Skull Session: Tate Martell Going to Miami, Whether or Not Ryan Day Will Call Plays, and Urban Meyer Talks Real Life Wednesday

By Kevin Harrish on January 16, 2019 at 5:59 am
Ryan Day is ready in today's Skull Session.

Y'all, Jim Harbaugh has his quarterback of the future and it's looking like he might actually be a Buckeye slayer.

It also looks like we're going to have to wait until like 2026 to find out.

Ohio State's most recent quarterback commit was the highest-rated player in program history who is expected to start next year. Michigan's is a literal seventh grader.

Differing approaches, I guess.


Word of the Day: Inveterate.

 MIAMI'S TATE MARTELL. Folks, Tate Martell is taking his talents to South Beach, and I couldn't think of a more perfect fit.

Here's my official Tate Take: I firmly believe he's going to be quite successful at Miami, and firmly believe he would have been quite successful at Ohio State, as well. I think he's extremely talented and would have been quite fun to watch for a few years.

That said, I think Justin Fields is better. But there's no shame in that because I also think Justin Fields is better than just about everyone who isn't named Tua Tagovailoa or Trevor Lawrence. And even then, there's probably an argument for Fields.

You don't have to hate Tate to love Fields, and I don't. I think this is the equivalent to having Mike Weber on your roster, but then adding Saquon Barkley. Would you have been fine with Mike Weber? Hell yeah. Are you turning down Saquon Barkley if he wants to join you team? Hell no.

In this case though, it was always unlikely you keep both.

 WHO'S CALLING PLAYS? Ryan Day has called plays the past two seasons for Ohio State, and things have gone over pretty nicely, especially compared to the horrors of 2015 and 2016.

But now with Day as the head man and both Mike Yurcich and Kevin Wilson having play calling experience his playcaller status is a little up in the air.

From Tony Gerdeman of The Ozone:

Clearly, he was productive as a playcaller this past season, which begs the question of whether he will continue in that role even as head coach. Kevin Wilson is still on staff as an offensive coordinator and is widely regarded as a tremendous playcaller. Yurcich has also been pretty effective calling plays at Oklahoma State.

“It’s something we’re still going to work through and figure that out,” Day said. “I still want to have a heavy hand in the offense. I think the guys on offense are really excited and there’s a lot of energy and positive momentum on our side of the ball. I want to keep that going.”

It isn’t unheard of having a head coach call plays on offense or defense, and it is those past (and current) examples of how to do it that Day will take a closer look at.

“You look at different models that people have used over the years,” he said. “And a lot of it has to do with as we move forward, kind of the positions that some of the coaches take on and the responsibilities as we go. But I think there are a lot of models out there that work. Obviously at Oklahoma and Notre Dame, and obviously I use Chip Kelly as a guy I go to a lot. He’s made it work that way. So all conversations will be had moving forward.”

Somehow, I'm the opposite of worried about this.

I have a strong, strong hunch he'll be extremely involved in the playcalling process, but I'm also not exactly terrified if he has to hand things off to either Yurcich or Wilson, either. One thing I absolutely do not want is the too-many-chefs approach that ruined the 2015 team.

 “STUDENT” IN “STUDENT ATHLETE.” It's not uncommon in college football for coaches to only be worried about keeping their players academically eligible, and nothing more.

Urban Meyer used to be one of those guys, but then it switched when he considered his own daughter. That's when Real Life Wednesdays were born.

Meyer talked all about it on 105.7 The Zone on Tuesday.

Here's hoping Ryan Day doesn't follow in young Urban Meyer's shoes, but the thing is, I'm not sure current Meyer would allow that to happen. That's one benefit to having him just down the road.

 TYVIS POWELL, NOMAD. Tyvis Powell has not been in the NFL long, but he already satisfies the definition of the term "journeyman."

The large problem is, he isn't always even on the active roster, nor is he always guaranteed a spot on a practice squad. He just bounces around from job to job like a mercenary, and as it turns out, that ain't exactly an easy way to live.

From Natalie Weiner of

Those moves are only partially subsidized by teams, cutting into what are already comparatively modest practice squad salaries. Powell, who moved from the Niners to the Jets and back again during the 2018 season, estimates in his career he’s spent $15,000 just on relocating to play. “It’s unfortunate, but it is a job,” he says. “I’ve come to learn it’s better than nothing.”


There are a number of solutions to this conundrum, most of them with considerable drawbacks. When Powell first joined the Niners practice squad in November 2017, he stayed in an Embassy Suites hotel near the facility that wound up costing him $7,000 for a month and a half. “It was the middle of the season and the team was 0-8, so they weren’t going to the playoffs,” he says. “So I decided to just do something temporary. I didn’t know anybody [in the area] or what else I could do.”

He was back with the team for training camp in 2018, and elected to rent a furnished one-bedroom; Powell lives with his girlfriend and dog, so getting a roommate wasn’t really an option. “I went fully furnished, because it was month-to-month, and being on practice squad it’s a ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ type of thing,” he says. That set him back $4,400 a month.

“It’s unbelievable,” he says, laughing. “That’s that California stuff. When you stay in expensive cities, the rent is really high so the majority of your money is going to rent —you’re not really saving any money.”

When the Niners brought him back as a member of the active roster for the last two weeks of the season, he stayed at Richard Sherman’s house. Now, staying with family back in his native Ohio, Powell can joke about it: “I refused to pay any more money,” he says.

It's hard for me to feel too bad for guys who make a minimum of $38,600 a month, but when you light a huge chunk of that on fire due to living and moving expenses and Uncle Sam comes calling for another large chunk, most of these dudes aren't exactly raking. Especially when you consider that you only have four months of work, max.

I guess the move is to find one practice squad to stick with for a year or two (looking at you, J.T. Barrett), save up some money, and if you never make it further than that, move into another avenue of life.

 PIZZA VENDING MACHINE? We've done it. The future is here.

I let y'all down by missing out on the bacon vending machine, which I am now hearing is no longer in active service, but I ain't missing this. Expect a review of this fine Italian cuisine in the very near future.

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