Skull Session: TreVeyon Henderson is a Dangerous Receiver, How Iowa Destroyed Ohio State's Defense, and Malaki Branham Turns Heads

By Kevin Harrish on July 18, 2022 at 4:59 am
TreVeyon Henderson is carrying the ball in today's skull session.

Ohio State's most recent commit has far too much swagger to be a tight end but I'm absolutely here for it.

Word of the Day: Titillate.

 PASS CATCHER. Last season, TreVeyon Henderson was arguably the best and most talented running back in the country while carrying the ball – which is good, since that is the primary function of a running back, after all.

Turns out, he was pretty damn good downfield, too.

For context, Jaxon Smith-Njigba generated a 141.8 passer rating last season, and it was the fourth-highest by a Power Five receiver with at least 100 targets since 2017.

I am sincerely glad he's on my team because defending a guy who can guy you for 6.8 yards per carry on the ground and then turn around and then do that downfield sounds like absolute hell.

Best of luck, Big Ten! You've got two more years of that bullshit!

 COOL COOL COOL. For those of you tryna spend your Monday morning furious about a game that happened five years ago, Brian Ferentz got real candid about how he butchered Ohio State's 2017 defense with Iowa's tight ends.

Turns out, it was a glorious game plan. But even he was stunned at just how atrocious the Buckeye defense was.

“We knew this was going to be an issue,” Ferentz said. “I didn’t think it would result in things like this. But it did. Now, this is where you get the payoff. We’ve shown them this. This is all we were trying to do the whole time. Just get these two guys (Hockenson and Fant) vertical.”

Four plays later, Hockenson and Fant again trade from left to right with Fant detached. This time, Iowa sees a slightly different coverage with two defenders over the tight ends, but it doesn’t matter.

“I don’t really care which one covers Noah,” Ferentz said. “I just know he’s gonna run by him.”

Fant blazed past safety Jordan Fuller on a wheel route and hauled in a 25-yard touchdown strike. Barely 90 seconds later, Iowa got the ball back on an interception. On first-and-goal from the 3-yard line, Ferentz sent Fant in motion left to right and the discombobulated Buckeyes left him wide open in the flat for an easy touchdown reception.

“We hit this about 40 times when Noah was here,” Ferentz said of the flat pass. “He caught (19) touchdown passes. I bet 15 of them were on shit like this. This is also terrible defense. Nobody’s covering him.”

"This is also terrible defense. Nobody’s covering him."

And here I was thinking I was at least a little bit over it. I guess time can only heal so many wounds.

If there's anything I learned here, it's that I can at least find peace about the fact that the five interceptions didn't matter even a little bit because Iowa was just going to score as many points as it wanted to anyway – which is a wild, wild thing to think about.

 SUMMER LEAGUE STAR. It looks like Malaki Branham's wasting no time turning heads in the NBA Summer League.

From what I understand, 14 of those points came in the game's last five minutes, which is absolutely absurd. Buddy's out here putting the team on his back in crunch time.

 TOP DOG. I'm less than a week removed from defecating on Pro Football Focus' quarterback position rankings, but at least they got it right this time.


The wide receiver factory in Columbus, Ohio, has another elite talent in its hands with Smith-Njigba, who had a record-breaking ending to his 2021 sophomore season when he hauled in 15 passes for 336 yards and three touchdowns in last year’s Rose Bowl, helping him earn a Power Five-best 91.7 PFF grade for the year. Smith-Njigba also generated a 141.8 passer rating on his targets last year — the fourth-highest by a Power Five receiver with at least 100 targets since 2017. He has elite short-area quicks and ball skills, along with route-running ability, that holds up to the Ohio State standard. He was the nation's most productive receiver in 2021 and it’s hard imagining that changing much in 2022.

To be clear, if the top receiver on this list wasn't JSN, I might have had to figure out how to commit arson on a website.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Toxicity" by System of a Down.

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