All-American cornerback Shaun Wade knows who he wants to face in the CFP title game against Alabama.
Competitors compete and cornerbacks are known for not backing down.
Ohio State’s Shaun Wade is that kind of alpha entering the CFP title game showdown with top-ranked Alabama. He looks forward to the challenge and knows the measuring stick that waits on Alabama’s roster.
“You already know who I want to go up against at the end of the day,” Wade said when asked which Crimson Tide receivers he’s eager to face.
A follow up confirmed the obvious. That means newly awarded Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith?
“Yeah,” the consensus All-American said.
And it wasn’t said in disrespect since Wade went on to explain why Smith is such an impressive opponent.
“DeVonta is a very great player, quick and shifty and fast,” said Wade, a former 7-on-7 teammate of Alabama’s Mac Jones back in his high school days. “You see it on his highlights. He can do everything in the book as a receiver, and just really looking for that match-up.”
The 6-foot-1 product of Jacksonville is one of the elite cornerbacks in the nation. He considered going pro after last season before returning for a fourth season in Columbus.
Wade’s two interceptions lead the Buckeyes while ranking third on the team with 30 total tackles.
Like Wade, Smith turned down the NFL for a final college season. Asked about facing Wade, Smith had clearly done his homework.
“He’s very crafty,” Smith said. “He mixes his technique up some and just everything he does. He’s a technician with everything he does, and he’s a great player.”
Having a star receiver like teammate Chris Olave is a help in the preparation for the 7 p.m. CT Monday game. Olave averages 110 receiving yards a game with seven touchdowns in six games played.
“Olave is one of the greatest in college football in my opinion,” Wade said. “A lot of people probably don’t talk about him like that, but in my opinion, he’s one of the greatest receivers in college football in these decades. Just going against him and competing against them every day, I feel like Olave and DeVonta have some similarities in height and length and stuff like that.”
Smith had 100-yard receiving games in six of the final seven games of the season while rewriting Alabama’s record book. He’s the first receiver to win the Heisman in nearly three decades.
Wade was reminded practically nobody has stopped Smith all season that’s included 105 catches, 1,641 yards and 20 touchdowns.
“Really all I care about is winning the game,” Wade said, “and if we win by one point, that’s all I care about. That’s all I care about is just winning by one point at the end of the day and just getting this National Championship.”