Ohio State’s Wyatt Davis happy he decided to return for shot at national title

Offensive lineman is 33rd unanimous All-American in school history

Teammates teased Ohio State Buckeyes right guard Wyatt Davis after the Suger Bowl victory against Clemson.

“Wow, you would have chose to sit out and miss out on this,” they told him.

Davis did — for a short time in September — cut short his college career to focus on the NFL Draft, citing the uncertainty surrounding the season because of the coronavirus pandemic. Less than a week later, following the Big Ten’s decision to play an eight-game season in the fall instead of moving the season to the winter or spring, Davis announced he would play this season for the Buckeyes after all.

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With Ohio State preparing to play Alabama in the national championship game on Monday in Miami, Fla., that’s looking like an even better decision these days.

“It’s honestly crazy just how everything that I wanted to happen this season is happening,” Davis said Thursday. “Now we just have to go finish. Words can’t really describe how I feel personally just to have this opportunity I’m in. I remember watching in high school the national championship and just how much of a big deal it is for me — me telling myself at a young age back then hopefully one day I’ll be on that field playing. Here I am now a couple years later with that opportunity. It’s definitely special.”

Another chance: If Ohio State plays Monday without some players because of COVID-19 issues, Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave will relate to their disappointment. He returned to action Jan. 1 in the Sugar Bowl after not getting to play in the Big Ten championship against Northwestern.

“It was tough,” Olave said. “Going into the week, that was the best I ever felt. My legs were under me. I was practicing real hard going into the Big Ten Championship, trying to go against a good Northwestern defense and just trying to win that game.

“To get that tap on my shoulder was tough. I called my parents right after and had to go into quarantine for 10 days in the hotel. It was tough. I didn’t really do much in the hotel. Just tried to stay in shape. We couldn’t really go for a run, so we just had to work out with bands, do a lot of sit-ups, pushups, staying there.”

When Olave did return to practice, it took him a while to get his legs back.

“Wednesday was the day I started to feel good,” he said, “and thankfully I had a good game on Friday.”

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Awards update: Davis was named to the Walter Camp All-America team on Thursday. That means he’s the 33rd unanimous All-American in school history and the first offensive lineman since Billy Price in 2017.

Here’s the complete list of Ohio State’s All-America honors this season:

First team

Davis: Associated Press; ESPN.com; Sporting News; Football Writers Association of American; American Football Coaches Association; and Walter Camp.

Defensive tackle Haskell Garrett: CBS Sports; and Pro Football Focus.

Cornerback Shaun Wade: Associated Press, ESPN.com, Sporting News, AFCA

Second team

Center Josh Myers: Sporting News

Wide receiver Garrett Wilson: FWAA.

Defensive end Jonathon Cooper: AFCA.