Skull Session: Offensive Tackles Need to Step Up, Scouting Bosa, and Collier Reckons with Inept Ohio Drivers

By D.J. Byrnes on January 21, 2016 at 4:59 am
Isaiah Prince can't wait for the January 21st, 2016 Skull Session

TV programming note: The men's basketball team plays Purdue in West Lafayette at 9 p.m. on ESPN. It can't go worse than the Maryland game, right? (Please don't quote me.)

 STARTER JAMARCO COMETH. Ohio State is an offensive line-driven program, and when the Slobs are mauling up front, the Buckeyes are basically impossible to beat under Urban Meyer.

Pat Elflein returning was the biggest #boom of the recruiting cycle given the immediate impact, but he will be flanked in part by two unproven commodities in 2016: Jamarco Jones at left tackle and Isaiah Prince at right tackle.

If Ohio State is going to contend for the playoffs, they'll need to get acclimated with alacrity.


Nothing written above matters if Ohio State doesn’t have the offensive line play the Buckeyes have become used to over the last several seasons. Two of the five positions are already filled by returning starters Pat Elflein (center) and Billy Price (left guard), but Prince and Jones are expected to step into the two tackle spots.

“Isaiah Prince is going to make a huge jump,” Meyer said and he needs to be right. Prince was one of the best offensive tackles in the nation coming out of high school last year. After spending 2015 as a backup to Chase Farris, the 6-foot-7, 305-pound beast needs to be ready to play every snap to help keep Barrett upright.

Jones has been in the system for two years at Ohio State and his time has come. He had a good role model in Taylor Decker playing in front of him, but now he must become the highly recruited player the Buckeyes expected when they got him out of Chicago, Ill. As Meyer said, “Jamarco Jones is a key cog in the wheel,” so he must be ready to play.

The good news for Jones and Prince is Khalil Mack doesn't play for Bowling Green. Still, this is the first time under Meyer that Ohio State will have to blood two tackles at the same time (along with Billy Price's partner on the interior).

This could take time, which fans will have to remember (we won't). The good news is Ohio State hired Greg Studrawa, which means it'll be able to keep its offensive line coach on the sidelines and Ed Warinner in the box. 

It's almost as if Urban Meyer knows what he's doing, folks.

 SCOUTING JOEY BOSA. I felt bad on Tuesday about the possibility of Joey Bosa going No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft and giving the prime of his life to an inept and soulless franchise like the Tennessee Titans. (Browns fans may be drunk and miserable, but we're not soulless.)

No offense to Bosa, but wallowing in Tennessee is preferable to him eating souls on behalf of that maniacal, sex-crazed elf Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys. Former Dallas scout Gil Brandt says the Cowboys should take Bosa (or Oregon's DeForest Bucker) with No. 4 pick. 

It's easy to see what they'd like about Bosa.


WHAT I LIKED: There are almost no great players at this position that do not possess the tireless motor.  Bosa gets triple teamed at times and yet keeps fighting.  If you are going to get attention, it better be clear that you are willing to fight any battle thrown at you all day long - regardless of the score.  I really like Bosa in this regard and it might be my favorite part of his game.  Now, there are a lot of "try hard" guys who do not run like linebackers, so that is where Bosa leaves those guys in the dust.  He is 275, with a chance to add 10 or 15 more, yet runs like a linebacker off the edge.  He has fantastic hands and arms in his technique.  Flawless, really, with his ability to put quick moves on linemen, or push them back with a fork lifting bull rush.  He is so good against the run that in the 4 games I watched for this report, I don't think teams ran in his direction hardly at all.

What's always more interesting when dealing with elite prospects is seeing areas of their game that need improvement.

Though it sounds blasphemous, there are parts of Bosa's game that need polishing. 

WHAT I DID NOT LIKE:  The questions with Bosa are going to be whether he is good or great at rushing off the edge. [...] He does get locked up on some blocks at times that take him out of the play, but I would not call this abnormal. He also converts well from power to speed on his moves, but sometimes that comes close to causing balance issues. He does stumble out of a few moves that might otherwise be sacks. He flirts with targeting or unnecessary roughness penalties, which some might see as a negative but others might not mind at all (mean streak). He also has a chance to be a guy who routinely gets offside penalties trying to jump the snap.

Given that last sentence, I'd like to place a $100 bet (I called my accountant to make sure I'm good for it) Bob Strum watched the Michigan State game while reviewing Bosa's wanton 2015 pillaging.

I scoffed at the idea Bosa could only be "good" off the edge in the NFL, but then I remembered professional OTs are some of the most surreal athletes in the world. I'm still taking my winnings and doubling down on Bosa, though.

 IT'S TRUE OHIOANS CAN'T DRIVE, BUT... Stephen Collier is entering his third year in the program, and he apparently mastered driving in the snow.

Yesterday, the Georgian teed off on Ohio drivers:

I'm secure in my love for Ohio, so I have no problem saying most of us shouldn't be allowed to drive golf carts. (If only all drivers were like me, the guy beyond reproach that has never made a mistake on the open road...)

But we ain't the worst drivers... not by a long shot:

The East Coast seems like paradise for people who want to spend large blocks of their lives trapped inside their automobile in standstill traffic.

Bad drivers, however, plague America from coast to coast:

The defense rests, Your Honor.

 COREY LINSLEY, TROLLOLOL. Last time I was in Marion, I rang a lifelong friend and asked if he wanted to hang out and do hoodrat things.

"Sure," he said. "I'm drinking at Applebee's. Come through."

I hung up and deleted him out of my life. I don't live recklessly anymore, and I came too far in life to associate with those who do.

So naturally I was perturbed to see this tweet about old friend of the program Corey Linsley:

For the real scoop, we turn to the future Mrs. Linsley:

When your victims walk away with no knowledge of being trolled, it means you executed a flawless troll.

 THAT'S WHY THEY CALL IT “UNVERIFIED VORACITY.” Last week, Ohio State signed a record college apparel contract with Nike to the tune of $252 million over 15 years.

Not long after, That Hippie Up North popped his head out of his hole to dispute the real value of Ohio State's deal and insist that Michigan's 11-year, $122.32 million contract (with an option to extend to a 15-year, $169 million deal) was more valuable:

• Both schools have a 15-year deal; Michigan has an opt-out after 11.
• Michigan gets 12 million upfront; OSU gets 20.
• OSU gets 3.44 million for the first 11 years and 4.44 for the last four.
• M gets 4.82 million for the first ten years, 5.32 in 11, and 5.82 for the last four.
• Total dough: Michigan, 88.8 million. Ohio State, 75.6 million.

OSU gets more upfront but inflation isn't sufficient to make up the deficit, especially since Michigan has an opt-out four years earlier. So OSU's "biggest ever contract" actually delivers 13 million fewer dollars than Michigan's. But OSU gets more Nike volleyballs so they've got that going for them.

This is true—if you ignore the other elements of Ohio State's contract, which includes scholarship money, internships, and most importantly, $41 million to be used outside of athletics.

It takes a special kind of hubris to look at $75.6 million in cash and $94.5 million in apparel money and conclude that those come to $252 million, but that's the mind that reduces equipment and gear for 36 varsity sports to “more Nike volleyballs,” too.

Michigan Men: Bad at football. Bad at math.

 THOSE WMDs. The day the Irish invaded Canada... Orphaned rhino finds man to be his parent... Despite anti-sleep devices, truckers still fall asleep at the wheel... The long fall of Phoebe Jonchuck... 25 intriguing facts about Ohio... The end of parking.

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