Wade began his career on offense, hauling in eight passes for 84 yards and rushing for 82 yards on nine carries as a freshman. After redshirting in 2003, he switched over to the defensive side of the ball, and showed promise as a corner. In 2004, he had 24 tackles in a reserve role. As a junior in 2005, Wade came through with 32 tackles, 1.5 for loss, and two picks on the year. He continued to progress on defense, coming through with his best season as a senior, finishing with 52 tackles, six for loss, four interceptions, and 13 pass break ups.
Wade has big time upside as a cover corner. He has excellent athleticism, quickness, and speed. He easily mirrors a receiver in and out of his cuts, and shows the speed to stay step for step all the way down the field. Despite his relative inexperience, he has shown a nose for the football, and the ability to make plays with the ball in the air.
Wade still relies on his talent too much, and may need some time to develop. He can bite on fakes and give up the big play at times. He also needs to become more physical and more of a factor in the running game. Bigger wide receivers can cause a mismatch, and he is not a factor stopping the run.
Jonathan Wade has a lot of potential at the next level. He has all the talent to develop into a standout cover man, but he needs work working on the other areas of his game. With some patience, he could really develop into a playmaker in the NFL. With his potential, a team may take him in the second round on upside.