Skull Session: Projecting Davon Hamilton, Why Keita Bates-Diop Fell, and an Ohio State Baseball Commit Chooses Michigan Football

By D.J. Byrnes on June 23, 2018 at 4:59 am
J.K. Dobbins dives for the June 23, 2018 Skull Session.

Diving on this summer Saturday like J.K. Dobbins against Maryland.


​Word of the Day: Mythopoeia.

 LOOKING AT THE TRENCHES. The days of Ohio State being thin at defensive tackle are over.

Consider the talent:

  • Malik Barrow
  • Jerron Cage
  • Haskell Garett
  • Antwuan Jackson
  • Dre'Mont Jones
  • Robert Landers
  • Tommy Togiai
  • Taron Vincent

I'm tired just typing that, and I'm not responsible for keeping that horde from murdering a quarterback.

The list also doesn't include Davon Hamilton, the most physically imposing member of the group. It takes more than raw strength and size to play defensive tackle and earning minutes won't be an easy task for Hamilton.


Davon Hamilton, redshirt junior, defensive tackle
Height, weight:
 6-foot-4, 310 pounds
Hometown: Pickerington, Ohio


Physically, Hamilton is one of the more imposing players on Ohio State's roster. He's huge. And he did well with the time given to him last year. Still, it seems quite clear that the top two tackles will be Jones and Landers (they're ranked higher on this list, obviously). Hamilton has the experience to separate himself as the clear third guy in, but if he falls more in line with the pack, then it will be hard for him to find a bigger role than the one he's had the past two seasons. 

At the very least he'll be a solid rotational player again, with the potential to be more and position himself for a big junior season. 

This is where we are with Ohio State talent right now: 6-4, 310-pound men are having to fight and claw for rotational scraps along the defensive line. I know Clemson has monsters across the board, too, but the Buckeye line may be deeper. 

 KBD'S SLIDE, EXPLAINED. I'm not one of those guys who pretends to have watched hours of film on every prospect during the lead up to a draft. The slide of Keita Bates-Diop into the late second round still shocked me.

Did he kill a man in a bar fight while vacationing in Cabo on Spring Break? Did he catch polio over the weekend? It appears to be much less nefarious than that.

You should also keep in mind at least 50% of NBA general managers are incompetent at their jobs. They had to rewrite the rulebook to stop themselves from giving millions of dollars to unproven high schoolers because everybody became enamored of finding the next LeBron James.

 BLUE FLIPS A (BASEBALL) COMMIT. 2019 three-star safety Joey Valazquez of St. Francis de Salles in Columbus originally committed to play baseball at Ohio State. He changed his mind Friday, accepting Michigan's offer to play football and baseball in Ann Arbor.

From Andrew Lind of Eleven Warriors:

The 6-foot, 205-pound Velazquez — who is considered the 79th-best safety and No. 968 prospect in the country — picked up an offer from Michigan back in March. The Wolverines beat out Cincinnati, Holy Cross, Indiana and Kent State for his pledge.


The Buckeyes had been keeping tabs on Velazquez following a strong junior season in which he racked up 495 all-purpose yards and eight touchdowns while playing running back and wide receiver and recorded 50 tackles, four pass break ups, three tackles for a loss and two interceptions on defense. The staff even invited him to attend games against Oklahoma, UNLV and Penn State last year, and he returned to campus for a one-day camp earlier this month.

Velazquez put on a solid performance for defensive coordinator Greg Schiano and linebackers coach Bill Davis, but the staff did not offer — hence his decision on Friday.

Let's see how Michigan's No. 1 fan handled beating Holy Cross for a safety:

Martin's mental break reminds me of the classic Onion article, "Heartbreaking: The Worst Person You Know Just Made a Great Point."

He's right. I would let the entire baseball team go play football for Michigan right now and sleep fine for the next 154 nights.

The hilarious part is Michigan fans won't realize he's right until Michigan implodes again this year. (Save this tweet.)

 MICAH PARSONS INCIDENT BITES SPARTY. Michigan State warned Dickie V he couldn't take a picture with Vernon Carey, the No. 1 recruit of 2019, in the locker room while Carey took an official visit in mid-February against Purdue.

Vitale had the most appropriate response in thinking it was okay to snap a picture with Carey courtside.

Unfortunately for Michigan State, a Buckeye was watching.

From Brendan Quinn of The Athletic ($):

Those pictures were made available because the same night Vitale posted the picture on Twitter, a man named Brian Stewart fired off an email to both the NCAA and Michigan State. Stewart, a 36-year-old Atlanta resident, noted in his e-mail that the pictures were “the exact same violation” that Ohio State self-reported to the NCAA during the football season. In September 2017, five-star 2018 running back Micah Parsons was granted credentialed access to the ESPN “College GameDay” set and took pictures with GameDay analysts, resulting in an NCAA  violation.

Stewart, an Ohio native, says he grew up rooting for Ohio State but “isn’t an avid fan or anything.” He had recently read an ESPN article about Parsons when he saw Vitale’s picture with Carey and wondered about a double-standard. So he decided to act and contacted both MSU and the NCAA.

“There’s just no trust in the NCAA in certain areas of their existence,” Stewart said by phone on Thursday. “I think one of the biggest areas is the application of the quote-unquote law. I think that’s what gets them the most distrust. … I thought it would be interesting to see after reading that Ohio State article — I wonder if they’ll do the same thing here? That’s what prompted me to do it.”

The NCAA mandated some education classes in response.

My favorite part of the story the 79-year-old Vitale suddenly realizing the NCAA is an impossible labyrinth of asinine recruiting regulations and bylaws.

 #THEMOREYOUKNOW. I had no idea a Kentucky Colonel was more than just a chicken #brand.

From humanity's paper of record, Wikipedia:

Kentucky Colonel is the highest title of honor bestowed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Commissions for Kentucky colonels are given by the governor and the secretary of state to individuals in recognition of noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to a community, state or the nation. The Governor of Kentucky bestows the honor of a colonel's commission, by issuance of letters patent.

I had always thought Colonel Sanders was a colonel in, you know, the Army. Turns out he earned his title through an act of culinary heroism with a grittier origin story than expected.

Also from Wikipedia (emphasis mine):

In 1930, the Shell Oil Company offered Sanders a service station in North Corbin, Kentucky, rent free, in return for paying the company a percentage of sales. Sanders began to serve chicken dishes and other meals such as country ham and steaks.

Initially he served the customers in his adjacent living quarters before opening a restaurant. It was during this period that Sanders was involved in a shootout with Matt Stewart, a local competitor, over the repainting of a sign directing traffic to his station. Stewart killed a Shell employee who was with Sanders and was convicted of murder, eliminating Sanders's competition.

Sanders was commissioned as a Kentucky colonel in 1935 by Kentucky governor Ruby Laffoon. His local popularity grew, and, in 1939, food critic Duncan Hines visited Sanders's restaurant and included it in Adventures in Good Eating, his guide to restaurants throughout the US. The entry read:

Corbin, KY.   Sanders Court and Café
41 — Jct. with 25, 25 E. ½ Mi. N. of Corbin. Open all year except Xmas.
A very good place to stop en route to Cumberland Falls and the Great Smokies. Continuous 24-hour service. Sizzling steaks, fried chicken, country ham, hot biscuits. L. 50¢ to $1; D., 60¢ to $1

Matt Stewart was perhaps the first chapter in the fabled history of "When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong" (link NSFW).

 THOSE WMDs. Playing under Woody Hayes, passion for football got Judge William Pollitt Jr. through school... He stole the identity of a dead 8-year-old. Police want to know what he's hiding... Tracking my time changed my life... Instead of finding your passion, develop it.

View 47 Comments