Skull Session: Jeff Hafley and Brian Hartline Are Top Recruiters, Gunnar Hoak Preps By Himself, and the Shea Patterson Tweet Was Fake

By Kevin Harrish on July 8, 2019 at 4:59 am
There's a block O in today's Skull Session.

Jae'Sean Tate says good morning.


Word of the Day: Nugacity.

 ON HIS OWN. The good news is, Ohio State now has a backup quarterback with Kentucky transfer Gunnar Hoak. The bad news is, he still hasn't even taken a single practice rep with the Buckeyes, and won't until August.

Until then, he's pretty much on his own as far as practice goes.

From Tony Gerdeman of The Ozone:

Gunnar Hoak won’t hit the practice field for the Buckeyes until they open fall camp in early August.

However, he is going to need to be as up to speed as possible when camp starts, which means he is going to have to take the initiative and do much of it on his own.

“You only have a certain amount of meeting times, so you hope the individual has that internal drive to be a guy who can work on his own and really be a football junkie on his own,” said OSU quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich. “There’s only so much time you can meet with him this time of year. You try your best to be organized and maximize your meeting times. It’s important to do that. A lot of that has to be on their own.”


“He’s got to learn in short order,” Day said. “He’s a little bit behind in terms of the couple months that we had in the spring, he wasn’t here. But he’s also really, really sharp, I think he’ll pick it up quick, and then let the competition begin in August.”

This is why I don't really buy the whole "quarterback competition" thing, because Justin Fields has only had one spring of split reps with Matthew Baldwin. They don't really have time for a quarterback competition. The starter needs all the first-team reps he can get this fall.

But either way, Hoak's going to need to be sharp in a hurry because even if he is the backup, we all know how that goes. He could be one play away from being the starting quarterback.

 BEST DAMN RECRUITERS IN THE LAND. It looks like Ohio State's recruiting will be just fine under the new regime.

Brad Crawford of 247 Sports ranked the top-10 recruiters in college football for the 2020 class, and two different Buckeye assistants made the list – one on each side of the ball.


Number of commits: 4

Avg. rating: 95.17

The skinny: Credited with landing verbal commitment Julian Fleming, the nation's top-ranked receiver in next year's class and No. 5 player nationally, Hartline is assembling a star-studded cast of pass-catchers in Columbus. He also has four-star wideouts Gee Scott Jr. (Sammamish, Wa.) and Jaoxon Smith-Njigba (Rockwall, Texas) in the hopper, along with three-star athlete Cameron Martinez, who could play a variety of positions for the Buckeyes. Several 247Sports national recruiting analysts laid out how Hartline emerged as one of college football's top recruiters earlier this spring. His recent pulls on the trail have turned heads.



Number of commits: 5

Avg. rating: 93.62

The skinny: The Buckeyes' strongest recruiter this cycle under first-year coach Ryan Day, Hafley is helping Ohio State solidify several positions of need with top-end talent. Cornerback Clark Phillips III (La Habra, Ca.) is the fourth-best player at his position nationally while three other Composite four-stars — Luke Wypler (Center), Cody Simon (OLB) and Lejond Cavazos (S) — each have early-impact potential in Columbus. The fifth commit under Hafley, three-star athlete Cameron Martinez, was pulled out of Michigan. As Ohio State's co-defensive coordinator, he'll be under the spotlight on gamedays this fall after the Buckeyes' disappointing campaign on that side of the football in 2018.

My first takeaway is that this is hilariously low for the guy who's hauling in the best wide receiver class I've ever seen. I'm not saying he should be No. 1, but he's currently behind a Notre Dame tight ends coach and another receivers coach at Texas A&M and uh, my glasses may be scarlet-tinted but I know who I'm picking there.

Second, remember when folks were worried about landing defensive prospects? I honestly didn't expect to see Hafley on this list, but given how the past few weeks have gone (and that I would personally sign up to play football for him after hearing him speak at a podium once) it makes sense. The dude hasn't even coached a game yet and my brain is already working out ways to keep him in Columbus longer than like, two years.

 PSA: THE INTERNET LIES. Yesterday, while combing through the interwebs in search of content for your daily fix, I stumbled across this absolutely delicious quote that I absolutely would have plastered all over the front page for y'all to break out the pitchforks.

But I didn't.

See, as much as I would have liked to help dox Shea for Kevin Durant-ass antics, I'm actually quite careful with the news I regurgitate. I have standards (which admittedly include alleged sex toy purchases from a fired position coach, but I digress), and the biggest one is that it has to actually be real. And I was at least 98 percent sure this didn't meet that criteria.

First off, this account has a history of completely and blatantly making shit up. And I mean, like, egregiously making shit up.

Behold, this completely fake quote:

And also this one:

Toss in the fact that the account's bio pretty much admits everything it Tweets is a fake "quote," and I was quite a bit more than skeptical.

More than that, if something this hilarious and insane actually happened, I would have expected somebody else – literally anybody else – to have another screenshot. And one never emerged.

So I was totally unshocked when it did indeed turn out to it be a fake screenshot.

So, yes. There are plenty of reasons to hate Michigan on this day that ends in "y," but this ain't one of them.

My advice: block that account and never think about it again.

 GEE SCOTT JR. HYPE. I genuinely cannot decide which Ohio State receiver commit I'm most excited to watch in the coming years.

There's obviously the No. 1 receiver in the country, Julian Fleming. Then there's Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who was maybe the single most impressive player at The Opening Finals, and then there's Gee Scott Jr., who might get more consistent praise from high-profile folks than either of the other two.

I feel like a kid on Christmas trying to tell you his favorite new toy. And it's going to get even harder to choose this week, if you catch my drift.

 WELCOME, MR. PANCAKE. The Ohio State athletic program's All-Name team got a hearty addition on Sunday with the commitment of catcher Trey Pancake.

Extreme missed opportunity for this individual to play on the offensive line, but I'll take him any way I can have him.

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