Skull Session: Justin Fields' The Opening Performance, Elias Ricks' Near Buckeye Commitment, and Ohio State's Embarrassment of Riches and Receiver

By Kevin Harrish on July 5, 2019 at 4:59 am
Kevin Wilson is doing the tomahawk chop in today's skull session.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Fourth of July fireworks.

Oh, and also the colorful sky explosions.


Word of the Day: Ephemeral.

 LIKE A SURGEON. A small but vocal sect of Ohio State football fans have decided based on a small portion of a fake football game that took place three months after he joined the team that Justin Fields sucks at throwing the football.

Yes, let's ignore his entire high school career, his 69 percent (nice) completion percentage at Georgia, and the time when he out-dueled Trevor Lawrence at The Opening Finals in 2017 with probably the best performance in the history of the camp.

From Joey Kaufman of The Columbus Dispatch:

“I don’t think we’ll ever see a performance like Justin put together,” said Joey Roberts, the Elite 11′s director of scouting.


Fields left his most sizable impression during the 7-on-7 passing contest in the finals.

According to statistics kept by 247Sports, Fields completed 72% of his passes for 16 touchdowns without an interception to lead his team to the title.

“He was just a surgeon,” Roberts said. “Every time you blinked, they were in the red zone. We were just blown away by the fact that this is not supposed to be, technically, his best asset — his passing ability. But it was. And you’re like, ‘Gosh, if you put him in pads and allow him to run around, what can he become?’ ”


“I can’t stress enough that it looked like child’s play for Justin,” said former Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson, who was Fields’ coach during the Elite 11. “He was really, really prepared."

Yes, Fields is 6-foot-3, 225 pounds with a 4.5 second 40-yard dash. But he'll shred a defense with his arm before you even give him a chance to use his legs if you let him.

I don't know what it is, but I guess some folks just can't fathom that someone could be an extremely athletic runner and also one of the best passing quarterbacks in the country.

 BAD NEWS, GOOD NEWS. The bad news is, Urban Meyer's retirement probably cost Ohio State a commitment from the nation's top cornerback, Elias Ricks. The good news is, there's a chance he's a Buckeye anyway.

From Greg Biggins of 247 Sports:

“I’m going to Ohio State (Nov. 22),” Ricks said. “Ohio State was my No. 2 choice behind LSU and honestly if Urban Meyer never left, I probably would have committed there. It was really close and they’re still recruiting me really hard. I hear from coach Hafley (DC) almost every day so I’m looking forward to getting out there.

I don't think I've ever been more confident in Ohio State landing a five-star prospect currently committed elsewhere than I am about Ricks becoming a Buckeye.

I mean, openly admitting he almost went elsewhere and that he still talks to that school every day ain't exactly a good sign if you're LSU. That's like your fiance calmly dropping that she almost got engaged to someone else, still talks to them daily and is planning to visit them in five months.

 EMBARRASSMENT OF RICHES. Ohio State's only problem with the future of the wide receiver position is that there's only one ball. But I'm pretty confident everyone is still going to get theirs.

From Tony Gerdeman of The Ozone:

When you add in Garrett Wilson and Jameson Williams from the 2019 class, some are now wondering if there would be enough footballs to go around should all of these names fall into place.

The answer here is similar to what Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson says about defensive linemen — you can never have enough.

The Buckeyes can never have enough elite pass catchers on the roster because the key to a relentless offense is to have no drop off when players rotate in — and in an up-tempo offense, they have to rotate in.


Ryan Day isn’t going to ask three receivers to run all over the field all game long in an up-tempo offense and not give them a break. Fresh players make plays. Tired players make mistakes.

So how will Ohio State have roles for the possible six receivers that they are looking to sign over the last two classes? The same way they’ve done it for most of the decade — by sharing the load.

True fact: fans only hate rotating players when the second rotation is noticeably worse than the first. For example, how many people were bitching about Nick Bosa and Jalyn Holmes rotating in for Tyquan Lewis and Sam Hubbard?

Imagine Ohio State's second platoon of top-60 receivers trotting onto the field in the middle of a drive against a gassed or second-string secondary. That just ain't fair.

And from a player's perspective, they don't seem too concerned about splitting reps given that Julian Fleming is actively recruiting yet another top-100 receiver.

I think everything is going to be more than okay on this front.

 OFFICER BARNETT. The next time you get a ticket in Columbus, you may want to have the signature framed because former Buckeye C.J. Barnett is protecting and serving.

Batman is overrated. I'm sleeping easy knowing C.J. Barnett is protecting our streets.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. What working out might look like on Mars... A boy stands after receiving spinal surgery in the womb... The masked vigilantes filling potholes in Oakland... How fireworks came to America... 100 and 102-year-old Ohioans marry in an assisted living facility... Bitcoin consumes more energy that Switzerland... Ice Cream truck makes Instagram influencers pay double... 

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