Wyatt Davis' Ohio State career is over.
The Ohio State right guard told Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel that he is opting out of the 2020 college football season and will enter the 2021 NFL draft.
“My family and I were waiting to hear any good news that there would be a possibility to play in the fall,” Davis told Yahoo Sports in an article published Friday morning. “As the weeks went on, after the initial cancellation, the news didn’t seem in favor that we would have an opportunity to play for a national championship if there was a season. At this point, my family and I made the decision that it would be my best decision to take the next step.”
In a statement posted to his Twitter account on Friday morning, Davis said he is “deeply saddened that my time in a Buckeye uniform has been cut short, but promise that my contributions to The Ohio State University are just getting started.”
“I am committed to earning my degree from The Ohio State and making Buckeye Nation as proud of me as an alumnus as I hopefully did as a player,” Davis wrote.
Buckeye for life! Cannot thank Buckeye Nation enough for the support the past 3 years. Words cant explain how much I will miss playing in the shoe! pic.twitter.com/IEVA323HGA— Wyatt Davis (@wyattdavis53) September 11, 2020
Davis is the first Buckeye to officially opt out of playing college football this year and announce he will enter the 2021 NFL draft.
A first-team All-American in 2019, Davis likely would have already been an early-round pick if he entered the 2020 NFL draft. After just one season starting for the Buckeyes, though, Davis chose to return for the 2020 season for another chance to chase a national championship, and said in May that he “would do anything to have this season.” Due to the ongoing uncertainty of whether the Big Ten will actually get to play this fall, however, Davis decided it was in his best interest to move on.
“It’s really heartbreaking,” Davis told Thamel. “I believe that we would have won the national championship this year. It’s really unfortunate. I feel for all those guys, especially the younger players going into this year having that taken away from them. It’s tough, but we are in a pandemic. It’s just really unfortunate. We had something really special.”
Even with only one year of starting experience under his belt, Davis is likely to be one of the first interior offensive linemen selected in the 2021 NFL draft, and could be a first-round pick. Named to BTN's All-Decade team of the 2010s, Davis possesses all the physical tools – at 6-foot-4 and 315 pounds – that NFL teams typically covet in a guard.
For Ohio State, though, Davis' departure will be a massive loss if the Buckeyes are ultimately able to play this fall, as he had been selected as a team captain and was expected to be one of Ohio State's top leaders in 2020. It leaves Ohio State with just two returning starters on the offensive line – left tackle Thayer Munford and center Josh Myers, assuming they do not opt out – though the Buckeyes have several potential options to replace Davis at right guard including redshirt sophomore Matthew Jones, fifth-year senior Gavin Cupp and redshirt freshmen Ryan Jacoby and Enokk Vimahi.