Skull Session: Bruce's Last Moment at Ohio State, Ruckert Needs Strength, and the Bosa Pass Rush Plan

By D.J. Byrnes on April 21, 2018 at 4:59 am
Urban Meyer talks to the April 21 2018 Skull Session

If you're doing yard work on this glorious Saturday, approach it with the industry of Greg Schiano:


Word of the Day: Duplicitous.

 LEGENDS NEVER DIE. I wasn't born until 1986, so I'm not going to pretend I have a trove of Earle Bruce memories. However, I read a lot about the man and came to respect him like every other Buckeye fan.

To me, people show their genuine character during their lowest moments. Bruce shined even then.

Bruce no doubt had tears in his eyes like every other man leaving something he loves. That he went out of his way to compliment somebody else on the way out the door says all you need to know about the guy.

Prayers to the Bruce family as they recover from a devastating loss.

 HIT THE WEIGHTS YOUNG BLOOD. Incoming Ohio State freshman Jeremy Ruckert, the No. 1 tight end of the 2018 class, has the talent to play immediately in Columbus.

He still needs to hit the weights like every other freshman. But not like a body builder.

From Tim May of The Columbus Dispatch:

Although Ruckert likely will be challenged immediately from a physical sense in the jump to college football, Wilson doesn’t want to see him powerlifting to get bigger and stronger in a hurry.

“I know we are talking weekly when we visit (by phone) about, ‘What did you really do in workouts this week? I know you lifted. What’s your body weight like? How many times are you benching 225 (pounds)?’”

Ruckert said he’s at 10 reps on the 225-pound bench press, the benchmark for raw strength.

Ruckert should add to those numbers as soon as he enters the dojo of strength sensei Mickey Marotti, which is bad news for opposing defenses. Ruckert already projects as the best tight end of the Urban Meyer Era.

 BOSA BLOODS MUNFORD. Thayer Munford will likely start at left tackle against Oregon State. While Munford has already outstripped his recruiting ranking, he is still a work in progress. The good news is he won't have to block Chase Young or Nick Bosa in games.

Bosa baptized him last Saturday.


Munford excels in run blocking, and is able to line up blocks on the second level extremely well. The key will be his ability to protect the blind side pass rush. Fortunately for him, he has a front row seat at learning the nuances of elite pass rushing. As you will see in the clip below, Nick Bosa provides a unique challenge to the tackles as he possesses a rare combination of speed and strength.

Perhaps his best trait, however, is his ability to set up moves throughout the course of a series of downs. Having a “Pass Rush Plan” is a trait that very few defensive linemen possess, and will be something the NFL will covet next year as Bosa likely enters the Draft. While Munford is taking his lumps on occasion this Spring, the experience will become invaluable once the Fall season arrives.

All part of the left tackle learning curve. I'm old enough to remember when fans lost their minds when an unheralded MAC player like Khalil Mack abused Taylor Decker. While Mack won that day, they both proved to be decent footballers.

Munford is heading in that direction.

 THE OTHER #QBGEDDON. While even a milquetoast quarterback take spawns 100+ comments in Columbus, another national contender is also dealing with a delicate situation.

Former five-star recruit Jalen Hurts could end up as the hottest quarterback transfer this side of Joe Burrow or Dwayne Haskins.


"I told Jalen, you f--ked up, you opened the door and put yourself in this situation," Averion Hurts, Jalen's dad, told B/R in an exclusive interview in the Hurts' hometown of Channelview, Texas. "Now it's up to you to dig yourself out."

It has been more than four months since Tagovailoa finished off a freshman season of inactivity with two quarters and one overtime series of the unthinkable. When he replaced a struggling Hurts at halftime of the College Football Playoff National Championship and led Alabama to another national title, he unleashed the idea that 30 minutes of doing just about everything right supersedes two seasons of doing nearly nothing wrong.

It wasn't long ago that Jalen Hurts was well on his way to securing his place alongside the best quarterbacks to play at Alabama, whether it was Kenny Stabler and Bart Starr, Jay Barker and AJ McCarron, or even Joe Willie Namath himself.

Now he may not play another down for the Tide.

Even though I never made a mistake as a son, I still respect dads that keep it real when their spawn goofs. 

And my 35 cents are on Tua Tagovailoa starting for Alabama unless he's injured. Alabama with an elite quarterback is not something I want to spend a lot of time thinking about or discussing.

 TRUE GRIT. Let it be known: Even if an Ohio State player is injured, Meyer will sentence their ass to hard labor for losing a spring game they didn't play in:

Get well soon, fellas.

 THOSE WMDs. Improbable cause: The Harrison family murders... Did drinking give me breast cancer? I don't know... The hunt for Mexico's heirloom beans... Japanese official says font size on sexual harassment complaint was too small... Who shot Lewis Carroll's dodo?

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