Skull Session: Ryan Day to Handle Urban Meyer's Expectations, Reggie Wayne High on Parris Campbell, and D'Angelo Russell Trade Speculation

By Kevin Harrish on July 2, 2019 at 4:59 am
J.K. Dobbins is staring at today's Skull Session.

Y'all gotta make sure you're following our full-time #teen follower Taylor Lehman on Twitter dot com. He's over in Frisco, Texas giving the world some fantastic coverage of The Opening finals.

Sometimes, I like to imagine being good at my job. Taylor really is.


Word of the Day: Somniloquy.

 NOT A SCRATCH, RYAN DAY. On Jan. 2, Urban Meyer tossed Ryan Day the keys to his Bugatti that is Ohio State football. But in a rather unprecedented move, he also climbed into the proverbial passenger seat.

So now Day has to learn to drive in a car he can't afford to even scratch while under the careful eye of the legend who got them this far.

That's a hell of a relationship to navigate.

From Chip Patterson of CBS Sports:

Ohio State is a place that athletic director Gene Smith and many others have descried lovingly as "complex." Meyer described the expectations bluntly to Day at the time of the transition. He's retold the story a couple of times, but the expectations Meyer laid out go a little something like this: 

1. Beat your rival 
2. Win every other game, too 
3. No off-field issues 
4. Graduate everyone and keep the team above 3.0 GPA 

"And I usually add on at the end, 'go get 'em, tiger,'" Meyer said with a smile in December 2018.

But it's going to be tougher than that. Meyer wants to stay in the area and involved with the university in both official -- as a member of the faculty -- and unofficial capacities. Day will be expected to meet all those expectations with the standard-setter still hanging around. Day, for what it's worth, is spinning this as a good thing. 

"Coach Meyer is always going to be a resource for me personally," Day said on the day he was hired. "How many people can say they've walked in the shoes? Depending on how much he wants to be involved, the door is always going to be open there. I'm sure he's going to have his remote and be looking at punt and protections, and he'll have his comments, but he'll always be a resource."

To many, the most irreplaceable piece of Meyer's program beyond the coach himself is Mickey Marotti, who has been hired four times by Meyer to lead strength and conditioning programs and been on his staff for three national championships. Day recognized Marotti's value not only made him among the first official hires for the new staff but got him locked in with a raise and a new four-year deal. 

I've been slightly skeptical of this arrangement from the beginning, because I think Day needs some room to breathe in his first year without a very, uh, intense individual looking over his shoulder.

And the one area where I thought Meyer could be quite helpful – recruiting – seems to be going quite swimmingly, given they're on track to finish with a top-three class.

But you know, there's one thing that could make life easy on everyone involved with this situation: winning.

 BET THE UNDER? Ohio State's regular season win total is currently set at 10.5, and college football knower Tom Fornelli – whose opinion I genuinely respect – is taking the under, though only if he absolutely has to.

From Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports:

Ohio State, 10.5 wins: As I said earlier: Ohio State is still the most talented team in the Big Ten, and when it comes to college football, talent overcomes a lot of problems. Still, there are a lot of questions about this team that makes me uncomfortable betting the over here. Ryan Day has never run a program on his own, let alone a program of this size with these expectations. Justin Fields has never been a starting quarterback at the college level. The Buckeyes will also have to play Nebraska, Northwestern and Michigan on the road this season. There are tough home games against Michigan State, Wisconsin and Penn State as well. I don't think it's insane to think this Ohio State team could finish the regular season 10-2, nor do I think it's absurd to believe they can go 11-1. It's just, if I had to pick one, I lean to the under more than the over, though I don't like either option at these prices. --Over +112, Under -130

Yeah, 10.5 is the perfect number, because I'd be terrified to risk actual dollars betting either direction. 10 wins and 11 wins are both entirely possible, but I totally understand why someone without scarlet-tinted glasses would lean towards 10. A first-year head coach with a first-year starter quarterback could easily lose two close games and nobody would really bat an eye.

But the most hilarious takeaway here is that the Buckeyes have a new head coach, a new quarterback, road games against Michigan and Nebraska and home games against Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan State and are still nearly unanimously expected to win at least 10 regular season games.

How outraged do you think that makes the lads to the north?

 BREAKOUT BUCKEYE BULLET. Future Colts legend Parris Campbell got a shoutout from a former Colts legend this week when Reggie Wayne listed the former Buckeye Bullet as one of his breakout receivers this upcoming season.

From Reggie Wayne of

Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts

Playing my entire 14-year NFL career in Indianapolis, I am more than familiar with the organization and know what is expected. Campbell didn't waste any time making an impression, as several coaches recently told me they were happy with the rookie in OTAs. The speedster will man the slot for the Colts' offense this fall and serve as a great complement to T.Y. Hilton and free-agent addition Devin Funchess. At Ohio State, Campbell impressively gained 809 of his 1,063 receiving yards after the catch in 2018 (second-most in the FBS), according to Pro Football Focus. With the veterans attracting most of the attention, the second-round pick should get ample opportunity to showcase that speed.

Pro tip for the Colts: throw the ball to him and then let him outrun everyone to the end zone. It works pretty well and is fun as hell to watch. There's always a point where you can just watch the other team fold in real time.

He's gone.

 DON'T GET TOO COMFORTABLE. D'Angelo Russell is headed to Golden State, but maybe not for long.

That sounds like speculation on Stein's part, but he is pretty plugged in so I'm sure it's not baseless.

If anything, I bet Silk plays alongside Steph Curry this year to help fill the void left by Klay Thompson as he recovers from his injury, then they'll re-evaluate next summer when Draymond Green is due for an extension.

So basically, he's got a year to prove they should keep him, cause they ain't paying all four of them.

 IT AIN'T THAT HARD. If there is anything worth getting worked up about on a weekday in July, it's video games. And folks, I am officially worked up about a video game that hasn't even been released yet.

First off, fourth-round pick and All-American Michael Jordan was given perhaps the most outright disrespectful rating I've ever seen with a 58 overall. That's lower than some dudes who weren't even drafted.

And somehow, that wasn't even the most egregious mistake.

Terry McLaurin – perhaps the best blocking receiver in Ohio State history – is tied as the 27TH-BEST run blocking wide receiver in the rookie class with a 43 overall rating in the category. I know that rating is bullshit because it's also lower than both Parris Campbell and Johnnie Dixon, who openly admit McLaurin is the best blocker on the team.

I mean...

He took out three dudes on one play.

Get your shit together, Madden.

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