Skull Session: Jaxon Smith-Njigba's Brother Hypes Him Up, Styles Family Debuts Split Jersey, and C.J. Saunders Turns Heads

By Kevin Harrish on August 1, 2022 at 4:58 am
Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Folks, I have delightful news: college football will be played this month.

We’ve made it.

Word of the Day: Relinquish.

 FREE AGENCY IS CANCELED. It looks like full-on college football free agency won't be happening after all – at least this year.

Multiple sources told The Athletic on Saturday that it is increasingly unlikely that the Division I Board of Directors will vote to eliminate the NCAA rule prohibiting multiple transfers by athletes at its Aug. 3 meeting. This would mean that the one-time transfer rule would remain in place. The creation of transfer windows may also be delayed.

I've gotten to the point where it's too exhausting to have an earnest #take on every one of the landmark changes college football is seeing these days, so I've taken a much more simple approach.

Change the rules to whatever you want, just make sure I have a beer, a brat, and the Bucks on fall Saturdays and I'll be a happy man. I'm a simple man.

 HYPE HIM UP. If y'all have a hype man anywhere close to Jaxon Smith-Njigba's brother Canaan, you're clearly doing life right.

Canaan, who is a professional baseball player in the Pittsburgh Pirates system, is already putting his little brother’s name in the GOAT category.

“Only a few people know what (Jaxon) is going to do this season,” Canaan said. “It’s going to be crazy. Historic. He’s probably going to be the greatest receiver ever after this season.”

You mean greatest at Ohio State?

“In college football – ever.”

That’s bold talk from the big leaguer.

Jaxon’s reaction? A chuckle. A smile. But no denial.

“You know, it’s an older brother (saying it), but I feel like it’s real talk.”


“He has that mentality he’s going to destroy whatever,” Canaan said. “He’s going to make plays. His route running is, there’s not anyone who can guard him one-on-one. That’s just being honest and real.”

The best part about this honestly isn’t even Canaan hyping up his brother, but it’s Jaxon basically just agreeing that he’s about to establish himself as the greatest receiver ever.

I’ve long maintained that you simply cannot be a truly elite receiver without a level of absurd confidence that borders on arrogance to the casual observer. So, I’m mighty delighted to see that from JSN.

Now, let’s see it, king.

 SAUNDERS IN THE SLOT. In quite the jarring contrast to a guy who could realistically go down as the greatest receiver in Buckeye football history, we now move on to a guy who never started a game at Ohio State.

C.J. Saunders came to Ohio State as a walk-on cornerback, switched to receiver and appeared in just 15 games throughout his five-year career, playing mostly in garbage time. Then, he had to miss the one season where he might have actually played, and was sidelined from football for another year because of the NCAA's chickenshit.

All that, and now it sure sounds like he's set to be a major contributor on an NFL roster.

The Panthers have been searching for a reliable slot receiver since Curtis Samuel departed via free agency in 2020. Early indications suggest Saunders is in line to be the team’s No. 3 receiver in 11 personnel.


During OTAs and minicamp, Saunders dazzled in the slot, enough to earn a healthy dose of first-team reps and targets just three days into his first NFL training camp.

“He’s quick. He’s fast. He gets open. He got open all OTAs. He’s a dependable player,” Rhule said. “We need to put the pads on and see him create that same separation with pads on. That’ll be his challenge moving forward.”


“When it relates to third down. You need someone who can move the chains,” Rhule said. “C.J. is someone that I think everyone on offense trusts.”

Good for C.J. Dude did nothing but work his ass off with pretty much everything stacked against him, and now he’s got NFL head coaches drooling about him.

I don’t think Brian Hartline is short on recruiting pitches, but “you don’t even need to start a game here to become an NFL starter” is one he can add to his dossier.

 SPLIT JERSEY 2.0. It looks like the Styles family is bringing back the infamous split jersey, because apparently that’s something we need to run back.

My good pal Colton Denning made the extremely offensive suggestion of making the Laura Quinn split jersey from the Fiesta Bowl a trophy for any Ohio State vs. Notre Dame game.

And I… couldn’t be more on board? The only amendment I would make to his proposal is that the mascot of the winning team must wear it for the duration of the next game.

Make it happen, people in charge.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Phone Numbers" by Dominc Fike.

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