Skull Session: Ohio State Defensive Ends Make Great Journalists, Eli Apple Focusing On Self-Improvement and J.K. Dobbins Is Back

By Chase Brown on August 9, 2022 at 5:00 am
J.K. Dobbins is back.

Hello, Eleven Warriors readers.

I am Chase Brown, the newest member of the 11W staff. Jason has handed me the skeletal keyboard, and I am ready to start on my first Skull Session as a producer.

Writing the Skull Sessions will be a work in progress for me. The two writers in this role before me – DJ Byrnes and Kevin Harrish – offered unique creativity, entertainment and humor that kicked off each weekday morning for this site, and I want to do the same. DJ and Kevin were both fantastic people in this role, and they will be tough acts to follow. With that said, I need to make this clear (to myself more than anyone): I am not them.

Change is hard. I think the easy thing to do would be to keep everything exactly how it was when Kevin left, but where's the fun in that? A lot will be the same, but I'll also add my own spin on things. I promise to work my hardest to produce quality work for the Eleven Warriors audience while keeping the same light-hearted tone as my predecessors, and I look forward to starting each day with you.

Let's begin.

  EVERYBODY'S A... JOURNALIST? Ohio State offensive line coach Justin Frye and his position group were available to the media on Monday. When offensive tackle Josh Fryar sat at his table to answer questions from reporters, a few more "journalists" eagerly awaited answers.

When asked which Buckeye defensive ends were the toughest to guard during practice, Fryar listed several names – many of whom were sitting in front of him – including Zach Harrison, J.T. Tuimoloau, Tyler Friday, Javontae Jean-Baptiste, Mike Hall and Jack Sawyer.

"All of them are tough," Fryar said. "They have their special moves and special rushes that they do that you have to react to them and see what they give you."

Given what they showed on Monday, I think any of those players would make fine journalists. However, I would not have made a great Ohio State defensive end. Maybe I could've been a special teams player who understands the playbook, has a high motor and is a great locker room guy.

 J.K. ALL DAY. J.K. Dobbins recorded 2,250 scrimmage yards and 23 touchdowns for Ohio State in 2019, then collected 805 yards and eight scores as a rookie backup running back for the Ravens the following year. 

Right when he was set to become the premier ballcarrier for Baltimore, Dobbins suffered a torn ACL in his team's final preseason game on Aug. 28, 2021, against the Washington Football Team. He missed the entire season.

On Monday, Dobbins was activated off the Physically Unable to Perform list after 345 days of recovery and rehabilitation. He is on track to start the Ravens' season-opening contest against the New York Jets.

 ELI APPLE IS GOING THROUGH CHANGES. Apple has been suspended, traded and written off as a bust during his NFL career. In years past, he'd let others' opinions affect his emotions, especially opinions shared on social media.

The former Buckeye and Cincinnati Bengals cornerback told Tyler Dunne of Go Long that his mental health has been on a roller-coaster for too long. After his team's Super Bowl loss to the Rams, Apple has turned a corner and is no longer concerned about what others say about him.

Because it’s always different, he adds, “when you see someone out in person.” Words on a screen are “just some words.”

Adds Apple: “It’s not going to change my day or change the way I look at myself, the talent I have and the people around me. They believe in me. That’s all that matters.”

Granted, it’s not like Apple deleted his social media after that Rams game. He actually did respond to the mass furor on his Instagram account. Posting a picture of himself leaving SoFi Stadium, he posted a warning to the rest of the NFL in writing: “Yall ReAwoke A Fire In Me That Will Only Make Me Stronger and Im Beyond Excited To Unleash That Demon Again to Exponential Levels On Any Opp That Lines Up Across From Me Next Season.”

 SHAMELESS PLUG. I wrote my first story for Eleven Warriors on Monday. See what former Ohio State linebacker and current Notre Dame graduate assistant James Laurinaitis said about his first coaching opportunity, his relationship with Marcus Freeman and how Notre Dame is preparing for Ohio State.

 SONG OF THE DAY. “Come With Me Now” by Caamp, a Columbus folk band with excellent music.

 THEM LINKS (AND NO, THEY'RE NOT BEHIND A PAYWALL). The Kansas City Royals are selling BBQ Reese's Sandwiches at concession stands... "Grease" star Olivia Newtown-John dies at 73... an 85-year-old message in a bottle found inside New Zealand monument... A massive sinkhole was discovered at a Chilean mining site...

 THEM LINKS. The Kansas City Royals will sell BBQ Reese's pulled pork sandwiches at games... A massive sinkhole was discovered at a Chilean mining site... Casper Mattress Company is paying people to sleep... "Grease" star Olivia Newton-John dies at 73... A comedian gave a standup routine for one audience member...

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