Skull Session: Question Marks of Spring Practice, Scarlet & Gray Must Change Its Name, and Doctor Talks Ryan Shazier Injury

By Kevin Harrish on February 20, 2019 at 4:59 am
Jaelen Gill is ready to shine in today's Skull Session.

The Buckeyes desperately need a win today, but at this point I think I'm just rooting for them to crack 60 points for the first time in almost two weeks. But I still have faith!


Word of the Day: Abulia.

 PREVIEW FOR A NEW ERA. One of my favorite things about college football is that fans and media alike absolutely obsess over a practice season that doesn't even involve the entire team and is literally five months from the start of the season.

It's absolute madness, and I love everything about it.

There's no real reason for us to be writing preview articles for a months worth of practice, the same way we would for the actual season, but we're going to, and y'all are going to read them.

Even the world wide leader isn't immune, as ESPN's Adam Rittenberg wrote his Ohio State Spring Preview piece this week, and talked about a few question marks.

Question mark heading into the spring: Ohio State simply can't expect to return to the CFP without significant improvement on defense. Spring practice brings an interesting dynamic as the Buckeyes return nine starters on defense, but they have new co-coordinators Greg Mattison and Jeff Hafley. Mattison left Michigan for Ohio State to become a coordinator again, while Hafley and Day go back to their time with the 49ers.

An equally important coaching addition is Al Washington, who returns to his hometown to oversee the linebackers after working with Mattison at Michigan. Ohio State's linebacker play slipped last season, and restoring the standard at the position will be paramount as starters Pete Werner, Tuf Borland and Malik Harrison all return.

The line should be the unit's strength, as All-America candidate Chase Young headlines the group. Ohio State's secondary returns intact after a breakdown-filled season in 2018. Hafley's work with talented defensive backs such as Damon Arnette will be interesting to watch.

Those are all fair and fine takes. I'm also excited to see how the defense performs.

Candidly, if the defense doesn't improve, then Ohio State's national title chances aren't looking too hot because I don't think you can realistically expect the offense to perform any better than it did last year. Though I'd love to be wrong!

One thing I'm stoked isn't a question mark at this point is Justin Fields' eligibility status. The Bucks have their quarterback (note: there will be no feigned quarterback battle in these here Skull Sessions regardless of how long it takes Ryan Day to name Fields the starter).

 NAME CHANGE. It looks like our favorite TBT team is getting an (involuntary) name change, and you can help pick the new one.

I think it's pretty hilarious that Ohio State is forcing a name change after they Tweet updates from their social media accounts, help promote the team, provide practice space and even host media availabilities for the team.

I guess just goes to show nobody can escape the university's swift arm of Cease and Desist.

In fact, that's my name proposal: "Team C&D." I'd argue nothing would more accurately represent The Ohio State University.

 DOCTOR TALKS SHAZIER. It doesn't take a doctor to tell us that Ryan Shazier's injury was terrifying and his recovery is miraculous, but I certainly ain't going to turn down a breakdown of the whole situation from a medial expert.

Brian Sutterer MD from the popular video site does a variety of videos on sports injuries, and this time he took a stab at Shazier's.

He mostly talks broadly, because he doesn't know the specifics of Shazier's case, but it's good info for a commoner like me nonetheless.

Dr. Sutterer recognizes a return to the NFL won't be easy, but he's not ruling it out, calling it "reasonable" for Shazier to work towards that goal.

Something tells me that even if it wasn't reasonable, Shazier would still be working towards that goal.

 100 MILES FOR TYLER TRENT. As someone who has slept on a frozen sidewalk outside the Schottenstein Center to get front row seats to watch an extremely mediocre Ohio State team play Northwestern in 2015, I always appreciate when college students do absolutely ridiculous things even without realistic rational.

However, I respect them infinitely more when they do ridiculous things for a great cause, like Purdue student Aaron Lai did this week.

Lai walked 100 miles from West Lafayette to Bloomington for the Purdue vs. Indiana basketball game in order to raise money for Tyler Trent's Cancer Research Endowment.

It's difficult to express how much I respect Aaron for this, especially knowing how much it hurt me to jog two miles this weekend.

And as far as his fundraising goal, he absolutely shattered the original $10,000 goal and has collected well over $20,000.

If you feel led, you can donate yourself here.

 58 MINUTES OF SAD PUNTS. As much as I love punting – it's the best and most important play in all of sport – there's nothing I hate more than reckless punting.

Yes, I know "reckless punting" sounds contradictory.

See, most people equate punting to being conservative, but sometimes it's actually a much greater risk to punt the ball and the conservative, safe approach would actually be to go for it. That's when punting is both sad and bad.

Internet hero Jon Bois put together a video highlighting some of these punts which deserve to be shamed. It's 58 minutes and awesome.

Lesson: Even the best thing at the wrong time is bad.

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