|5-Star #2 CB
|4-Star #5 CB
|5-Star #3 CB
|5-Star #1 CB
|5-Star #2 CB
|U.S. Army All-American | Lockhead Martin National Defensive Back of the Year
Shaun Wade is a 6-foot-1 177-pound cornerback out of Jacksonville, Florida. He was an Army All-American and is ranked the No. 1 cornerback in the nation per ESPN. ESPN also has Wade as the No. 6 player in the class of 2017. Wade is a cornerback with tremendous hands and ball skills, so if he is near the ball, he is in a position to make a play. He doesn't shy from contact in run support screen defense and often times looks for the big hit rather than wrapping up. When he is crashing down against the run, however, he does a good job of wrapping his arms around the ball carrier. He will need to get stronger, but he's already a smothering defender with a tremendous amount of confidence.
Wade is a long cornerback, like Gareon Conley and Eli Apple. Like Conley, there is a need to get stronger. Also, like Conley, Denzel Ward, and Marshon Lattimore, Wade is a very good high school wide receiver, which has only helped his ball skills. He high points the ball well and has the hands to catch the ball and not just knock it away. Once he has the ball in his hands, he turns into an offensive player, not unlike Chris Gamble or even Malik Hooker.
Based on film, it's difficult to see just how often Wade has played press man coverage, which is what he will be asked to do for the Buckeyes. Off coverage would also help to explain his high interception numbers, as he can watch a quarterback while also trusting his athleticism to help him out against lesser athletes. Given what he has shown, there's no doubt that he can adapt to what Kerry Coombs wants him to do.
The Depth Chart
Well, there are two cornerback jobs open at the moment and Wade is already enrolled hoping to make some kind of an impact on the defense this year. Along with fellow early enrollee Jeffrey Okudah, Wade is the highest-rated recruit in the Ohio State secondary, but will that translate to the depth chart? There are five scholarship cornerbacks on the roster waiting for the early enrollees, so Wade will have to move past a few teammates to have a chance to get involved.
The future could be this year because the Buckeyes will once again want to go with a cornerback rotation -- provided it can be trusted. You're asking a lot of a freshman to earn a starting role, but if you're only asking him to rotate, then maybe you can get achievable answers. I don't know if Shaun Wade will play this year, but I do know they are going to give him the opportunity to earn a spot. — Tony Gerdeman
2016 - 63 tackles, 7 INTs (2 TD rets)