COLUMBUS, Ohio – Four Ohio State football players are semifinalists for major nation awards. Those Buckeyes are: Pete Werner (Butkus Award), Shaun Wade (Thorpe Award), Justin Fields (Maxwell Award & Davey O’Brien Award) and Wyatt Davis (Outland Trophy).
Werner’s honor was previously announced last Monday. The senior from Indianapolis is currently Ohio State’s leading tackler with 32 stops (14 solo, 18 assisted) to go along with 2.5 tackles for loss, one sack and one forced fumble. Werner has also been consistent: he’s registered at least three tackles in each game this season.
The last Buckeye to win the Butkus Award, given annually to the nation’s top linebacker, was James Laurinaitis in 2007.
Wade, a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award as the nation’s best defensive back, has recorded an interception in each of Ohio State’s last two games. His “pick six” in the third quarter against Indiana on Nov. 21 gave the Buckeyes a 42-21 lead in a game they went on to win, 42-35. Last Saturday at Michigan State, he picked off a pass by Payton Thorne in the third quarter of a 52-10 victory.
On the season, Wade has 16 tackles, two interceptions and three pass breakups. Wade in Ohio State’s third Thorpe Award semifinalist in the last five seasons, joining Malik Hooker (2016) and Jeff Okudah (2019).
Fields, who was a Maxwell semifinalist and a Davey O’Brien Award finalist last season, currently leads the nation in completion percentage (78.1) and is fourth in passer efficiency rating (196.1). He’s completed 107 of 137 passes for 1,407 yards and 15 touchdowns in just five games. Last Saturday at Michigan State, he added a career-high 104 yards on the ground and accounted for four touchdowns in a 52-10 victory.
Davis is an anchor on the offensive line for the Buckeyes and is a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy, which is awarded to college football’s top interior lineman (both offense and defense). Davis has started 20 consecutive games at right guard and this year has helped the Buckeyes produce the Big Ten’s top rushing offense, averaging 251.0 yards per game and 5.50 yards per carry on the ground.
Ohio State has had four Outland Trophy Award winters in its history: Jim Parker (1956), Jim Stillwagon (1970), John Hicks (1973) and Orlando Pace (1996).
COURTESY OHIO STATE ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS