Skull Session: Ryan Day's Swagger, a Promise Kept to Garrett Wilson, and Matthew Baldwin Knows Nothing's Given

By Kevin Harrish on May 10, 2019 at 4:59 am
J.K. Dobbins is carrying the rock in today's Skull Session.

I think it's safe to say Kyler Murray made the right call for his bank account picking football.

Somewhere, an As blogger is outraged.


Word of the Day: Brumous.

 “WHAT IF I DO?” Any sane person would tell you to temper your expectations for a new head coach, especially one that has effectively zero head coaching experience and is taking over for a coaching legend.

To hell with that. Expect whatever you want from Ryan Day. He's going to deliver.

From George Schroeder of USA TODAY:

There’s never been a time I’ve seen him where the situation was too big for him,” Kelly says, “whether he was 12 years old or 39 years old.”

That seems clear as Day sits in a corner of a posh hotel lobby on a warm spring morning in Arizona, quietly explaining why he’s ready to take on one of college football’s biggest jobs. 

“I respect it and understand it,” says Day, who turned 40 in March, referring to the inherent pressure of his position. “I’m not naïve to what it is, but worrying about any of that stuff doesn’t do you any good. It just doesn’t. If you do a good job right now, today, then tomorrow will take care of itself. That’s all you can do.

“Some people say, ‘What if you lose? What if you lose to the Team Up North? What if you don’t win the Big Ten championship? What if you don’t?’ My answer is: What if I do?”

That last quote erases every tiny bit of doubt I ever had about Ryan Day as a head coach, because that's absolutely the sort of swagger he needs.

I don't want a guy that's just going to stroll into this job and say "I'm going to try my best and see what happens." I want a dude that's going to look the absurd expectations in the face and say, "I can do even better."

And I get it, it's probably a dangerous game to really expect even better than a dude who won over 90 percent of his games, went 7-0 against Michigan and won a natty, but at the same time, let's not pretend there isn't room for improvement. That same guy failed to make the playoff with arguably the most talented team ever assembled, got shut out in a playoff game a year later, and got waxed by a pair of middling Big Ten teams in consecutive seasons after that.

I'm not here to bash a coaching legend, but when you replace someone, you always look for someone even better. And I earnestly believe Ryan Day has a chance to be even better.

And it was telling as hell that he didn't even want to celebrate his own hiring when he got the job.

“We’ll celebrate when we go win a couple of championships,” Day told USA Today. “That will be the celebration – not so much getting the job.”

Yeah, we'll celebrate a couple of championships.

 A PROMISE KEPT. Garrett Wilson came to Ohio State to catch a lot of footballs, which means the Buckeyes would have to throw a lot of footballs first.

Ryan Day told him that was the plan for the offense. Wilson believed him, and then Day followed through.

From Doug Lesmerises of

Long before Wilson announced himself to OSU fans with a leaping touchdown catch in the spring game, Ohio State announced its intentions by winning a recruiting fight for the No. 2-ranked receiver in the Class of 2019. Day’s description of Ohio State’s desire to throw was vital in Wilson’s decision-making. A polished 6-foot, 188-pounder with strong hands and an advanced football understanding, Wilson wanted to play at a school where he could find a major role in a major passing game from the start.

“That was super important to me,” Wilson said of hearing Day’s pledge. “But seeing it actually happen, that was even more important.”

Day’s words baited the hook. Then 51 touchdowns and 5,100 passing yards last season reeled Wilson in on National Signing Day. Wilson loved what he saw from his future school.

“I just wanted to see it happen,” Wilson said. “Once it did, I was excited to play in that. ... I loved it, every single bit of it. Two years ago, I went in and trusted what Coach Day said to me about the passing game. They hadn’t really done it, but he told me the plan was to pass the ball a lot, so seeing it this year, it was awesome to watch, fun to watch, and I just can’t want to be a part of it.”

This is huge for recruiting on a number of fronts.

For starters, if this type of offense appealed to one highly-touted teen ball-catcher, there's a solid chance it's going to appeal to others as well. And that's good news as the Buckeyes are trying to land a legendary group of receivers including uncommitted guys like Julian Fleming and Marcus Rosemy.

But more than that, it's proof that Day doesn't just spew bullshit to get you to come to his school. He's honest, and he'll prove it to you. That's something that will appeal to everyone, not just elite receivers.

 “YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BE HANDED A JOB.” Matthew Baldwin was battling for Ohio State's starting quarterback job before he left Columbus, now he'll battle for the starting spot at TCU.

It's a new school, but he still knows nothing's guaranteed.

From Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

“It is TCU, like any big program, it’s always going to have good players,” said Baldwin, who has three years of eligibility remaining. “You’ve got to have confidence in yourself as a player and I feel I can learn the offense and compete for a job right away.

“But you’re not going to be handed a job.”


A crowded quarterback room is something he experienced in his lone season with the Buckeyes.

Baldwin enrolled early when LSU’s Joe Burrow was still at Ohio State, along with Dwayne Haskins, the Washington Redskins’ first-round pick in last month’s NFL Draft, Tate Martell, who has since transferred to Miami, and Baldwin.

“We had a stacked room when I got to Ohio State,” Baldwin said. “But I learned a ton from those guys and very grateful for my time up there.

“We definitely have got some dudes here. Like I said, you’re not going to be handed a job.”

I didn't believe for a second that Baldwin was transferring purely due to personal reasons. I have no doubts it was a factor, but if Ryan Day named him the starter this spring, I'd bet my life that the transfer never would have happened. And I stand by that.

However, Baldwin is now headed to a quarterbacks room featuring graduate transfer Alex Delton from Kansas State, top-50 overall freshman Justin Rogers, four-star quarterback Max Duggan and one-time starter Mike Collins.

That's not a place you go if your only desire is to be a starting quarterback somewhere. Hell, I'd argue he's got a worse chance to start at TCU than he did at Ohio State.

I genuinely respect it. To me, this landing spot proves his transfer wasn't just about football.

 THAT WAS SHORT. Jalin Marshall was back in the NFL for a solid two days.

The Raiders signed the former Buckeye wide receiver on Tuesday, and released him about 48 hours later on Thursday.

Without getting too speculative, I can't say it's terribly common for a team to sign a player and waive him two days later, especially in the middle of May.

Hopefully all is well, and Marshall will find himself a new home in the coming months.

 KING OF THE COURT. The more I watch E.J. Liddell, the more convinced I am that he's going to be a problem for opposing teams as soon as he gets to Columbus. It's not going to take him very long to adapt.

Here he is doing cruel things to fellow teens in a King of the Hill style one-on-one game:

6-foot-6, 220 pounds and he can shoot over folks like that? I'm in. He's very good at basketball.

On an unrelated note, this game looks fun as hell. I can't believe I wasted so much of my basketball life playing knockout when this was an option.

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