade was listed as the No. 7 prospect on the Big Board of ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. earlier this month.

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