The Big Ten fall football season was canceled (at least for now) one month ago today, but on Friday, the Ohio State Buckeyes took another loss as one of the best offensive lineman in the country, Wyatt Davis, announced that he would be skipping the season, whenever his team might be allowed to return to the field.
Buckeye for life! Cannot thank Buckeye Nation enough for the support the past 3 years. Words can’t explain how much I will miss playing in the shoe! pic.twitter.com/IEVA323HGA— Wyatt Davis (@wyattdavis53) September 11, 2020
Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel reported that the likely first-round guard will declare for the NFL Draft, ending his career before what would have been his redshirt-junior season. In Thamel’s article, Davis said, “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 speaking to Lettermen Row, Davis put much of the blame for his decision on the conference’s leadership:
Wyatt Davis to @LettermenRow: "It's very bittersweet. It's tough. I came back to win a national championship, and with the season just getting pushed back and pushed back and no communication from the commissioner, my family and I thought it was best to take the next step."— Austin Ward (@AWardSports) September 11, 2020
Despite all of the uncertainty surrounding the Big Ten season, Davis is the first Buckeye to announce that he will not play in a potential fall or spring season, either by opting out, or declaring for the draft.
Davis also told Thamel that he believes that OSU would have won the national championship this year had the pandemic not upended the season. Of his decision, Davis said, “It’s really heartbreaking.”
The jury is still out on whether or not the Buckeyes will have the opportunity to compete for a title this fall, as a vote is reportedly on the horizon for B1G presidents to address what comes next for their football teams, but if they do get the chance, the offensive line won’t have Davis’ talent and leadership to anchor it.
While Davis is the first OSU player to step away from the team during the turbulent fall, he might not be the last, as other players like quarterback Justin Fields, cornerback Shaun Wade, wide receiver Chris Olave, and others could make a similar decision if the season continues to be pushed further back in the calendar.
Despite the disappointing way that it ended, Davis had a fantastic career in the scarlet and gray, and will undoubtedly be another Pro Bowl-level talent from the Buckeyes in the NFL. Good luck, Wyatt.