Star players at Ohio State, Michigan cleared to play after opting back in

Sam Cooper
·3 mins read

Several Big Ten stars who decided to opt back in to playing college football in 2020 have been cleared to do so.

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said during a Monday radio appearance that both cornerback Shaun Wade and guard Wyatt Davis have been cleared to play. Both Wade and Davis had opted out and declared for the NFL draft amid the uncertainty about when Big Ten football would return. But when the Big Ten announced its return on Oct. 24, both Buckeyes changed their minds.

Now, according to Day, they have been cleared.

“It’s great to have those guys back. Wyatt got great news and Shaun’s good to go,” Day said per Eleven Warriors.

Wade has combined for 57 tackles, 14 pass deflections and four interceptions over the last two seasons. Davis, a 6-foot-4, 315-pound junior, has 16 career starts, including starting all 14 games at right guard for the Buckeyes in 2019. Both are considered possible first-round prospects.

FILE - Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade (24) is shown during the first half of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game against Clemson, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. Ohio State stars Shaun Wade and Wyatt Davis got tired of waiting for a decision on the football season and chose to opt out and begin preparing for the NFL draft. Wade, a preseason All-American and likely first-round pick in the 2021 draft, announced his decision Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, on Twitter, saying the Big Ten waited too long to decide what to do about playing.(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File).
Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade has been given clearance to return for the Buckeyes this fall, per coach Ryan Day. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File).

Michigan tackle also back in the fold

Another prominent Big Ten player, Michigan tackle Jalen Mayfield, will also be back this fall. Mayfield opted out and declared for the draft back in August, about a week after the Big Ten initially decided to postpone the season.

Like Davis and Wade, Mayfield decided he wanted to play another season of college ball after the Big Ten reinstated the season. UM head coach Jim Harbaugh said on the “Inside Michigan Football” radio show Monday that Mayfield was granted a waiver and will indeed be available for the Wolverines this fall.

"In the case of Jalen Mayfield, he did submit a waiver to be able to come back and play, and that waiver has been granted,” Harbaugh said per Rivals.com. “I think there's a few stipulations that he has to do, but that waiver has been granted that he can return.”

Michigan lost its four other offensive line starters to the NFL after the 2019 season, so Mayfield’s return is a welcomed addition for the team.

The two other UM players who opted out, cornerback Ambry Thomas and wide receiver Nico Collins, have not submitted the paperwork to return, Harbaugh said.

“At this point, Jalen was the only one who submitted that waiver to opt back in,” Harbaugh said.

What about the other Big Ten players?

A few other Big Ten stars like Purdue receiver Rondale Moore and Minnesota receiver Rashod Bateman have also made it known they want to return in 2020.

Moore remained enrolled in classes and never hired an agent, so he has no obstructions to return.

Bateman, though, signed with an agent and will need NCAA clearance to play for the Gophers. But if the cases of guys like Davis and Mayfield are any indication, Bateman could be next in line to be cleared.

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