Skull Session: Ryan Day Prioritizing Ohio Recruiting, Baker Mayfield Praises Garrett Wilson, and Gene Smith's Big Ten Commissioner Wish List

By Kevin Harrish on May 17, 2019 at 4:59 am
The Buckeyes are here in today's Skull Session.

Found a new song for y'all to enjoy on this fine Friday!

You do gotta get down on Friday, after all.


Word of the Day: Pinnate.

 THE DAY WAY. I know we've made a big deal about how the core of the program is going to remain intact as this whole coaching transition happens, and that's probably a good thing, but I'm also appreciating that Ryan Day is his own guy, and not just Urban Meyer reproduced in facsimile.

Day's personality shows up especially in his recruiting approach, where he's already got some commitments from in-state prospects that likely wouldn't have even been on Meyer's radar. Like Trey Leroux.

From my good pal Bill Landis of The Athletic ($): 

When Ryan Day was introduced as Ohio State’s new head coach Dec. 4, he vowed to recruit Ohio high school players “at the highest level.” That’s boilerplate language that every new coach in every state has to say when he takes a new job, but in Day’s first few months, he’s backing up that talk. Under Urban Meyer, OSU always had space for the state’s best talent and often got it. But as Meyer’s program grew in profile and became increasingly competitive recruiting on a national stage, it at times felt like it had less room for developmental Ohio high school prospects. In an alternative universe, Leroux is well aware that he likely wouldn’t be an Ohio State commit right now, let alone have an offer.

Now, he’s the face of what feels like a shift in recruiting philosophy under Day.

“Everything changed between coach Meyer and coach Day, but I knew with coach Meyer that it was like that,” Leroux said. “That it was going to be a very, very late offer. I figured if coach Meyer would have still wanted me in my senior year, whether I was committed or not, he would offer. If I really needed to, I could decommit and go through everything. So I knew that Ohio State was gonna be a later offer anyway. Coach Day changing everything up was just better for me because now I’m set earlier and can just work on football.”

It's hard to complain too much about Meyer's recruiting – I mean, the guy averaged at the No. 3 class in the country the entire time he was here – but he very much favored sure-thing prospects, many of which were out of state. And sometimes, that meant passing on some developmental Ohio prospects.

Day's already made it clear that ain't his game. Sure, he's going after the best of the best from around the country, but he's also not afraid to give an under-recruited Ohio kid a scholarship, if he thinks he'll develop into someone that will help his team.

He's only been head coach for less than five months, but so far he's looking like a beautiful blend of both Urban Meyer and Jim Tressel. If his on-field results blend with those two as well, I think he'll have an extremely happy fanbase.

 BAKER HIGH ON GARRETT WILSON. Lake Travis High School has been kind to the Great State of Ohio recently. It gave the Browns Baker Mayfield, and the Buckeyes Garrett Wilson.

Doug Lesmerises of asked Mayfield about the young Buckeye receiver, who has yet to even play a snap at Ohio State, and Mayfield is calling his shot that Wilson will be in the league three years from now.

"I've thrown with Garrett a couple of times. I tried to get him to Oklahoma but he didn't go. No, Garrett's a great kid, obviously very talented. He's a guy that I think will be three in four and done at Ohio State. So he's a great kid, works really, really hard and his talent is all there. He's smart too."

Hey, I'm down with that.

My attitude towards three-and-done players has changed dramatically in recent years when I realized that you actually want to build your roster out of players good enough to be in the league in three years, and also that a player leaving early doesn't have to be a surprise.

Expect it from the start, see it coming long before it happens, and have another three-year player on the roster behind him.

Julian Fleming, come on down!

 SOMEONE THAT GETS US. The Big Ten's still looking for its next commissioner, and Gene Smith seems to be a fan of promoting from the inside.

From Orion Sang of the Detroit Free Press:

When asked what they would look for in the next commissioner, Beekman, Alvarez and Smith all spoke to the value of understanding the Big Ten's culture and background.


Smith called the Big Ten "a value-based league" and is looking for someone who understands those values and the culture of the conference. He also believes the next commissioner must be able to guide the league through "what's coming at us ... from this transfer issue to names, visual likeness."

And while it's not a given that the next commissioner will have a Big Ten background, Smith says any such candidate would have an advantage of understanding the league's values. 

“I think the right person from inside the league would be appropriate," Smith said. "I think if it’s something they want to do. Their advantage of understanding us. I think you can’t say that too lightly.

"I mean, we’re different. We’re different than a lot of leagues. We’re collaborative. We’re collegial. We work together. We make sacrifices for one another. Look at the Friday night deal in football. At the end of the day, we do what’s best for the league. And that takes sacrifice. Somebody to help continue that is very important."

I'm not going to pretend to know enough about what the commissioner does to make any helpful suggestions, so I'm just going to sit back and hope they give the keys to the $759 billion conference to the right man.

 DOMINATING OVERSEAS. Jae'Sean Tate's barely been away from college ball for a year, but it looks like he's already a legit star over in Europe.

It looks like the Ohio State TBT Tournament team just got a little better. This is the year!

 NOT THEIR DAY. The Ohio State tennis team has had a dominating season.

The Buckeyes won the ITA National Indoor Team Championship back in February, held the ITA No. 1 ranking most of the season, and boasted the nation's top player in J.J. Wolf.

But it won't have a storybook ending. The Buckeyes fell 4-2 to No. 9 North Carolina, ending their season in the quarterfinals.

The bad omen came early, when Ohio State lost the doubles point for the first time all season, and the Buckeyes were unable to punch back in the singles matches.

The good news is, a few players still have a chance to bring home some individual hardware as JJ Wolf, John McNally and Kyle Seelig will compete for an NCAA singles title next weekend while Martin Joyce and Hunter Tubert will compete in doubles.

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