Friday Skull Session: Confronting Bosa Truthers, Defensive Line Woes, Ezekiel Elliott is the 2015 Leaf Leader and More

By D.J. Byrnes on December 18, 2015 at 4:59 am
Jerome Baker performs the last rites over a Rutgers returner.

The Buckeye bards will not sing ballads about Dec. 17, 2015.

The good news is it's Dec. 18, 2015 and the sun burns.


 BOSA TRUTHERS: A THING. Joey Bosa is a surefire NFL prospect... or so I thought.

Apparently—I shouldn't be surprised by this—there are Bosa truthers.


The scoop: "There are going to be comparisons to J.J. Watt because they are both athletic white guys from the Big Ten, but (Joey) Bosa isn't in that same league no matter how hard people will try to push that come draft time. They both have good motors but Watt was much bigger and much stronger. Bosa doesn't overwhelm guys with pure strength like Watt does." -- Big Ten area scout on the Ohio State DE

The skinny: From a statistical standpoint, Bosa's sack numbers have fallen off from where they were last year, and yet, the hype surrounding his draft stock hasn't slowed one bit. The scouting community seems a little torn on what the ceiling is for Bosa, who is an underclassman and has yet to decide whether to return to Ohio State for his senior season or apply for early entry into the 2016 NFL Draft. One group believes that he'll become a complete talent who can impact the run and rush the passer effectively. The other group sees Bosa's ceiling as a solid defensive end who will never be a great NFL pass rusher and whose ceiling is that of St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long's. Bosa has showed an ability to play on the other side of the line of scrimmage against the run this season, but he must prove he can become a dominant force as a pass rusher.

J.J. Watt, despite having the personality of a memo, is one of the best players in NFL history. Nobody will dispute that unless he fails a PED test.

The scout is as right in that Bosa ≠ Watt and as to why people will say Bosa = Watt. But these are the first questions I've seen of Bosa's NFL ceiling. Bosa's father and uncle didn't light the NFL on fire, but we try not to convict people for others' crimes in America. 

I will, however, concede the chances of Joey Bosa being a bust are more than 0%. Lest we forget the Cleveland Browns are still in the hunt for that No. 1 pick.

 DEFENSIVE LINE WOES. *Larry David voice* What's up the the defensive line? Adolphus Washington got pinched, Tommy Schutt picked up a knock, and suddenly Ohio State's interior is looking pliable.


That's what the D-line room is all about, stepping up when one of us goes down," Bosa said. "I'm a testament to that, missing the first game and they were able to step up and have a great game without me."

Joel Hale, who usurped Schutt as a starter the past five games, would likely have retained his spot. But the Schutt injury leaves less experience on the line to fill the hole vacated by Washington, who was a second-team All-Big Ten selection this season.

Sophomore defensive tackles Michael Hill, Donovan Munger and Tracy Sprinkle are battling for playing time.

Hale, Hill, Munger, Sprinkle... these are names Urban Meyer said needed to "get going" during the season. Bosa can fill one interior spot but it's not optimal to play him inside 100%.

Will one of the aforementioned four step forth? I'll always back a Buckeye, but Notre Dame will likely lead its attack with a battering ram on the front door. If the door's breached the onus falls on the linebackers. If Ohio States gets regularly gashed a spectacle could be on hand.

As for recruiting, people slagging Larry Johnson can keep walking past me, out the back door, and through the parking lot to the dumpster. Once there they can reflect upon its biosphere and wonder how it relates to their thinking.

The Lord of Whispers laid it bare in last night's Hurry Up—Larry ain't the problem.

If talented #teens don't want to come play for a three-time champion and a proven developer like Larry Johnson at a school like Ohio State with such a positional need then touché.

Perhaps it's my ignorance—somebody will let me know if it is—but it seems most elite defensive tackle prospects hail from the South or Texas (not the same thing).

Where do the Big Daddy Wilkinsons roam these days? If found please direct to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Immortalization awaits.

 I WANNA TALK TO SAMPSON. Ezekiel Elliott is the best Buckeye running back I've seen, and I'm waiting for an explanation as to how he didn't make a single first-team All-American team.

Perhaps, however, Elliott will leave Ohio State with the most prestigious award of all:

I'd love to know the all-time single season leaves leader. My guess would be Troy Smith in 2006.

If that season ended with a national title Smith never gets mono and Joe Flacco doesn't supplant him. Flacco would've then realized his destiny as a Delaware bank manager.  (No I'm not bitter. Why do you ask?)

 BUCKEYES STILL TRYING TO PLY OHIO JEWEL FROM IRISH. Elite Ohio football prospects should go to Ohio State, and when I'm elected governor the families of prospects who leave will go to jail!!!!!

*rousing applause*

But seriously, one man's trash heap in the forsaken part of Indiana is another man's utopia. Tommy Kraemer of Cincinnati Elder, the top 2016 offensive line prospect in the state, is pledged to Notre Dame.

It doesn't look like the result of the Fiesta Bowl will sway him either.


"Just being on (Notre Dame's) campus, it's a beautiful place," Kraemer said. "You walk into Notre Dame's stadium, and it's like, 'That is college football.' From the videos of the Four Horsemen, Rudy, all of it. It's just kind of the Mecca of the past and it will be in the future." 


Ohio State has been down to Elder multiple times the past month, including Meyer. The Buckeyes have also tried cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs, a former Cincinnati high school coach, and offensive line coach Ed Warinner, a former Notre Dame assistant. 


"I think it hurts Coach Meyer more because of how good of a football player Tommy is more than where he's from," Elder head coach Doug Ramsey told "I wouldn't be surprised if Tommy is one of the best offensive linemen in college football by the time his college career is over." 

When people tell me they like Rudy it's like they inject 17 gallons of Fireball into my veins. Where am I? Who the hell are these shapeshifters? I never know, but I pull the ripcord faster than a freshman disgruntled with Thad Matta's rotation.

 ALABAMA CLAIMS NO HIGH HORSE AT CUSTOMS. As much as I relish a decennial date with Irish outside the saloon, I'd fancy (to watch) a rematch with Bama.

Those responsibilities fall to Michigan State by blood rights this year, but that doesn't mean Ohio State's January daggering doesn't linger on the minds of the Tide.


“We certainly didn’t do a very good job last year,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “I felt like our players did not approach the game like a playoff game. They approached it more like a bowl game, which was obviously not what we tried to sell to them, in terms of what they needed to do. I think they felt a little entitled when they won the SEC championship.”

Saban proceeded to compliment MSU up and down. He praised MSU coach Mark Dantonio, whom he considers a friend, and he commended the Spartans for their grit, toughness and ability to finish games.

“We are playing a really good team,” Saban said. “I think everybody respects the team we are playing.”

Here's the thing: Nobody respects Michigan State. Disrespect is a Spartan Infinity Stone, and Ol' Dino has Bama trundling into the kill zone.

 THOSE WMDs. Anti Egg Nog Movement of 1872... Rise and fall of the Bombshell Bandit... Top five gifts under five cents... Main road through the heart of Africa is the Congo River—for those who dare take it... Just Me in the House by Myself.. Who runs the streets of New Orleans?

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