It looks like Ohio State won't lose its first-team All-American offensive lineman after all.
Just five days after Wyatt Davis announced his intention to opt out of the upcoming season due to the uncertainty surrounding it in order to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft, Davis decided to reverse course on Wednesday, opting back into the Buckeyes' 2020 season after the Big Ten announced its season would begin in October.
“I want Buckeye Nation to know that I want to play this season for Ohio State and I am working now to make that a reality,” Davis said.
Because of the Oct. 24 start date, the Buckeyes should be in contention for the College Football Playoff, and with Davis now planning to return after his declaration to leave, they could have the nation's best offensive line. He'll again slot in at right guard along with returning starters Josh Myers and Thayer Munford, along with potential first-year starters Harry Miller and either Nicholas Petit-Frere or Paris Johnson.
Initially, Davis told Yahoo's Pete Thamel that he and his family were "waiting to hear any good news that there would be a possibility to play in the fall" but had lost hope that he would have a chance to play with a national championship on the line. He told The Athletic's Bill Landis on Friday that he intended to sign with the Athletes First agency, though his dad said that wasn't yet official.
Davis' statement indicates there still might be hurdles to clear before he can officially return to the Buckeyes – he had left campus and had been in California with his family, and it's unclear if he accepted any benefits after believing his college career was over – but he'll certainly have an advocate for his eligibility to play in Ryan Day.
“I think this is a very, very unique time, in our country’s history and certainly in college football, so if they want to play, I believe 1000% they should be allowed the opportunity to play,” Day said Wednesday.
The Big Ten's decision to have a fall season with a national title seemingly attainable clearly spurred Davis to change his mind at the last minute.
In Davis, Ohio State brings back potentially the best guard in college football who, even if he had stuck with his decision to sit out the season, could end up as a first-round draft pick in the spring. The redshirt junior from California earned both first-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten honors following the 2019 campaign in which he was a first-year starting guard. Earlier this year, Big Ten Network placed him on its Big Ten All-Decade Team despite him still being an active player.
The Associated Press named Davis a preseason first-team All-American and his teammates voted him as a captain ahead of the season. Needless to say, his change of heart offers a significant boost to a Buckeyes team chasing a championship.