Don’t Forget About Shaun Wade at Cornerback in 2018 for the Buckeyes

Ohio State Football Shaun Wade breaks up a pass against Binjimen Victor


Shaun Wade committed to Ohio State on January 12, 2015. That was the same day the Buckeyes were defeating the Oregon Ducks for the 2014 national title.

A 5-star cornerback prospect — and the No. 1 cornerback overall per ESPN — Wade stuck by Ohio State for more than two years before finally enrolling 12 months ago. There were constant reports during his senior season that he was wavering, but Wade held strong and enrolled early in order to get his Buckeye career underway as quickly as possible.

Wade was one of three freshman cornerbacks who enrolled in the winter last year, as he joined fellow 5-star prospect Jeff Okudah and 4-star prospect Marcus Williamson. They were then joined by junior college transfer Kendall Sheffield in the spring.

Wade performed well in the spring, and left no doubt that he would be playing in some capacity during the season. An abdominal tear ended his season well before camp ever began, and he spent his true freshman season doing what he could in order to stay in shape without injuring himself more.

“It’s been a tough year just dealing with injuries and stuff like that, but next year we’re gonna come back and grind with my fellas Jeff and Marcus and all of them,” he said recently. “I’m redshirted, so I’m not going to worry about this year anymore, I’m focused on next year.”

Before next year can get here, however, Wade has to be healthy enough to participate in winter workouts. According to cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs, that should be happening any day now, which is good news for the OSU defense.

“He’ll be healthy in January enough to go play, and now he’s got to go play because he’s the only one who didn’t,” Coombs said after the Cotton Bowl. “Every freshman played, every freshman will play, and the competition will be high. But we need him to play. You don’t have enough. You can never have enough corners, especially high-quality ones, so Shaun will play.”

Some players may get frustrated by redshirting, but at least at Ohio State there is a history of players before him having to do the same. On Kerry Coombs’ walls in the cornerbacks room are photos of Bradley Roby, Eli Apple, Gareon Conley, and Marshon Lattimore. All first-round NFL Draft picks, and each of them redshirted.

When Denzel Ward gets selected in the first round this spring, he’ll become the first first-rounder who didn’t redshirt under Coombs. There is no shame in redshirting, especially where injuries are concerned. Wade saw three freshman cornerbacks playing this season, but the example of the players who redshirted before him was never far from the discussion table.

“[Coach Coombs] talks about it a lot,” Wade said. “He just says get healthy, get healthy first, then we’ll talk about being a corner next. I’m just trying to get healthy, that’s all.”

The good news for the Buckeyes is that it wasn’t talent that kept Wade off of the field, it was the injury.

“The tradition in our room is pretty strong,” Coombs said. “You can point out that every one of those kids redshirted and he understands that. It happens. Injuries occur. He wouldn’t have redshirted if he hadn’t been hurt. He was good enough to play.”

Wade will be cleared sometime this month, which comes three years after he first decided he wanted to be a Buckeye, and he is still going to have to wait another nine months before he steps on the field for his first real game.

There has been quite a build up for Wade, and nobody is more eager to see what he can do than he is. He will be on as many special teams as he can get on next season because that is the only way to see the field on defense.

So what should Buckeye fans expect when they do finally get to see him out there?

“You’ll just have to see,” Wade smiled. “You’ll just have to find out.”


6 Responses

  1. OSU is DB U. In regards to what Saban did that is essentially apples and oranges to what Meyer could/should have done. JTB is now the all time B1G QB in terms of stats. JTB did not give up 55 points to IA, and JTB did not cause Bosa to get tossed at a key juncture in that game. To clarify, Saban did say that he would ROTATE Qb’s and I still believe that even if we would have inserted Haskins in that IA game the outcome might not have been that different as IA played the game of the decade that afternoon. In response to Cageyone I didn’t see Burrows do anything significant yet especially in a hotly contested game or in any B1G game. To me, the hype of Burrows casts a big shadow than what I’ve seen in games apart from our Spring game. That doesn’t mean he’s not good, my eyes have not convinced me yet. Why wouldn’t we start Haskins after he lead essentially an 17-0 run against MI in less than 19 minutes and it could of been more if not for an 1/2 touch out of bounds by our WR?

  2. Did everyone see Saban bench his starting QB at halftime last night? Put in a freshman in the biggest game/stage possible because the starter wasn’t getting it done. Saban is ruthless. Hopefully Urban was watching and took notes.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. Urban seems to have gone soft and lost his “foot on the throat” mentality.

    2. Great response, Tim Weaver! I agree! If he had done so against Iowa, it could have brought about a different result or maybe a much closer result! That game alone kept the Buckeyes out of the Payoffs! Could we say that Coach Meyer won the National Championship for Alabama. I would not like to think that, but Alabama got that chance and they got another one!

    3. Who cares what Saban or “fake national champs” Alabama did last night in the who cares bowl. Urban has had his success with his system but I would agree with what I think you are getting at which is being flexible and realizing when something or someone is not working (i.e. Barrett).
      Unfortunately for Buckeye nation I believe his mind is made up on who will be the starting QB and his name is not Burrow or Martell. True competition gives equal ground especially when none of your QB’s are returning starters. What Haskins did against the team up north is what Burrow could have done as well if not better.

  3. Heal up and hit it hard, Shaun! CBU is callin’, NEXT UP!

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