Skull Session: Marvin Harrison Jr. Wrestles With NFL Draft Decision, Six Buckeyes Receive AP All-Big Ten First-Team Honors and Bill Busch Makes a Wacky NIL Proposal

By Chase Brown on December 8, 2023 at 5:00 am
Marvin Harrison Jr.
Joseph Maiorana / USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Skull Session.

Here is an A+ tweet from Ohio State Hoops:

Let's have a good Friday, shall we?

 DON’T. DON’T GIVE ME HOPE. In a press conference on Thursday, Marvin Harrison Jr., one of the greatest receivers, if not the greatest receiver, in Ohio State history was asked about his football future and his potential to enter the 2024 NFL draft.

His response?

My response to his response?

I’ll put Harrison’s chances of returning to Ohio State at about... 0.1%.

No doubt someone will comment, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance.”

I look forward to seeing that Dumb and Dumber GIF in the comments section.

 AWARDS SZN IN COLUMBUS. After the Big Ten announced its conference awards on Nov. 29 and 30 – which included an Offensive Player of the Year award for Marvin Harrison Jr., Tight End of the Year award for Cade Stover, Linebacker of the Year award for Tommy Eichenberg and 21 All-Big Ten honors for the Buckeyes – the Associated Press added on to those accolades this week.

A Biletnikoff Award frontrunner and Heisman contender, Harrison was named the AP Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year after posting 67 catches for 1,211 yards and 15 total touchdowns in the 2023 regular season. He was also one of six Buckeyes to receive AP All-Big Ten first-team recognition:

  • RB TreVeyon Henderson - In nine games, Henderson carried the ball 137 times for 854 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also added 19 receptions for 229 yards as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. In three seasons at Ohio State, the 5-foot-10, 212-pound running back has collected 3,243 yards from scrimmage and 37 total touchdowns in 30 appearances for the Buckeyes.
  • TE Cade Stover - A two-time Ohio State captain, Stover had the best season of his collegiate career in 2023, recording 41 receptions for 576 yards and five touchdowns and setting personal bests in the first two of those three categories. For his efforts, Stover is a John Mackey Award finalist with Georgia’s Brock Bowers and Colorado State’s Dallin Holker.
  • LG Donovan Jackson - In the regular season, Jackson was the cornerstone of Ohio State’s offensive line, which improved week after week from September to November. According to Pro Football Focus, Jackson had 10 pressures allowed in his 12 appearances – three fewer than what he allowed in 2022. He wasn’t penalized in those appearances, either.
  • DE JT Tuimoloau - According to PFF, this season Tuimoloau has paced the Buckeyes with 35 pressures. He also had a career-high four sacks and 34 tackles. The 6-foot-4, 270-pound defensive end was a difference-maker in Ohio State’s wins over Notre Dame and Penn State, making game-changing plays in the second half of both contests to seal those victories.
  • LB Tommy Eichenberg - For the second consecutive season, Eichenberg led the Buckeyes in tackles (82) and solo stops (41) in the regular season. He also collected 2.5 tackles for loss, one sack and one forced fumble. Like Stover, Eichenberg is a two-time Ohio State captain, and he quarterbacked Jim Knowles’ defense in back-to-back years.

Ohio State’s six honorees tied Michigan for the most on the AP All-Big Ten first team. Additionally, four Buckeyes appeared on the AP All-Big Ten second team: Offensive tackle Josh Fryar, offensive guard Matt Jones, defensive tackle Tyleik Williams and cornerback Denzel Burke.

Cheers to these Ohio State players who were selected for both All-Big Ten honors and AP All-Big Ten honors. These Buckeyes were phenomenal all season long and deserve their flowers.

 “MAKE A PLAY. GET PAID.” After NCAA president Charlie Baker proposed the creation of a new Division I subdivision that would allow schools to compensate athletes through trust funds and NIL, there have been some other – let’s call them outside-the-box solutions... sure, that can work – outside-the-box solutions that could make people interested in NIL efforts in college football.

One of them came from Bill Busch, a former college football coach (which, once upon a time, included a stop at Ohio State in 2015) turned permanent radio host on 93.7 The Ticket in Firth, Nebraska.

Busch called it “Big Screen Bonus Bucks.”

“Here’s how it works. Make a play. Get paid,” he said.

In the clip, Busch laid out a situation where a player makes a big play, and the Jumbotron flashes the player’s Cash App, Venmo or Zelle account on the screen, allowing fans to donate in real-time. The screen could then track the total donations coming in live for all in the stadium – the players, the coaches, the fans, etc. – to see as the number racks up.

While Busch’s idea is, one, ludicrous and, two, improbable to ever occur, it does invite one to retrospect on some of the clutch moments in Ohio State football history, namely the ones that happened in Ohio Stadium.

Like, imagine if Chase Young’s Cash App appeared on the Jumbotron as he recorded his fourth sack and fifth tackle for loss in Ohio State’s 38-7 win over Wisconsin.

Imagine if JT Barrett’s Venmo appeared on the Jumbotron as he threw a touchdown pass to Marcus Baugh to complete a 15-point fourth-quarter comeback and secure a 39-38 win over Penn State in 2017.

Imagine if Curtis Samuel’s Zelle popped up on the Jumbotron as he leaped in the end zone to seal Ohio State’s 30-27 overtime win over Michigan in 2016.

Would Young, Barrett, Samuel and the countless other Buckeyes who contributed some of the monumental moments in Ohio State history have made hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in those moments?

That’s a whole lot of dollar bills.

But in a stadium with 105,000+ fans week-to-week, those numbers wouldn’t be impossible to reach in short order.

Hm. Maybe Gene Smith (or the next athletic director) should look into something like that...

 OLYMPIC VILLAGE. This week, Ohio State diver Lyle Yost and wrestler Jesse Mendez received special honors in their sports, as Yost qualified for the 2024 World Aquatics Championships as a member of Team USA and Mendez received a Big Ten Wrestler of the Week accolade.

Let’s dive into those honors.

Pun intended.

Yost won an NCAA championship in the 1-meter dive in 2023. That event springboarded him – pun intended – into a competition in the same event at Winter Nationals in Knoxville, Tennessee. Yost, a Shaker Heights, Ohio, native, took second in the preliminaries and wowed in his main dive, recording an aggregate score of 743.65 to claim the event title. With the win, Yost will represent the United States at the World Aquatics Championships in Doha, Qatar, in February.

As for Mendez, the Ohio State wrestler won the 141-pound bracket at the Cliff Keen Invitational, defeating Isaac Byers (Appalachian State), Jaden Pepe (Harvard), No. 14 Vince Cornella (Cornell), No. 4 Brock Hardy (Nebraska) and No. 7 Ryan Jack (NC State) in the process. The sophomore from Crown Point, Indiana, was awarded his third Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honor of his career.

Between the Clarion Open, Cliff Keen Invitational and Ohio State’s duals with No. 3 Virginia Tech, Edinboro, Columbia and Hofstra, Mendez has an 11-0 record with one major decision, five tech falls and four pins.

The 2023 All-American and No. 3-ranked wrestler in 2023-24 will look to continue his early success when the Buckeyes host No. 18 Pitt at the Covelli Center on Sunday. His opponent will be No. 20 Cole Mathews, so, I’ll take Mendez, please and thanks.

 SONG OF THE DAY. “Live And Let Die (Live)” - Guns N’ Roses

 CUT TO THE CHASE. Centenarian survivors of Pearl Harbor attack are returning to honor those who perished 82 years ago... “Barbie,” “Oppenheimer,” “Succession” are among AFI Award recipients... Adults can now legally possess and grow marijuana in Ohio – but there’s nowhere to buy it... Panthers TE Hayden Hurst details “scary” post-traumatic amnesia diagnosis... Over $239 million worth of cocaine, including from a narco-submarine, seized in Pacific last month.

 ONE MORE THING. Hello. Hi. Are you still here? Today, we release our third in-season update of the Eleven Warriors Buckeye 20 – our year-round ranking of Ohio State’s top 20 football players. Spoiler: Marvin Harrison Jr. remains the No. 1 player in the rankings, but one new Buckeye landed in the top 10. I wonder who he was! Check out the Buckeye 20 page to see the full rankings after the third month of the season.

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