Skull Session: Ryan Day Staff Makeover Better Work, Tate Martell Retires From Football, and a Possible Future Hoops Uniform

By Kevin Harrish on January 19, 2022 at 5:06 am
Ryan Day is outside the tunnel in today's skull session.

If you haven't heard the news, record-breaking former Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell is calling it a career.

He's retiring from football to pursue his business ventures.

He may not have ever seen the field in a meaningful capacity at any of his stops, but he'll always have this:

In all seriousness, I wish Tate all the best in whatever's next for him. After everything that went down, he clearly still considers himself a Buckeye, so I do too.

Word of the Day: Sump.

 EXTREME MAKEOVER. You really don't want to ever be in a situation where you have to fire 80 percent of your coaches on one side of the ball. You especially don't want to be in that position more than once.

But four years into the job, Ryan Day's already cleaned house multiple times, putting him in *shutters* John Cooper territory.

Four new assistants in one offseason are the most the program has had in a year that didn’t also include a head coaching change since John Cooper brought in four new assistants following the 1994 season. Going back to Earle Bruce’s first staff in 1979, only Cooper (three times) and now Day have had this much coaching turnover in one offseason.

These are necessary changes, but it also feels like the kind of makeover that a head coach should only get to perform once or twice before the shortcomings start to fall solely at his feet. This isn’t filling spots because your assistants got better opportunities elsewhere (with the possible exception of Barnes, who took a job as the defensive coordinator at Memphis). This is identifying deficiencies and bringing in new hires to correct previous missteps. The lengths to which Day reshaped his staff this offseason suggests he understands the urgency at hand following a season in which the Buckeyes lost to Michigan, didn’t win the Big Ten and didn’t make the College Football Playoff — but more broadly didn’t play up to the standard that the program expects in a number of areas.


In the most important offseason of his coaching career thus far, he needed to aggressively attack those deficiencies and nail all of these hires.

He’s done the former. We’ll see over time if he’s accomplished the latter.

If not, it seems unlikely he’ll have many more chances to undertake such a large-scale remodeling of his staff.

To be fair, the first time Day overhauled Ohio State's defensive staff, it wasn't his hires he was cutting loose. It also went great – the Buckeyes instantly went from a bad defense to quite literally the best in the country.

In my opinion, his biggest crime isn't overhauling his staff multiple times, it's not doing it sooner the second time. It was very clear to everyone with eyes that Ohio State's defensive staff wasn't cutting it last season, but Day gave them a COVID mulligan and ran it back with no changes.

That said, when you fire everybody but the guy widely regarded as the best defensive line coach of all time and go full "blank check" to replace them, you're gonna need to see some results. We can't afford to be having this conversation in two years.

 NEW THREADS? Ohio State hoops has pretty undeniably the best uniform set in the country, and there's a chance it could get even crispier in the future.


This would instantly become my favorite jersey yet – and that's saying something.

There's something to be said about a concept that's both completely brand new but also feels like it's a throwback that's part of history. This completely nails it.

 GIVE HIM A CHANCE. I said this yesterday and I'll say it again – the best kinds of transfers are the walk-ons just looking for someone to give them a chance to show what they can do. And that's walk-on quarterback Jagger Laroe. 

And he's got himself quite the scrimmage and practice highlight reel.

#NeverForget LaRoe quietly looking like the best quarterback on the field in Ohio State's spring game that was supposed to showcase the Buckeyes' three-way quarterback battle. The dude went 5-for-6 for 75 yards and a score while leading one of the most efficient two-minute drills I've ever seen.

Also, the whole "practicing against the best" thing lowkey works even better for the scout team guys than it does for reserve scholarship players. On the scout team, you go up against the first team every single day and every single play – far more often than a scholarship backup.

All that to say, someone needs to take a chance on this fellow. If Stetson Bennett can win a national title, Jagger Laroe can help your football team. I mean shit, is there any way he's worse than any quarterback Iowa's trotted out there for the past decade?

 OFF THE CHAIN. The Ohio State women's hoops team just got quite a bit more fun with the rollout of a brand new tradition (and by brand new, I mean borrowed and repurposed from someone else, just like 95% of other traditions throughout history).

Meet The Dub Chain.

Is this dangerously cheesy? Absolutely. Is it also extremely fun and a noticeable boost to team chemistry and morale? Clearly – you watched the same video I did.

At the end of the day, if your team loves it, it's a great idea.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Bloody Valentine" by Machine Gun Kelly.

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