Thursday Skull Session

By D.J. Byrnes on June 12, 2014 at 6:00 am
Entrance to Old Ohio Field, 1909 via The Ohio State Library

It has been over 24 hours since the last #Elite15 commitment, and as such, the coaching staff is literally walking into the Gates of Hell to plant some flags.

Hey Zach Smith: You're 2-0 against Michigan, right?

Here are some articles you may have missed yesterday:

  • The scouting service, ironically enough called Scout, has released their top 300 list for the 2016 class. Nick Bosa, the Smaller Bear, is a name you might recognize. That freak checks in at No. 9 overall. Unsurprisingly, Ohio State targets litter the list (Birm has your breakdown over here), and six Ohio kids are within the first 66 prospects.
  • Speaking of recruits, Stone Cold Ramzy Nasrallah thundered into the building yesterday, hit some assholes with a steel chair, dished out a few stunners to some other dirtbags and laid down the law on recruiting etiquette in the year 2014.
  • The ol' Gunslinger and Terrelle Pryor met.
  • Braxton Miller leads the country in game-winning drives. I've apparently bleached my mind of the entire 2011 season except for the upset of Russel Wilson and Bert. 

48 HOURS WITH TYLER GREEN. Ari Wasserman of had an excellent breakdown of how lesser-hyped prospects — say, Ohio State's recent commit Tyler Green — go about earning a scholarship at camps hosted by football factories:

"I knew long before I got in the car to go to Ohio State's camp that I wanted to play there," [Tyler] Green said. "It was a mission, it had my focus and I was prepared. It was great to have that opportunity, and it's even better that I got the offer."

Touché, touché. Most of the time when I get in the car on a mission I'm hoping to lockdown a Chipotle steak bowl in a timely fashion.

Here's how defensive line coach Larry Johnson sealed the deal with a guy he had been recruiting since his days at Penn State:

Johnson tracks down Green and pulls him out of the drill. He brings him over and says, "We're not going to offer you because you're not good." Green interjected by saying, "I'm not done working for this." Johnson smiled and said, "But we're going to offer you because you're great." Green erupted with joy knowing that he wasn't leaving Columbus without being a Buckeye.  

These are the best kind of recruiting stories. If I were running a company, I would hire Tyler Green. He's going places.

GENE SMITH: MOVER-AND-SHAKER. I like Gene Smith. He bungled the aftermath of Tatgate, but since then his only egregious errors have been ticket pricing, which I don't think is a major issue given the 2,500 new seats in the Horseshoe. (And say what you will about his contract, he's not the one who wrote the terms. Hate not the player, as they say.)

Despite that, he's positioned Ohio State as a powerbroker in the Power Five's attempts to reform college football:

I understand why some people don't like Gene Smith, but his voice in the near future is going to be key, and the fact it's respected among his peers all but assures Ohio State's best interests will be protected.

And yeah, there's stupid money at his disposal, but other universities have stupid cash, and their athletic directors' voices aren't as respected as Smith. (Top of the morning to you, Dave Brandon.)

The man is good at his job, and Ohio State could do a lot worse. (They certainly have in the recent past.) In the end, Smith is going to leave Ohio State athletics in better shape than he found it, and the positives will far outweigh his missteps.

Just one man's humble internet opinion, folks. Please leave a comment if you're so inclined.

SHAZIER IS GETTING #BIZZY IN THE STEEL CITY. Ryan Shazier has been my boy ever since he played on one leg as a freshman against Michigan in the Big House. He posted eight tackles and would've been better off playing with a run-of-the-mill pirate's 17th-century peg-leg.

Then there are the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger and his clown posse are second only to Michigan in terms of teams I detest, and watching Ryan Shazier get drafted by the Steelers was akin to walking into your trailer park home after a hard day in the mineshaft and finding a 16 and Pregnant production crew sitting around your kitchen table. 

So yesterday, when I saw this tweet, it almost made me ill:

Two Ohio State legends in cahoots against Cleveland (and Cincinnati, tbh). Not to get all political, but there should be laws against this kind of thing.

A LOOK AT THE CAMP CIRCUIT. On the other side of the recruiting trail from Tyler Green, there's Jeremy Fowler's CBS story. (Trigger warning: Link features unbearable auto-play video/audio. Why is this still a business strategy? I don't know.)

Summer football camps are supposed to be honest and good.

I take it Jeremy Fowler isn't familiar with organized crime racket that was the 1980's football camp raffle scene.

Arizona's Rich Rodriguez and Tennessee's Butch Jones know the other, more compromised side. Both say high school coaches attempt to leverage them by offering to bring top players in exchange for getting paid to work a camp. “It's a growing question we hear,” Jones said.

Several FBS coaches are concerned not that camps exist, but that the recruiting system is designed for potential abuse, or to create pressure for coaches to abuse it themselves.

Hell, now college coaches are trying to cut into the gravy train?!? I don't like where this is going.

As the routine goes, [Palm Beach Dwyer assistant coach Paul] Meunier said, schools “indirectly imply” Meunier should bring top players with him -- in this case, wide receiver Johnnie Dixon and safety Shawn Boone.

Meunier chose to work Ohio State's camp because the school had intrigued Dixon and Boone. They wanted to learn more about the program. Ohio State paid Meunier a total of $1,409 for on-field coaching and mileage during a one-day camp for high school kids in late June.

Meunier goes onto claim the trip ended up costing him $30. 

Is this the tax that must be paid? Because, uh... *glances around for the cops* I don't think anybody is going to stop it from getting worse. 

I'M GOING CAMPING. Yesterday, I voiced some skepticism about Tim Kight's seminars with OSU's football team, gurus and the concept of "organizational culture," among other things.

Kight's son, Brian, who also works with Focus³, caught up with me on Twitter and hit me with a titanic haymaker:

I had that coming, but I'm a little surprised any human survived that long, dark trek through my post history. I couldn't even make it that far back.

Anyway, Brian invited me to one of Focus³'s leadership seminars next week in Upper Arlington. Not going to lie, UA gives me the heeby-jeebies, but it's only fair to take up the offer. 

Haven't decided if I'll write about it, but I will go with an open mind to see if I can learn any secrets from these gurus. I am a fair and just hater, after all; just don't let me unlock the alpha wolf from within.

THOSE WMDs. Oral history of '94 World Cup... To me, here's a comical article... Cardale Jones is my favorite player too, little kids... Here's some Brian Hartline NFL highlights... Tyrone Prothro got hustled... How five-star recruits have panned out at OSU over the years... via @Jones: A World Cup bookmark you'll want... A cool painting... A Hater's Guide to the World Cup... Watch 1,000 people cry from ghost peppers... Sinola Cartel's 90-year-old drug mule... 

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