Skull Session: G.O.A.T. Forecast, the Importance of Ryan Day, and Luther Muhammad Plays Defense

By D.J. Byrnes on January 16, 2018 at 4:59 am
Chase Young stalks the January 16th 2018 Skull Session

We begin today with an encomium about two of the greatest inventions in human history:

  • The Instant Pot. I prepared and cooked a rack of ribs in under an hour last night. Under an hour! Just awesome (and I mean that word in the Biblical sense) piece of machinery.
  • The garage. I've lived other places without a garage... not sure I can go back. 

Rivalry programming note: The women's basketball team plays Michigan in Columbus at 7 p.m. ET on BTN.


Word of the Day: Confabulate.

 G.O.A.T. MOVES. Demario McCall was stopped last year by the only person capable of blocking the greatest footballer in Ohio State history: Himself.

While we all (correctly) assume McCall will be healthy this fall, questions linger about his spot on the field after Mike Weber and every receiver decided to return to the team.


With McCall’s ability and upside, he shouldn’t be ruled out in any competition for a meaningful role. He can line up in multiple positions, and he certainly has the kind of top-end speed and elusiveness that Ohio State loves to utilize in the power-spread system. His versatility should only help to get McCall involved. He certainly has the capability of being a dangerous weapon, but the Buckeyes don’t exactly have a shortage of those.

Just about anywhere else, there would be no question at all about getting McCall a heavy workload. At Ohio State, the trick will be all about finding the right spots to unleash him.

It may shock some gentle readers, but I remain high on McCall's talent. If he can stay healthy, and so far that hasn't been a surefire thing, he'll find his way onto the field.

He seems like a better candidate than Mike Weber to return kicks. If it starts there, so be it.

 DAY STAYS. When Chip Kelly landed at UCLA, I worried he'd poach Ryan Day. Columbus remains majestic, but it's tough to beat Westwood—especially in December. 

But Day chose to remain in Columbus for another year. That impact, like Larry Johnson's, can't be encapsulated with words.

But Tate Martell tried anyway.


“It means the world,” said Martell after the Cotton Bowl. “If he would have left, it sucks having to go through that after just one year. It was tough for me just knowing Coach Day for like a week before I came in, so that was a weird situation for me. But now that’s my guy, I love him, and I can’t wait to get it going with him.”

Martell’s opinion is shared by his fellow quarterbacks. They know what they are going to get from him and they know what he wants. He knows Urban Meyer’s offense, and they do too. This isn’t a situation where the quarterback coach has to learn the offense and also try to teach the quarterbacks on the fly. Day understood the offense well enough early on to add his own flourishes to it, and now that will continue in 2018 as well.

The common thinking will be another year of Kevin Wilson, Urban Meyer, and Day working together will do good things for the offense.

Let's hope they're on the same page with the J.T. Barrett's succession.

 NEXT UP. Keita Bates-Diop will (probably) be in the NBA or an overseas superstar by this time next year. What that means for the 2018-19 team remains to be seen, but Holtmann already has a gem in the fold with Luther Muhammad.

The four-star guard scored 17 points and recorded four steals in a Hudson Catholic (NJ) 71-58 win over John Carroll (MD) at the 2018 Spalding Hoophall Classic.

He also increased his reputation as a perimeter defender by harassing five-star Kentucky commit Immanuel Quickley. 


"He's tough," Quickley said of Muhammad. "I probably could have got off the ball a little bit more and I guess used my teammates a little better, but he's tough. Respect to him." 

Muhammad is ultra-competitive and it shows. He said it stems from his upbringing, playing in Northern New Jersey's West End Park.

That's a tough environment to live in," he said. "I play in the park every day of the summer. In the park, there really ain't no fouls. It's either kill or be killed. That's been my mentality since I've been little."

Hell, looks like Muhammad could help the Buckeyes this year. Isn't that how basketball recruiting works anyway; players can just declare whenever they want? I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm still new to this thing.

 ARE YOU SURE THAT'S NOT YOUR OVERBEARING BOSS? Alabama may once again be the national champion. We can at least take solace in nobody in the state being able to find happiness in a dynasty.

My only question is: How is that any different than working for Nick Saban? Because I will gladly take these coaches salaries if their skins can't handle some ridicule from some backwoods bro with 15 numbers in his username. 

 IT SWITCHED. If you can't remember Michigan fans hyping Sam McGuffie as a future Heisman winner, you're too young to read this column.

In their defense, his high school mixtape was kinda silky for a future bobsledder: 

2009 was a wild time to be alive, folks.

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