Skull Session: Three Potential First Rounders, Malcolm Pridgeon Impresses, and Parris Campbell's Huge Game

By Kevin Harrish on September 25, 2018 at 4:59 am
Mike Weber walks into today's skull session.
© Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

There's nothing more football than watching a tight end stiff arm a safety firmly into Earth's crust.

Cameron Heyward shared a reaction as the rest of America, his was just a little more public.

Same, Cam. Same.


Word of the Day: Milieu.

 THREE FIRST ROUNDERS? Ohio State has had at least one first-round draft pick each of the last three years, and it's absolutely going to be four this season, it's just a matter of how many.

Pro Football Focus has that number set at three, with Nick Bosa at No. 2, Dre'Mont Jones going at No. 16 and Dwayne Haskins at No. 32.

Here are their breakdowns of each player:


The best defensive player in the draft, Bosa has two-plus years of excellent production under his belt and he brings the Bills a much-needed pass-rusher as he’s won 30.4 percent of his rushes this season (best in the nation) and Buffalo’s scheme is predicated on creating pressure from the front four.



The Cowboys have been looking for an interior pass-rusher for a few years and Jones fits the bill. He’s currently third with a 90.4 pass-rush grade as he’s notched four sacks, one QB hit and three hurries on 94 rushes this season.



After missing out on a quarterback last year, the Patriots look to the future with Haskins who has shown the ability to throw with zip, touch and accuracy in the early going here in 2018. His 91.0 overall grade is currently ranked sixth in the nation among quarterbacks.

I know it's an absolute pipe dream, but I would be absolutely here for Dwayne Haskins – the Heir to Tom Brady's Throne.

 PRIDGEON DRAWS PRAISE. Malcolm Pridgeon has been patiently waiting for his turn anywhere on the Buckeye offensive line since his transfer from Nassau Community College.

An injury cost him a chance to compete for a spot in 2016 and he didn't earn a starting job last season, but this is his year, and he's impressing some folks.

Pridgeon has had some problems with penalties, drawing more than a few flags for holds and false starts, but I have a firm rule about not being too critical of people who could comfortably curl me.

He'll iron out those penalty problems and be just fine.

 THROW IT TO PARRIS. Parris Campbell had been fairly quiet this season, until he ripped off an absolute monster game on Saturday against Tulane.

Campbell had eight catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns, and according to our friends at Pro Football Focus, Dwayne Haskins had a perfect quarterback rating when throwing to him.

It's crazy how it seems like one of these guys is always going to have a huge game. In the opener, it was Terry McLaurin. Against Rutgers it was Johnnie Dixon. Against TCU, it was K.J. Hill. This past weekend, it was Campbell.

It's refreshing to just expect big things from the passing game week after week. We haven't had that since, what, 2014? And we all know how that ended up.

 SENIOR OUT, FRESHMAN IN. Remember last season when a vast and vocal bunch of Buckeye fans wanted a senior quarterback who led his team to the College Football Playoff benched in favor of a young gun who'd never even started a game?

Yeah, Clemson just did that.


A week ago, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said he would make a change at quarterback when one player clearly separated himself on the field. That's exactly what happened when Trevor Lawrence looked dominant in a win over Georgia Tech on Saturday, and the school announced Monday that the freshman would be the No. 3 Tigers' new starter.

Kelly Bryant, who led Clemson to the College Football Playoff last season, has started all four games this season, but Lawrence, the No. 2 overall recruit in the nation this year according to ESPN, has been superb coming off the bench, including completing 13 of 18 passes for 176 yards and four touchdowns against the Yellow Jackets on Saturday.

"After four games, just looking at it, they've both played well, but this came down to you have to reward productivity. He's taken advantage of [opportunities]," co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said Monday. "Kelly didn't do anything wrong, but it's a situation where he's been in the game and productive, and to be fair to competition, just like we do for every position, Coach decided to name him the starter."

It's easy in hindsight to look at Alabama and Clemson's decisions, combined with Dwayne Haskins' absurd success this year, and say "Yeah, Ohio State should have benched J.T. Barrett last year." And honestly, that could be true.

But here's my biggest thing – Barrett ain't Jalen Hurts or Kelly Bryant, either. It's a lot harder to bench one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in program history than either of those two.

In my humble opinion, benching Barrett for Haskins would be more like Clemson benching Tajh Boyd for Lawrence than Bryant for Lawrence. And that just wouldn't happen.

 PICKED FIRST ON THE POND. It's been a long, long time since the Ohio State men's hockey team been the preseason favorite to win its conference. In fact, it's only ever happened once, ahead of the 2005 season – before the Big Ten Conference and this website even existed.

But folks, I'm pleased to report that the Bucks are indeed the Big Ten preseason favorites.

Ohio State was tabbed the favorite in the 2018-19 Big Ten hockey preseason coaches’ poll, the conference announced on Monday. The coaches also selected a 15-member Preseason Watch List, including six unanimous honorees.
Last season, Ohio State finished second in the regular-season standings with 45 points and a conference record of 14-8-2-1 (26-10-5 overall). The Buckeyes’ record-breaking campaign cumulated with the program’s second Frozen Four berth and first since 1998. Michigan was selected second in the preseason poll, with defending Big Ten Champion Notre Dame capturing third, Minnesota taking fourth, Penn State placing fifth, Wisconsin earning sixth and Michigan State rounding out the poll in seventh.

Last year, I decided that hockey is an extremely good sport, actually, so I will almost certainly be tuning in to the pond Bucks this season.

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