What's that sound, you say? That's the bubbly popping and pouring in my first ever Skull Session for the Eleven Warriors dot com page. I hope I don't defame what the infamous D.J. Byrnes built in this copy. I wouldn't want him to send Starcat on me.
Plus, it's Leap Day, which means I'll remember this moment forever. Let's get to it.
- The men's hoops team beat Iowa, 68-64, to keep its NCAA Tournament hopes on life support. Fran McCaffery wasn't thrilled.
- Women's basketball lost in triple overtime Saturday at Michigan State despite Kelsey Mitchell's school record 48 points. Kevin McGuff's squad earned the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament and plays Friday at 6:30 p.m. (I will be there shooting photos while the Intern writes.)
- A rundown of heights, weights and drill results for the Buckeyes at the NFL Combine. Defensive backs work out Monday.
- A (probably) drugged up Jae'Sean Tate gives a thumbs up after labrum surgery.
LEE ROASTS NFL COMBINE WORKOUT, MOM IS CONTENT.
There's a reason the header photo for the skully was selected.
Darron Lee, the high school quarterback turned behemoth linebacker by Luke Fickell and Mickey Marotti at Ohio State, destroyed NFL Combine workouts Sunday. Lee tallied an 11-foot, 1-inch broad jump (second-best of all positions in Indy so far) and an official 4.43-second 40-yard dash after notching a 4.47 in his first attempt. That's better than all but three wide receivers at the combine and the best time for a linebacker since 2007.
This pleased the woman responsible for his upbringing.
Mom will take that 4.47— candice (@candicenbc4) February 28, 2016
I like to picture Darron's mom sitting on her patio back in Ohio sipping tropical drinks with Luke Fickell as they nod and lower their glasses to the end of their noses after seeing that number. Mrs. Lee's son is about to get paid.
Also a shoutout to Joshua Perry, who turned in a more than satisfactory 40-yard dash at 4.68 seconds. Pretty solid for a guy who is 6-foot-4 and 254 pounds.
BOSA DIFFICULT TO EVALUATE? Joey Bosa clocked in with an official 4.86-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine Sunday. Not bad for a 6-foot-5 and 269-pounder, but the two-time All-American wasn't happy.
Joey Bosa indicated disappointment in his 40 time to NFL Network, but did not commit to running 40 again at OSU pro day March 11.— Tim May (@TIM_MAYsports) February 28, 2016
I doubt Bosa runs again at Pro Day, based on what he told Michael and Johnny on the Dubcast two weeks ago. Since he wasn't happy, however, maybe he will. Big Bear did all the drills put in front of him at the combine, including the ones specific to linebackers like dropping into pass coverage.
But with his combine performance and size, is he proving difficult to evaluate as a prospect?
The thing is that, of the options for where to line up Bosa at the next level, outside linebacker is arguably the worst choice. The 40 time does not show why he would be capable of handling it as much as his stellar work elsewhere (4.21-second 20-yard shuttle, 6.89-second three-cone—first and second among the DL group, respectively). His game to date, though, has been built on power, hand use and explosiveness off the snap, all of which would be rather limited factors if sitting in zone or tracking a receiver out of the backfield.
The mere fact that Bosa participated in the linebacker drills can be read one of two ways, depending on one's optimism: a) NFL teams believe he has the athleticism to play in any scheme, even if it's completely different from his college role, or b) Teams are still trying to figure out what to do with him.
Both are true, to some extent, yet it's the latter that has his eventual landing spot in flux. At 6' 6" and 269 pounds, Bosa does not have the weight usually expected from a 3-4 defensive end. He did say, "if an NFL team wants to put 5-10 lbs. on me it’s not going to be a problem," but even at 274 or 279, he would be among the lighter 3-4 DEs in the NFL.
Bosa said he had formal interviews with 13 teams in Indianapolis, among them the Titans, Cowboys, Saints, Ravens and Browns (say your prayers, Clevanders!), and while I can't disagree with that analysis I've never covered a more dominant college athlete than him. He said Friday he believes he's the best player in the draft. We'll see what happens come April.
Appreciate the support from everyone. Was a great experience and I had fun out there competing. Can't wait for April.— Joey Bosa (@jbbigbear) February 28, 2016
TAYLOR DECKER, GOOD HUMAN. I grew up and went to high school 5 minutes from where Taylor Decker set the groundwork for his NFL career. I'm happy to say my hoops teams never lost to any that he played on (4-0 by my count), but regrettably must report I've never done what Decker did over the weekend.
No, I'm not talking about taking part in the NFL Combine. I'm talking about this:
I'm glad my high school never played Vandalia Butler in football. Lining up across from Decker doesn't sound fun. Whatever team takes him in the draft won't be disappointed.
BOSIOKOVIC STRIKES AGAIN. The Ohio State baseball team is knee deep in its out-of-state season kickoff. Eight days after he hit a walk off home run to beat Niagara, outfielder Jacob Bosiokovic blasted another bomb late in a game to give Greg Beals' team a victory.
Ohio State's bullpen took care of things in the top of the ninth to secure its fifth win in seven games to start the year. notbad.jpeg
BOWL GAMES ARE A TOP PROSPECT'S WORST ENEMY. Jaylon Smith was one of the classiest gents at the combine this week. The Notre Dame linebacker's NFL career is taking a major detour because of the torn ACL and LCL he suffered against Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl, but he stood proud and took questions from the media with his head up.
However, his predicament does raise a question about a glorified exhibition game for someone who was bound to be a first round pick.
"There's no soreness in the knee or there's no pain," Smith said. "I've been off pain pills for almost a month. It's the matter of the recovery process. I don't know when the nerve and everything will heal, but it's just a matter of me taking it day-by-day and controlling what I can control."
Which begs for this question to be asked: Should these top prospects play in meaningless bowl games with so much at stake regarding their professional careers? The bowl games, aside from the semifinals and title game, mean little more than exposure for the program and cash in the coffers.
They are good for coaches, recruiting and more money to build programs, but are they good for players readying to take the next step?
I am big believer that players of Smith's ability, who are readying to cash in four months later, should not play in those exhibition bowl games. Why risk it? Even with his $5 million insurance policy, which will bring back a fraction of what he would have received as a top draft pick, it's just not practical for a player like Smith to suit up in those exhibitions.
I'm all for guys finishing their careers the right way with their teammates regardless if they aren't playing for a national title. Injuries like that just make you second guess.
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