Last week against Oregon State, the Buckeye safeties did not have their best games. Sophomore Isaiah Pryor and redshirt sophomore Jahsen Wint were both making their first starts, and doing it without incumbent starter Jordan Fuller, who was held back due to a hamstring.
Both Pryor and Wint were involved in allowing big plays, and it was no doubt a learning experience.
The Buckeyes are expected to have Fuller back this week, which will obviously help, but they could also be getting a hand from redshirt freshman cornerback Shaun Wade.
Wade came to Ohio State as the No. 2 cornerback in the 2017 class, behind teammate Jeff Okudah at No. 1. Both he and Okudah enrolled early, and both had very solid spring camps for freshmen. Unfortunately, Wade suffered an abdominal injury and missed his freshman season.
He was healthy this spring, however, and competed for a spot in the Buckeyes’ cornerback rotation. While the rotation opened with Kendall Sheffield, Damon Arnette, and Okudah, there has been talk from defensive coordinator Greg Schiano that Wade could possibly enter the rotation as well.
Wade made his Ohio State debut at cornerback last week, finishing with three tackles and looking more than eager in run support. In terms of pass coverage, Oregon State didn’t look all that interested in testing him.
Speaking on the Urban Meyer call-in show on Thursday, Greg Schiano said that we would be seeing more of Wade moving forward following a very solid performance last week at Oregon State.
“Shaun is a multi-talented guy,” he said. “I think Shaun can play in the nickel, I think Shaun can play safety, I think Shaun can play at corner.”
Wade, at 6-foot-1 and 192 pounds, has the size to play anywhere in the secondary, and the hips and feet to match.
It would appear, however, that Wade will be playing at least some safety moving forward, and wherever else Schiano deems it necessary as well.
“Most of the times when you move guys from corner to safety it’s because they’re just not quite good enough to be a corner, especially around here. It’s elite to be a corner,” he said.
“Shaun can do that, but we’re going to move Shaun all over the place. He’s a guy that I can see getting a bigger and bigger role as time moves on.”