Skull Session: Ohio State Develops the Best EDGE Players, Urban Meyer Has High Praise For Alabama, and Todd McShay Thinks Zach Wilson is Better Than Justin Fields

By Kevin Harrish on February 11, 2021 at 5:06 am
We've got strong branding in today's skull session.

Happy Thursday, everybody.

Here's hoping your day is as good as Tom Brady's yesterday (but hopefully significantly better than his today, if you catch my drift).

Word of the Day: Cynosure.

 “ALABAMA'S ON A DIFFERENT STRATOSPHERE.” Urban Meyer is uniquely qualified to discuss chasing Alabama, and he has some thoughts on the gap between the Tide, Ohio State, and the rest of college football.

“That’s reality. You take a job like this, you take a job like Ohio State and that’s the expectation and that’s what they’ve done,” Meyer said. “They’re going to enjoy the fact that they beat Clemson, but this is also the harsh reality of the Big Ten’s got to get going again. I used the word the ‘chase’ in 2012. Our conference was very average. The Big Ten Conference was not great. And then people started recruiting and pushing and started going, and the reality is the best team in the Big Ten got beat by Alabama soundly. That’s OK. Ohio State’s recruiting at a level, they’ll be back here.”

“I think it’s a challenge for everyone else in this conference to get going. I mean, the whole country saw this. And that’s not just the Big Ten — that’s the Pac-12 and the Big 12 as well. The reality is Alabama’s on a different stratosphere right now. Go catch ’em. The one school that’s recruiting at that level is coach Day and Ohio State. So I think that this is a standup call for everybody. I can tell you there’s coaches across the country — are seeing that team that just played tonight, saying, ‘We have to go get them.'”

The tiny bit of irony here is that Ohio State just got waxed by Alabama with a lineup made up primarily of Urban Meyer's recruits. In fact, the only two major contributors who weren't signed by Meyer were Justin Fields and Trey Sermon – the most talented quarterback in school history and the guy who averaged nine yards a carry his last four games.

So really, Meyer doesn't get to criticize this talent gap or say things like "Alabama’s on a different stratosphere" without looking in the mirror. Because truthfully, the team is even more talented than he left it, not less.

But he does seem to acknowledge that – he praised Ohio State's recruiting multiple times. And it's not like the Buckeyes were bad by any means; they obviously were the second-best team in the country this year, and that doesn't happen by accident. It's just funny to hear him attempt to sound like an unbiased observer when talking about a talent gap that he is directly responsible for it.

 LARRY JOHNSON IS A WIZARD. Pro Football Focus put together its annual all-time prospect rankings, and for another year, nobody's been able to unseat Ohio State's pass rush triad from the top four.

Ohio State also has half the top-four corners – Marshon Lattimore and Jeff Okudah – and has the top safety prospect in Malik Hooker.

And a good number of those players played together, which sounds like an absolute nightmare for a quarterback. A generational pass rusher coming after you every play while you have to throw the ball into a secondary that features at least one generational defensive back? No thanks.

 BIG THANOS APPROVED. If Ohio State ends up thin at linebacker next year, it looks like Dawand Jones has already found the solution. 

First off, it's not too late! The running backs room is about to be overflowing and the top four linebackers from last year just left. I'm a noted moron, but I'd at least give him a look at linebacker. Plus, "Steele Chambers" is as perfect a linebacker name as it gets – that has to factor into the decision making.

Second, I love the fact that Dawand Jones was just casually watching high school highlights of one of his teammates for fun. Now I want to know who else was on his watch list and how far I wm adown the list.

 BOLD BET. Todd McShay's been on the "Zach Wilson is better than Justin Fields" kick for a few weeks, and he's now going all-in on his #take, suggesting he'd be willing to wager Scott Van Pelt's salary (which is... large) that Wilson is taken No. 2 overall.

Yeah, McShay may be the professional draft analyst, but I absolutely guarantee Fields is selected before pick No. 4. I'd bet McShay's salary on it, but he makes more in a year than I do in 10, so that's probably a poor choice.

But honestly, if this did magically happen, there could not be a better scenario for Justin Fields. He'd get to play for his hometown team, sit behind Matt Ryan for a year or two to learn the system, and would inherit weapons like Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones.

So, prayers up he falls to No. 4. It just ain't going to happen.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Always" by blink-182.

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