Brendon White, Shaun Wade Continue Battle for Starting Spot

Brendon White Ohio State Football Buckeyes

Ohio State sophomore safety Brendon White stepped up in Saturday’s game against Nebraska when his team needed him the most. The Buckeyes were down three starters after junior Jordan Fuller was ejected for targeting and White came in and soon eliminated any concern.

He finished the game with 13 tackles — eight solo — and two tackles for loss.

While the original plan was for redshirt freshman Shaun Wade to be at field safety and Fuller to be at boundary safety, White came in and performed well in Fuller’s absence. And in so doing, he certainly made a strong case for a starting job opposite Fuller.

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said on Tuesday that White and Wade would be splitting reps at safety in practice, and the starting job opposite of Fuller would be determined through their respective performances in practices this week.

Sophomore Isaiah Pryor will be back and working this week, but he was expected to be on the outside looking in. Meyer did say that he could get in the mix with a good week of practice, however.

Both Wade and White have had very unique seasons. Even though coaches had said Wade was competing for a starting job, neither were realy in the mix just a few weeks ago. Both have now taken advantage of their opportunities on the field.

Wade’s role on the team has been transitioning throughout the season. He has seen time at corner, nickel, and at safety. Not many players could do what Wade has been able to do, and his versatility as the No. 1 nickel back makes him very valuable on this team.

White, however, came in and produced like no other safety has this season. But now even though his role could change as he fights for the starting spot, his mindset remains the same. He will always compete to better himself for the benefit of the team, even with the pressure now of competing for the starting job.

“I’m not going to try to change anything,” White said. “I’m going to keep doing what I’ve been doing, and that’s going hard every day, having that eagerness to want to be great and wanting my teammates to be great. At the end of the day, whoever gets the starting job, the coaches made the right decision and I’m going to be there if it’s me or if it’s not me. At the end of the day, I want the team to win.”

For co-defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, he just tries to put the best two safeties out there, regardless of field or boundary. If Wade wins the job, Fuller will move to Boundary. If White wins the job, Fuller will stay at Field. Grinch just wants the two most consistent safeties on the field, whoever that may be.

“It’s matched with the game plan,” Grinch said. “Those guys that perform the best over the course of the week in practice will determine who the starter is and how we split reps from there. We are certainly not opposed to playing more than just one or the other. That’s the message to them, keep competing and the more guys that play, the better.”

Even with an ongoing battle, the team is confident that whoever starts opposite of Fuller will get the job done

“When you got a lot of guys that can play, I know it’s hard for the coaches just deciding who is going to play, but like they said, they are just going to be battling it out,” fourth-year junior cornerback Damon Arnette said.

“We all know both of those guys are ballers and whatever they decide, it’s going to help us.”

11 Responses

  1. From last week’s performance and maybe even game saving plays, if White doesn’t start, then it appears that something is really wrong. Or he should at least split series with him or make room for him elsewhere, he’s sort of the spark that’s been missing from the time we lost Bosa! If the coaches can’t sniff that, it explains our mediocre play.

  2. Wade is becoming a ” GREAT” football player. Why? Because of good players like White who are providing the needed competition to make it happen. Competition is the #1 factor in life which sports are a very small part of.which lets us be “ALL” we can become. It seems to me there is a group of “posters’ on this site who are frightened of it. There is hope, only a couple are vets. lean that way. the others will go the way of all flesh!!

  3. I love all the armchair coaches who have no accountability, responsibility, or knowledge, but have all the answers.
    This team was dealt a bigger blow than we will ever know by Urban’s suspension. These coaches are high character guys who refuse to hide behind excuses that most of us would have dragged out long ago.

    1. Hey Gordon- go back into your unicorn hideout. The “armchair coaches” expect more from OSU’s actual coaches. We don’t like repeated lies, fluff, or truisms, especially from new coaches who have proved NOTHING. It’s called believing in an actual standard. Don’t forget to polish your Urban Meyer idol tonight!

    2. That is ALL the coaches do is hide behind excuses. We’re beat up (as if every team in the Country isn’t), nobody is stepping up (even with talent most schools would kill to have), we’re tinkering (tinkering when they have no chemistry, no identity AT ALL)…we got too exotic…the damned sun got in our eyes……………

      Nobody is questioning the coaches “character.” What’s in question is their ability to do their damned job, with some of the best talent the United States of America has to offer big time College ball.

      Maybe their over priced pay checks is weighing them down.

    3. Gordon, “coaches refuse to hide behind excuses”? Come on man! Wake up

      I’m quite confident Gordon is actually a coach or a coaches wife using a fake account to vent.

    4. Being a die hard Buckeye and arguably one of its most frequent commentators on this site, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out something is very wrong with this very talented team. One reason may be Urban’s suspension for a number of weeks. Football and coaching isn’t brain surgery either and we all can contrast that something isn’t right this year compared to Urban numerous other seasons. Contrary to you singular excuse, why are we now really struggling after Urban has been back the longest, when the team really should be making strides as we have always seen with his teams? Are you claiming to be a better ‘armchair quarterback than the rest of us?

  4. Agree with Charlie and Christopher. I don’t believe for a SECOND that some of these defensive players- and ALL of the offensive line- perform the best in practice each week. No one gets to see it so the coaches hide behind it, then punish players who have the nerve to call them out. High school sounds about right…

  5. God forbid they use actual live game experience/productivity of White in evaluating whether or not he should start! The fact that they are ”splitting reps” and mulling this one over is part of the problem! White NEEDS to start! Period! White is BETTER! Period! What the hell is this, youth sports?!

  6. Wade is a corner who can fill in at Safety of needed. White is our best safety and it’s not close. Wade should play nickel until moving put to starting CB next season.

    If you flipped these guys recruiting rankings and hometowns White would be the starter and we wouldn’t even be having thia discussion. Such is the life of a 3 * from Powell, OH. White should have been playing. Hope he hangs on there through the politics.

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