Skull Session: Chase Young is a Top-10 Lock, Urban Meyer's Retirement Cost the Buckeyes Jordan Battle, and Lane Kiffin Compliments Ohio State

By Kevin Harrish on September 20, 2019 at 4:59 am
Ohio State is celebrating in today's skull session.
Ohio State Athletics

Reminder: your happiness (and my job) rests in the hands of college students.

I almost got smashed by Chase Young on one of those things last year. But don't worry, a simple calculation of momentum tells me he would have been quite fine as my baby gap frame bounced off the handlebars like a rag doll.


Word of the Day: Exiguous.

 DRAFT CHASE YOUNG. Filed squarely in the "shouldn't be possible" category, Ohio State's about to have two players at the same position drafted in the top-five of the NFL draft in back-to-back years.

And there's even a chance Chase Young goes even higher than Nick Bosa. There's obviously only one way that's possible, but at least one NFL scout said he would pull the trigger on Young as the No. 1 overall pick.

From Ben Standig of The Athletic ($):

“Chase Young, edge rusher, The Ohio State. More likely to get a second contract, less likely to be a bust and less likely to slide after pre-draft workouts. Presumably fewer handlers than a QB1.”

I'll tell you what, it sure won't hurt his stock when he's chasing down Tua Tagovailoa in a semifinal win in a few months.

But even if he's not the No. 1 overall pick, he seems to be the safest top-10 pick in the class – which makes sense given that he's as close to a literal incarnation of a predator from 1987 film Predator and was also coached by Larry Johnson.

Which three non-QB prospects do you feel most confident about being selected top 10 next April?

9 (votes): Chase Young, DE, Ohio State

8.5: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

8: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

5: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

3: Grant Delpit, S, LSU; A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa

2: Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama

1: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama; Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU; Walker Little, OT, Stanford; Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn

0.5: Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado

Pro tip: if you want a mutant to be good at football, send him to Larry Johnson. I eagerly await what guys like Zach Harrison and Jack Sawyer will look like as finished products. We may have to start replacing Big Ten quarterbacks with unmanned drones to protect innocent lives.

 LOST THE BATTLE. Ohio State's transition from Urban Meyer to Ryan Day went shockingly smoothly in almost every area, but it did cost them a pretty major commitment from the nation's No. 2 safety.

If Urban Meyer was still coaching Ohio State, Jordan Battle would be a Buckeye.

From Matt Zenitz of

If Urban Meyer hadn’t retired, Alabama may not have even had a chance to sign this promising young safety who is already a factor in the Crimson Tide secondary as a true freshman.

Battle had been committed to Ohio State since June and was planning on following through on that commitment — until Meyer announced his retirement in early December.

That same night, Saban and two Alabama assistants were in Florida for that in-home visit.

Two weeks later, Battle decommitted from Ohio State and signed with the Tide.

“If Urban Meyer stays and doesn’t have any issues and doesn’t have any problems, Jordan probably would have gone to Ohio State,” Battle’s dad said. “We didn’t want to play the game of committing, decommitting, committing, decommitting. But then all the turmoil started with Urban. And once he decided to step down and Ryan Day came for a home visit, Jordan was like, ‘Dad, I feel in my gut that it’s just not going to be the same program as if Urban Meyer was there.’”

I understand he had a relationship with Urban Meyer and that's what caused the flip, but committing to play for the previous defensive staff and then decommitting once Jeff Hafley took over already looks hilarious in hindsight.

 KIFFIN IS KIND. Joey Freshwater was oddly self aware about the caliber of team he was facing before his trip to Columbus, openly lamenting the fact that he even had to play the Buckeyes.

As expected, Ohio State railed his team in the season opener, and it sounds like he's still in awe about what he saw from the Buckeyes.

From Pete Thamel of Yahoo! Sports:

Kiffin’s Owls also played Ohio State earlier this year, and he said that the talent level was “close,” with Ohio State being “a little bit bigger” on the lines. “I thought Ohio State was as good looking as you can look,” Kiffin said.

Kiffin was comparing Ohio State to UCF, who got Ohio State's sloppy seconds with a 48-14 win over the Owls the following week.

Normally I don't put a ton of stock in a G5 coach boldly proclaiming that Ohio State is the best team he's ever seen, because like, obviously. But Lane is a little difference because he's coached against multiple national title winners. He knows what it looks like. 

 CAR. DALE. JONES. It turns out, Gus Johnson's oratory greatness isn't a new development, he's been a proper word legend all his life.

9-year-old Johnson cleaned up at a speech contest the year before, and his mom was gonna make sure he did it again – even if it meant literally pulling him off the pitchers mound in the middle of a game.

From Harry Lyles Jr. of SB Nation:

“I was pitching — pitching good that day too,” he says. He starts looking off into the room as if he’s seeing it happen all over again right in front of him. “All of a sudden, I see this little lady, walking through the gate, her wig tilted, walking fast.”

Btroy walked through the dugout gate, past the dugout, past the coaches, and onto the field. “She walked straight to the mound where I was,” he recalls. “I said, ‘Mom, what are you doing? I’m pitching.’ She said, ‘Boy, I don’t care what you doing. Here’s a pair of shorts, here’s a Boys Club T-shirt. You see them picnic tables over there?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ She said, ‘You gon’ go over there, here’s a pen, and here’s a pad. And you gon’ write a speech. And you gon’ go up there, today, at 6 o’clock, and you gon’ say that speech.’ I said, ‘Mama, I’m pitchin’!’ She said, ‘Boy!’ — and whenever ya mama say ‘Boy!’ It’s serious.”

Btroy told Johnson, “You always gotta be fast on your feet. You always gotta be able to think quickly. Put something together. Scramble, if you have to. Now get over there and write that speech.”

Contest organizers called Btroy beforehand to tell her they wanted her son back because of his talent for speaking. Johnson went over to the table, mad, 10 years old, and cursing under his breath. He wrote the speech, went to the contest, gave the speech, and won.

”From that point on,” he says, “I always realized I was good on my feet. I could talk.”

Good on his feet, yes. But more than that, he seems to be the only sportscaster that's realized that just screaming incomprehensibly into the microphone is sometimes exactly what a moment calls for. He's a man with a golden voice who always knows just what to say who also isn't afraid to be speechless. I appreciate that.

The entire piece is long, but worth the read if you're looking to kill some time at work on this fine Friday. Gus Johnson's been the songbird of my sports fanship most of my life, and Harry does a fantastic deep dive into Gus' greatness.

If you want to steal even more of your bosses time today, here are some of his most memorable calls (this basically just turns into an Ohio State highlight tape at moments).

 FUTURE HALL OF FAMER. These past two weeks have been fantastic with folks across the NFL just learning about the legend that is Terry McLaurin.

"He's good at everything!" seems to be the general consensus, and I'm eating it the hell up.

Does he get his Pro Bowl invite now, or does that come in the mail in a few days?

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. Police say they've identified a suspect in a three-decade-old South Korean serial murder case, but he won't face charges... The war on (unwanted) dick pics has begun... woman says she buried friend in backyard to fulfill dying wish... The rise of the zombie mall... How your car gets crash tested... 

View 98 Comments