Today's Skull Session is coming at you courtesy of my mobile hotspot because my neighbor's fallen tree killed my Internet and it can't be fixed until Tuesday at the earliest.
Word of the Day: Propitious.
JSN SZN. This may come as a shock to you, but Jaxon Smith-Njigba will be the best returning receiver in the country next year.
Highest-graded returning WRs:— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) January 16, 2022
1. Jaxon Smith-Njigba - 91.7
2. Jordan Addison - 88.5 pic.twitter.com/AJXUYNN3Nq
This was also doubly true last year with Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave checking in at No. 1 and No. 2, and then JSN came and performed better than both as a first-year starter (which, to be fair, Wilson warned us would happen, we just thought it was hyperbole).
The real question is for how many consecutive years will Ohio State have the best returning receiver in the country? Because given *gestures vaguely at the receivers room* there's a solid chance I'll be writing these same words at this time next year, too.
HIGHLY ACCLAIMED. I must admit, when Ohio State hired Perry Eliano – who turned two corners who weren't even top-1500 recruits into the Thorpe Award winner and a consensus All-American – and decided not to have him coaching cornerbacks, I was quite skeptical.
But after hearing Jalen Ramsey – who might be the best cornerback in the NFL – talk about the guy Ryan Day just made the cornerbacks coach instead, I'm willing to give it a shot!
“Coach Walton, he’s probably one of the best DB coaches if not the best DB coach I’ve ever had in my life,” Ramsey said. “He was really good. He was not only a good coach, coached us super hard, made sure we was on our technique but he was a good person, too.
“He cared about us off the field. Cared about battles we may have been fighting off the field. He was always there for us, man. It meant a lot that he was always trying to understand. A lot of times you get in situations where people in authority or people in a position, they don’t even care to try to understand you as a person, you as a player, anything. But he was really thorough in everything, to make sure he knew us individually as a player and as a person.”
I'm sold. Let's do this.
GRASPING AT STRAWS. The Buckeyes couldn't seem to get any sort of rhythm going in last week's road loss to Wisconsin, and you could tell by the season-high lineup combinations that at times, they were basically just throwing shit at a wall and hoping it stuck.
The #Buckeyes used a season-high 25 different lineup combos at Wisconsin.— Adam Jardy (@AdamJardy) January 16, 2022
Nine of them were new, one of which was OSU's best for the game:
Russell, Ahrens, Branham, Key and Young outscored the Badgers 9-0 in 2:02.
To be fair to Chris Holtmann, I also would have a tough time coming up with a consistent lineup that's effective when my two best players get two first-half fouls and my starting point guard misses the game entirely. So this isn't really an indictment on him, just a reality of how that game played out.
But hey, they got that sweet rebound win on Sunday and now get to play an IUPUI team that's 1-14 on the season and is coming off a *checks notes* 35-point loss to a Milwaukee team with a 6-12 record. Should be a banger!
DRAFT DEADLINE. Today is the deadline for underclassmen to enter the NFL Draft, so by the end of the day, we should have a formal answer for all of those lingering holdouts (like Dawand Jones).
But we now know for sure that JJB will be back.
How could I turn my back, when theres so much more in store pic.twitter.com/fVTM19O72E— Javontae Jean-Baptiste (@Javontae_JB) January 16, 2022
A slightly annoying wrinkle is that deadline for the super seniors to withdraw from the draft still isn’t until Feb. 4, so technically, we still might not know who's staying and who's going for like three more weeks.
But I guess I'll take what I can get.
SONG OF THE DAY. "Manic Monday" by The Bangals.
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