Skull Session: Comparing Ohio State to Alabama, Buckeyes Recruiting Wilfredo Aybar, and E.J. Liddell Coaches Kids

By Kevin Harrish on June 17, 2021 at 4:59 am
Larry Johnson has something up his sleeve in today's skull session.

I will do it. I will join the college football playoff committee.

Word of the Day: Privy.

 BEST DAMN JOB IN THE LAND? Alabama and Ohio State are almost undeniably the two best jobs in college football right now. But in college football, we don't settle for ties.

Unfortunately, though, ESPN's picking Bama.

The biggest factor in this comparison is examining what the Alabama job will be like when Saban exits, which might not be for a while even though he will turn 70 on Halloween. A coach familiar with Alabama thinks the program will become more like Oklahoma -- a consistent top-10 finisher that competes for national titles but likely doesn't win them nearly as often.

"They're still going to have the support and the punch of being Alabama, but they're going to be a little more up-and-down," the coach said. "Oklahoma has been a consistent program, but they've come up short. That's what Alabama will turn into."

Ohio State has made consecutive CFP appearances for the first time under Day, who continues to elevate the quarterback position at a program that rarely produced high-level pro prospects before his arrival. The clear next step is more national championships, as Ohio State should have way more than two since 1970.

"Ohio State's obviously the class of the Big Ten," a Big Ten coach said, "but right now, Alabama's ahead of everybody."

Better job: Alabama

I love how they toss in that prediction that after Saban leaves, Alabama would become Basically Oklahoma™ and yet still concluded it was a better job than Ohio State, which has been arguably the most consistently dominant program in the country across three head coaches.

Worth noting, the most successful Alabama had in the entire decade before Saban included three losses, one of which was to Louisiana Tech.

 THE OTHER DEFENSIVE END. I know there's one particular elite defensive end that will have your full attention today – and rightfully so.

But J.T. Tuimoloau ain't the only elite pass rusher the Buckeyes are pursuing to close out the 2021 class. Don't sleep on Wilfredo Aybar.

“He’s off the charts,” Cheshire Academy coach David Dykeman said. “He wants to major in physics or engineering. He wants to work for NASA. When he will talk to [coaches], there is nothing I love more than when someone hears, ‘I want to major in physics or engineering.’ To see the look on these coaches’ faces like, ‘What?” I had one guy go like, ‘Uh, yeah, yeah, we got that.’ Every other kid says ‘I want to major in business or sports management.’ That’s him. That’s that maturity.”


“He’s Chase Young,” Dykeman said, referencing the former Ohio State standout drafted second overall by the Washington Football Team in last year’s NFL Draft. “This is what he is. It’s the same frame, the same ability. Is he that good, who the hell knows. But I’ll tell you what, he’s pretty damn good. In the prep school landcape, [Suffield Academy alum and Miami Dolphins player] Christian [Wilkins] was the most dominating player I’ve ever coached against. This kid, I think, is similar. He’s a pro.”

Aybar sees the Chase Young comparison, too. Ohio State offered Aybar a scholarship in January of 2020.

“I don’t think there’s any better other place to get coached hard and compete against the best,” Aybar said of Ohio State.

A Christian Wilkins/Chase Young hybrid, you say? I don't need much convincing.

If you feel like this recruitment came out of nowhere, that's because it kinda did. Aybar was in the 2022 class, but he reclassified to the 2021 class and is currently rated as the No. 9 edge prospect in the country.

It's the middle of June and Ohio State is three scholarships under the limit and is still pursuing commitments from multiple teens. One day, college football is going to go all the way back to normal. Until then, buckle up.

 E.J. GIVES BACK. E.J. Liddell may be spending most of his time with the NBA Draft process these days, but that he's still got time to coach some kids in his hometown.

After that teaching session, I think it's safe to assume that whole group is now capable of this:

 LIONS SIGN SHEA PATTERSON. ... but not the Lions you think.

Now, it's tough to cast too many stones here when, well... *gestures towards Ohio State's entire history of quarterbacks in the NFL*. At the same time, the past two Buckeye QBs went in the first round while the most successful Wolverine quarterback under Harbaugh is now headed to the CFL.

So, forgive me for taking a brief victory lap here.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "You Were Born" by Cloud Cult.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. A Spanish man jailed for killing and eating his mother... ‘Tiger King’ star Joe Exotic jumps on the NFT bandwagon from behind prison bars... Airbnb is spending millions of dollars to make PR disasters go away... Five is the perfect number of hours to work in a day... Seven historical cases of cannibalism... My childhood in a cult...

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