Skull Session: CJ Stroud Attracted Attention As Elite 11 MVP, Gene Smith Still Wants 50,000 in the Horseshoe, and Ezekiel Elliott Owns Michigan

By Kevin Harrish on June 24, 2020 at 4:59 am
Ohio Stadium score board in today's skull session.

Because we're all still bored in our houses in the middle of June, Chris Holtmann blessed us with a little trivia.

Here's your answer when you decide it's time to cheat.

Word of the Day: Propitious.

 ZERO TO HERO. At this time last year, I'd never heard the name "C.J. Stroud" in my life, but his meteoric rise had already begun, and he was about to show the world what he can do at the Elite 11.

Thankfully, Ryan Day had already taken an interest, and the event turned out to be a solid trial run, with Stroud teamed up with a ton of Buckeye commits.

CJ Stroud’s trajectory to become a heavily-recruited quarterback prospect who eventually committed to Ohio State doesn’t follow the typical path. Unlike many in his class, Stroud wasn’t well known or highly thought of throughout high school. In fact, nearly a year and a half ago, Stroud was a three-star prospect and ranked 860th nationally by the 247Sports Composite.

But then Stroud was invited to the Elite 11 camp in 2019, where he took home the Most Valuable Player trophy. He received the same honor at The Opening Finals that summer. It was because of these camps that attention around Stroud began to grow and the quarterback started to receive offers from top schools, including the Buckeyes.

“Coach Day texted me that day before The Opening, before I won it,” Stroud remembered in February. “He told me they were interested in me. He told me to keep my leadership up. I was with the Ohio State guys at The Opening. That was my first contact with Ohio State.”


“These last six months have been crazy,” Stroud admitted upon enrolling early at Ohio State. “I went from being a two-star nothing to now -- the stars, really, when I got my fifth star, I knew it mattered because it’s cool. But it doesn’t matter because look how the media portrayed me back then. I was still good and I played well and I had the skills and attributes to play at a high level, but nobody thought I could.”

If Stroud inherits the Buckeye quarterback throne from Justin Fields – which is a big "if," y'all know Jack Miller ain't a slouch – it'll be passing the crown from one five-star Elite 11 MVP to another five-star Elite 11 MVP.

Let's see if Kyle McCord can keep that MVP tradition alive this summer.

 HOLDING OUT HOPE. While some folks all across the country are holding their breath with concern about whether we will even have a college football season, Gene Smith's out here still hoping to have 50,000 people in the 'Shoe.

I love the optimism, and I was right there with him a month ago. But with the way folks are talking these days, I'm unconvinced we'll even see any fans in the stands, much less 50,000.

But as my fiancée can attest – I'm extremely good at being wrong!

 CYBERBULLYING. Ezekiel Elliott spent three years at Ohio State curb-stomping Michigan on the football field, now he's doing it through social media.

Pro Football Focus decided to highlight Michigan's success at the defensive back position...

And Zeke decided to remind them of their lack of success elsewhere.

A photograph of the scoreboard in any given year would have been sufficient trash talk, as well.

 SIGN ME UP. Ever wanted to be like Tyvis Powell? Now's your chance!

Sign me the hell up. I sincerely doubt my adult-sized self is who this program would be intended for, but rules are made to be broken.

I'd love everything about a mentorship program with one of the most delightful Ohio State football players I've ever come across in my life.

 THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME. Jalyn Holmes has been out of college for years and Chase Young just became the No. 2 overall pick, but neither are too good to spend some time getting better with their old master and mentor.


All Gas No Brakes. We Goin Keep Sliding.

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Everyday pressing the gas.. #R2X

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It's not a very common thing to see a player return to his college coach for more development after they make it to the league, but Larry Johnson ain't exactly your common coach.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Can't Help Falling in Love With You" performed by Haley Reinhart.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. A viral video shows a calm man with a knife sticking out of his head... Romania deprived thousand of babies of human contact... The decline of Russia's spy agencies... Man is arrested at a Dutch airport for smuggling cocaine in a fake penis... Why is Mayday the international distress call?... The man who surfs the world's biggest waves without a board...

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