Eclipse Skull Session: Ohio State Picked for Most NFL Talent, More J.K. Dobbins Praise, and Mike Weber Battles a Hamstring Injury

By D.J. Byrnes on August 21, 2017 at 4:59 am
Tracy Sprinkle bloods out for the Aug 21 2017 Skull Session

Prayers to the millions of folks who haven't heard about today's eclipse. You know some of them are going to be rattled and immediately look to the sky for an intercontinental ballistic missile only to have the sun sear their eyes.

You can find me inside, blogging and holding opinions like Nick Saban:


Word of the Day: Indolent.

 BIG, IF TRUE. We did our best to keep the secret. We knew Ohio State would be loaded this year. And I know nobody here talked, but it appears the local secret leaked to the national press. 

Worse yet, it seems sources deep within Buckeye Nation gave up our darkest secrets.


1. Ohio State

Players to watch: LB Jerome Baker, TE Marcus Baugh, LB Dante Booker, DE Nick Bosa, WR Parris Campbell, DE Jalyn Holmes, DE Sam Hubbard, DT Dre'mont Jones, LT Jamarco Jones, DE Tyquan Lewis, C Billy Price, CB Denzel Ward, RB Mike Weber

The outlook: Ohio State is beating Alabama at its own game, loading up on talent for its defensive front. Nick Bosa, Sam Hubbard and Dre'mont Jones are the most talented players in the group, but make no mistake -- they are rolling two-deep with draftable talent up front. The secondary is reloading but incomplete at this time and the same can be said for wide receiver, but LBs Jerome Baker and Dante Booker are exceptional athletes ready to take big strides this season. Offensively, scouts are excited about Billy Price and Jamarco Jones up front.

I joke a lot about the Browns being bad to protect my sanity while spending 50 hours every fall watching bad football, and I realize I'm a Buckeye homer. But there are more legit NFL players in Columbus than Cleveland right now.

 MORE DOBBINS HYPE. J.K. Dobbins will win Heisman Trophy this year if the truth is half as real as the hype. The crazy thing is the hype didn't originate with fans. It originated with coaches and players, which is always a good signal.


“I would say that in my 22 years, this guy has picked it up faster than anybody I’ve ever been around,” Alford said. “He understands the offense (and learned) the nuances of it very, very quickly. He goes so hard in everything he does, which is part of the culture of this program.”

Dobbins’ rise is even more remarkable considering that he missed all but one play of his senior season at La Grange (Texas) High School because of a broken leg. But he is already the clear No. 2 behind Weber.

“He’s a fast-twitch guy,” Alford said. “He has a second gear that we’re looking for, and he’s tough. He’ll stick his nose in there and compete. He’s a joy to coach.”

So there we go. Dobbins is basically the greatest Ohio State football player not named Demario McCall. Somebody in Canton should start crafting the bust. Hopefully he lives up to it, otherwise fans will be forced to start the Master Teague III hype train.

 WEBER ALMOST BACK. Starting running back Mike Weber nursed a hamstring as  Dobbins harvested hype and McCall moved to H-Back.

That's without mentioning Mike Weber, who has been sidelined by a hamstring injury throughout camp.


"I'm getting close," Weber said Friday. "They've been holding me back all camp to make sure I don't have problems with it during the season. ... I talk to the trainer a lot and it's looking pretty good. I'm not at full speed yet, but I'm going to get there and I should be ready for the first game." 

There are no warning signs at the moment, but hamstring injuries are always coming along well right until they aren't coming along well. Weber has been rehabbing, lifting weights, trying to keep up his conditioning and watching film. But there will be some uncertainty until he gives it a full shot back in practice. 

"I'm very anxious, I've been anxious since I got hurt," Weber said. "Coach talked to me about it and he told me to be patience because hamstrings are very important." 

Weber is no doubt feeling déjà vu, as an MCL injury has sidelined him throughout camp his freshman year. The good news is Ezekiel Elliott plays in the NFL now and Weber is the incumbent.

 FAILED QB TO POSSIBLE STAR WR. The Browns offered Terrelle Pryor eight million over four years. To most, this would be an easy decision. Pryor instead opted to sign with Washington on a one-year deal.

It's not looking like a wise move from the Browns. He's been working with Antonio Brown and Randy Moss to perfect his craft and eyes a breakout season in 2017.


"It's part of the craft, and it's setting the foundation for this team," Pryor says. "Every single day, you have to come out and work. Success doesn't just come. I do it for myself to work on different ways to catch, but also so my teammates see you always have to work harder. When you are doing things right, other guys see that. And I never want to get outworked by anybody."

The quarterback in Pryor still is compelled to lead, and the way he works is a reflection of that.

"As a former quarterback, he likes to take charge," Cousins says. "Even though he is a receiver now, he still voices his opinion and shows leadership."

Pryor is going to the Pro Bowl this year. At least the Browns management will be able to brag about saving money.

 IKEEP CALM AND GO 4-8 AGAIN, PLEASE. Notre Dame finished 4-8 last season. Brian Kelly, not known for personal accountability, explained why that happened. You'll be shocked to learn he blamed something else before himself.


Think about that: The head coach at Notre Dame—which at one point was paying two coaches to not coach (Tyrone Willingham, Charlie Weis) while paying Kelly—was fundraising for a facility during the season.

When asked how that impacted 2016, Kelly said bluntly, "It f--ked up last year's team."


"I was the absent professor," Kelly said. "I wasn't paying attention to the details that we needed. There were internal issues that—if a guy is on it, and he's doing his job as the head coach, he would've seen those things early. My flawed philosophy was, We're going to score points early while we're figuring it out on the other side with a young defense. Well, that didn't happen. We gave up way too many points early, we lost three games, and now we're in trouble."

Irish fans might as well simulate to the end of the season and start the coaching search. Sorry to offend, but it's true.

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