Skull Session: Ohio State Alum Aids in Thai Cave Rescue, Parris Campbell is a Physical Freak and Ohio State Named Top Athletic Program

By Kevin Harrish on July 12, 2018 at 4:59 am
Demario McCall and J.K. Dobbins welcome me to the Skull Session.

The D.J. fled his responsibilities once again and dropped the Skull Session on my desk for the next two days. But as the loyal Hand of the King, I will do it with limited complaining.


Word of the Day: Abnegate.

 BUCKEYE AIDS IN THAI CAVE RESCUE. The past few weeks, international news has been fixated on the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a cave complex in Thailand. It turns out, at the center of that rescue was a Buckeye.

Narongsak Osottanakorn, the governor of the province of Thailand where the cave system is located, studied geodetic engineering and surveying at Ohio State from 1985-88, graduating with a masters degree.

Recently, news began to spread of his key involvement in the rescue.

From Jim Woods of the Columbus Dispatch:

An article on the Nation News Network website in Thailand said that Narongsak had emerged as “one of the knights in shining armor” during the mission to save the 13 from the flooded cave.

He helped launch the rescue efforts, which started on June 23 when flash floods inside the cave complex stranded the young soccer players and their coach miles from the cave entrance.

“Many observers were amazed at the multiple skills that Narongsak demonstrated,” the Nation News article said.

One of his duties was to handle the international media, which descended on the remote location to report the ongoing drama. Narongsak provided briefings and he used social media to knock down rumors, the Nation News said.

Besides taking on the public duties, Narongsak would daily visit with the families as they endured the torturous wait.

As great as it feels to see the football team lifting a trophy, it's stuff like this that makes me most proud to be a Buckeye.

 BEST DAMN ATHLETIC PROGRAM IN THE LAND. Stanford has won the Directors' Cup, given annually to the top-performing athletic program across all sports, literally every year I've been alive.

Thankfully for everyone else, CBSSports developed a ranking system that weights sports based on popularity instead of evenly, allowing for a little more competition at the top.

This year, Ohio State claimed the top spot, narrowly edging out Alabama.


The result? Despite not winning a national title over the course of the campaign, Ohio State (510.50 points) earned the honor for the second time in the past four years.

The Buckeyes accomplished this feat in large part due to a tremendous football season with the program finishing 12-2 and No. 5 in the final AP Top 25 with a Cotton Bowl victory and Big Ten title. Ohio State men's basketball (25-7, No. 17 AP) and women's basketball (28-7, No. 10 AP) each reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The wrestling team finished as a national runner-up, while the men's volleyball team reached the national semifinal. The men's and women's ice hockey teams reached the Frozen Four, and both baseball and softball made the NCAA Tournament.

It's worth noting that Ohio State did win a national title – two, actually – but not in an NCAA sport. The Buckeyes won championships in pistol and synchronized swimming, so technically, the athletic program was even better than CBS is giving it credit for.

The award debuted in 2013, and Ohio State becomes the first two-time winner, adding to its first-place finish in 2015.

 PARRIS CAMPBELL, FREAK. Every year, Bruce Feldman compiles a list of the most freakishly athletic players in college football, and it's become an annual treat to read about the humans I would least like to meet in a Hunger Games-esque battle royale scenario.

Last year, Felman's list included Buckeye linebacker Jerome Baker, who stood at 6-1, 223 pounds and was clocked at 4.37 seconds in the 40-year dash. This year, the speedy Parris Campbell checks in at No. 21.

From Bruce Feldman of The Athletic ($):

In the spring, I asked a bunch of Buckeyes players who was the biggest Freak in their program. Two guys got almost all of the votes. And they were the same two mentioned by veteran strength coach Mickey Marotti. The 6-foot-1, 208-pound Campbell was one of them. (The other Buckeye is still to come in our Freaks list.)

Campbell is gifted and exceptionally driven, as reflected by a vertical jump of 40 inches, broad jump of 11-3 and 10.4 speed in the 100 meters. His sub-4.4 time in the 40 might not even do him justice. “That 30-45-yard mark is where I really start to pick up top speed,” he told me. “I feel like I’m a long sprinter.” Last season, he led OSU with 18 plays of 20 or more yards.

One more Buckeye still to come, you say?

 JULY MOCK DRAFTS ARE BAD, BUT. Teams haven't even reported for fall camp yet and it's already mock draft season? That makes me slightly peeved online.

As someone who makes a living delivering football #content 24/7, I know the hustle – if folks will read it, you best post it. But here's my beef: a mock draft isn't even remotely accurate when it's published hours beforehand. You're giving me one in July?

If this mock draft turns out to be even 5 percent correct, I'll name my firstborn – be it a son or daughter – Albert Breer Harrish. But I do agree that one thing seems like an absolute lock: Nick Bosa is going in the top-10, and he might even go No. 1 overall.

From Albert Breer of


At this point, it seems most evaluators feel like Nick is a better prospect than Joey was, which really says something about the youngest member of the pass-rushing version of the Mannings. He has very few flaws. And health-permitting, he’s a lock to go in the Top 10 picks.

I'm absolutely convinced a team would have drafted a sophomore Bosa in the top half of the first round this year, but the rules dictate he must tackle college students for another year, so God be with those kids.

 JACK WOHLABAUGH CAN PLAY. In somewhat surprising news, Ohio State transfer offensive lineman Jack Wohlabaugh was granted eligibility to this season at Duke.

Wohlabaugh transferred from Ohio State shortly after the season ended, and was expected to sit out the entire 2018 season with the Blue Devils in accordance with NCAA transfer guidelines, but Duke filed a waiver requesting immediate eligibility – because, why not? – and it was approved.

There's a strong chance Wohlabaugh still isn't a starter this season – he's currently penciled in as the No. 2 center on the depth chart – but this could signal a changing of times for the NCAA. After all, this is the same association that was seriously going to make Braxton Beverly sit an entire season after his coach got fired in June and personally wrote a letter essentially taking the blame for his enrollment in the first place.

If Wohlabaugh's eligibility decision is any indicator, maybe Antonio Williams will see the field this fall as well.

 THOSE WMDs. Man with world's longest fingernails cuts them after 66 years... Murder suspect turns self in after 32 years despite no police leads... Zsa Zsa, the world's ugliest dog, dies at age 9... Homeless Florida man with no arms charged with stabbing another man with scissors... 

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