Skull Session: Denzel Ward 2018 Draft Hype, Miami Meets Raekwon McMillan, and Noah Brown Gets to Work

By D.J. Byrnes on May 12, 2017 at 4:59 am
Cardale Jones graduates for the May 12th 2017 Skull Session

Today's advice: How somebody else treats money is how they'll treat yours.

Specific shoutout to The Hannah News' finest reporter, Spenser Hickey, for capturing the illustrious Cardale Jones at graduation. A blessed image like this can only foretell favorable fortune for the gentle laborer on this holy day.


Word of the Day: Escutcheon.

 PRAISING DENZEL. The one bad thing about cheering for Ohio State under Urban Meyer is saying farewell to guys like Marshon Lattimore who it felt like were only in Columbus for a year. (Lattimore would disagree with that, as would reality. THAT'S STILL HOW I FEEL.)

The one good thing (among hundreds of others) is there is always an equally hungrier player waiting in the wings.

Enter Denzel Ward, who could be the latest model off Kerry Coombs' assembly line into the NFL.

From Matt Miller of's "Five Names to Know for the 2018 Draft."

3. Denzel Ward, Cornerback (Ohio State) 

Another first-round cornerback from Ohio State? Yep. Denzel Ward is a player coaches and teammates have mentioned as the next great Buckeye cornerback. He's not as big as some of the recent corners to come out of Columbus, but at 5'10" and 191 pounds, he's shown sticky coverage skills and great technique on the edge.

I always look for players praised by their teammates and coaches. Who would know better, except the guy in a bootleg J.T. Barrett jersey two rows over and 16 Busch Lights deep?

For example, Saints then-rookie Vonn Bell tabbed former prep basketball star Malik Hooker to win the Thorpe before he left Columbus. It sounded like gas at the time. Now it sounds like Hooker got shafted.

I also like Miller's work. He had Curtis Samuel on his Stick to Football podcast awhile back. He's connected at the Woody and doesn't bullshit. I'm instructing my stock brokers, who are also my cats, to buy all Ward shares available.

I'll also take Ward on the Browns in 2018 when NFL scouts overthink his smaller frame (same way I would've with Michigan's best defender last year, Michael Thomas' son, Jourdan Lewis.)

 MEET THE CHEF. One thing that's always cool to see when Buckeyes join the NFL is seeing a new segment of the population rally around a player you have been known is quality.

Such is the case for Miami and Raekwon McMillan during the Miami Dolphins' rookie camp.

Speaking of meetings, McMillan wants to meet his namesake, Raekwon of Wu Tang Clan.

Do you ever reflect upon the misdeeds of your life and wonder how it'd be different if your mom had the courage to name you after a member of a legendary rap group?

Me neither.

 WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU? The Dallas Cowboys will ask their rookies to "earn the star" during their minicamp this weekend.

Noah Brown, seventh-round draft pick, is no guarantee to make the opening day roster. The Cowboys took as much risk as a Fortune 500 company drafting a new intern.

Judging by the work Brown put in (at least in front of the cameras):

*watches one set of drills* I fail to see why Brown won't make the Pro Bowl. 

It's also cool to see Ohio State letting Brown use their facilities to perfect his craft before making his professional debut at rookie minicamp. 

 DAYTON HAS $72 MILLION? I live near Dayton (shoutout to the comeback city, Piqua!). I didn't know it had $72 million (which adds to the charm), let alone its university.

But the Flyers, fresh off losing Archie Miller to Indiana, are putting $72 million into their arena.


UD Arena will undergo a $72 million renovation timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the facility, University of Dayton officials said today.

New terrace seating is just one of the features of the work.

Season ticket holders will be affected by the changes, officials announced at a press conference. They said their first priority is to ensure season ticket holders affected are “presented with options” for relocation, a process that will take several weeks.

I went passed UD Arena en route to Bibibop (shoutout to Brown Street). It's a lightweight silky venue.

Ohio State could've had that. It instead chose a more lucrative concert hall that moonlights as a basketball arena. Considering the money involved, I understand. It will come back to bite them if the basketball program doesn't right its ship, though.

 MUSCHAMP BRINGS THE RUCKUS. Three-star OL Tennessee signee K’Rojhn Calbert attended a Tennessee–South Carolina game as a guest of Will Muschamp.

Apparently, the pregame rituals got so feral it turned Calbert off from the school entirely.


“I was in the locker room, because Coach Muschamp said we’re not going to feed you any bull crap, what you see is what is is,” Calbert said. “I wasn’t scared in the sense for my life, but I was scared because there were a lot of things going on in that locker room, nothing illegal, just words being used, ‘We’re going to kill Tennessee.’

“Really, it was like a riot; it was, who was hungry enough to come out and take somebody’s head off, like literally, like they really wanted to kill Tennessee, like slaughter everybody,” Calbert said. “It was a savage mentality.”

Calbert said it’s something he will always remember and share with his new Tennessee teammates.

“I will make sure to make it personal,” he said.

South Carolina won that game, by the way, 24-21.

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