Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade, a potential top-10 pick, posted on social media on Monday that he was opting out of his senior season to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft.
But a few hours later, Wade -- a preseason All-American and a team captain -- left the door slightly open to return to the Buckeyes.
He told Cleveland.com that should the Big Ten leaders vote to reinstate a fall football season, he could return. Last month, the Big Ten announced it was moving the fall sports season to the spring, citing the risks presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Big Ten Council of President and Chancellors, which has drawn heavy pressure to reconsider that decision, could vote as early as Monday as to when to play the season.
"We're trying to be patient with everything and take it day by day," Wade said. "I did want to play and I still want to play, but I had to do what's best for me. That's nothing against Ohio State and nothing against anybody. It's just the Big Ten with no clarity."
Wade said he has not hired an agent and is working out with his trainer in his native Florida.
His comments to Cleveland.com were opposite of what he put on social media on Monday.
"This has been an extremely difficult decision to make, but I know it's the right decision for me. ... I am forever grateful to Buckeye Nation and looking forward to the next chapter," he said in a video posted to Twitter with the caption "Buckeye For Life."
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Wade ranked No. 7 among draft-eligible prospects. He was projected as an early round pick in the 2020 draft before opting to return for his senior season in Columbus and a chance to win a national championship.
Wade played in all 14 games last season, registering 26 tackles, four tackles for loss, one interception, two forced fumbles and eight pass breakups.
He is the second Ohio State player this month to opt out, joining offensive lineman Wyatt Davis.
Wade's father, Randy Wade, has been a vocal opponent of the Big Ten's decision to postpone the 2020 fall football season.
--Field Level Media