Skull Session: Marvin Harrison Jr. is “A Gifted Athlete,” Julian Fleming Discusses His Decision to Transfer From Ohio State and Glorien Gough Gets a Promotion

By Chase Brown on April 19, 2024 at 5:00 am
Julian Fleming vs. Michigan

Welcome to the Skull Session.

Griffin 2023 → Griffin 2024.

Have a good Friday.

 “HE’S SUCH A GIFTED ATHLETE.” This week, Dan Hope created an NFL Mock Draft Roundup that looked at where Marvin Harrison Jr., Mike Hall, Cade Stover, Tommy Eichenberg, Josh Proctor, Steele Chambers, Matt Jones, Miyan Williams and Xavier Johnson have appeared in 21 mock drafts from ESPN, The Athletic and more.

In those mock drafts, all 21 prognosticators agreed that Harrison will be either the fourth or fifth overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft. Of those 21 mocks, 14 have Harrison landing with the Arizona Cardinals, five have him landing with the Los Angeles Chargers and two others have him landing with the Buffalo Bills or Atlanta Falcons.

Speaking of the Falcons, one of the franchise’s former head coaches, Mike Smith, discussed Harrison’s future in the NFL with Betway. In the interview, Smith called the former Ohio State wide receiver “a gifted athlete with an unbelievable skill set.” He also shared his belief that Harrison is a “generational prospect” who will have a decorated career in the league.

From Betway:

Marvin Harrison Jr is being hyped as a generational prospect. Would you say he’s the best overall player in this year’s draft?

“All the draft experts think he is, that's for sure. They say he's the best wide receiver, and he's getting compared to prospects like Ja'Marr Chase, A. J. Green, Julio Jones and Calvin Johnson Jr. When they compare him to these, he must definitely be a very good player. … Just like it's a consensus with the first pick in the draft (Caleb Williams), we know who the first non-quarterback taken is going to be. I'm confident to say that Marvin Harrison Jr. will be the first non-quarterback to be picked. … He's such a gifted athlete with an unbelievable skillset that sets him apart from all of the other receivers in this draft class.

“He's 6 foot 4, around 209 pounds and he creates so many mismatches based on those measurables. He's going to be a mismatch against all the corners in the National Football League. He's special. He's going to be able to step on the field day one as a wide receiver number one and you'll be able to win with him. … He is something. On the whole draft board, if you had to pick a generational prospect, it would be him and if he stays healthy, he's going to be a multi-time Pro Bowler, at least. He has that type of talent." 

Whoever has the chance to draft Harrison needs to KISS — keep it simple stupid.

That’s it. That’s the operation.

KISS and you’ll draft one of the best wide receiver prospects of all time.

As former Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud warned NFL teams this week, “Be smart. Don’t be dumb. Don’t think too hard.”

 NEW BEGINNINGS. Nineteen Ohio State football players entered the transfer portal in December. Few impacted the Buckeyes more than Julian Fleming.

Fleming entered the transfer portal on Dec. 4 after four seasons with the Buckeyes, during which he collected 79 receptions for 963 yards and seven touchdowns across 38 appearances. One month later, on Jan. 3, the Catawissa, Pennsylvania, native returned home to his home state, becoming a Penn State Nittany Lion.

This week, Johnny McGonigal of Penn Live secured an exclusive interview with Fleming. In it, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound pass-catcher discussed moving on from Ohio State, landing at Penn State and the “big plans” he has for his final collegiate season.

Here is what Fleming shared about his departure from Columbus:

Fleming looks back on his time at Ohio State with a heavy dose of perspective. He “developed as a receiver, as a leader, as a person, as a man in every sense” in Columbus. For that, he’s grateful. But it’s impossible for Fleming to ignore that he wouldn’t be at Penn State without the trials and tribulations he experienced with the Buckeyes.

Fleming came to Ohio State as the No. 4 prospect in the 2020 recruiting class. He was the No. 1 player in Pennsylvania and the top receiver in the country. Every school in the country — Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, etc. — wanted him. But that didn’t guarantee him anything. His freshman year, the COVID-shortened 2020 season, was “a big wash.” He started in the Big Ten championship game, which was cool. But Fleming hardly contributed with future first-round picks Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson commanding the ball. Olave skipped the NFL draft and returned for the 2021 season, much to Fleming’s surprise. Wilson had another year left, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba, another future first-rounder, emerged. That, plus an offseason surgery, derailed his sophomore campaign before it ever took off.

Fleming noted that Jameson Williams — later an All-American at Alabama and a first-round pick — transferring out after the 2020 season summed up Ohio State’s receiver room at the time.

“It was an overwhelming amount of talent,” Fleming said. “There was no way to possibly get everyone in the rotation when the guys who were starting were starting.”

Fleming dealt with two more injuries before the 2022 season but finished strong. Despite ceding time to another dynamic duo in Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka, Fleming tallied 34 catches for 533 yards and six touchdowns, his best output in an Ohio State uniform. He underwent another offseason surgery in 2023 before seeing his pass-catching role diminish.

“There were ups and downs. I feel like that’s the best way to put it,” Fleming said with the maturity of a 23-year-old. “It was a rocky road. I had a lot of good things that happened, a lot of bad things that happened. It is what it is. It made me into who I am today.”

But Fleming knew it was time for a change.


Fleming started thinking about the portal after the 2023 regular season ended with a loss to Michigan — or as Fleming still calls it, “That Team Up North.” He had “mature, to the point conversations” with [Ryan] Day and [Brian] Hartline, returned home to ponder his future and went back to Columbus to deliver the verdict to his coaches.

“I shook everyone’s hand, and that was it,” Fleming said. He added that when he entered the portal, he didn’t have a specific destination in mind. He didn’t talk to any coaches or schools prior to leaving Ohio State. “It was kind of just me betting on myself.”

And I hope that gamble pays off.

Seriously, I hope Fleming thrives at Penn State.

Except, of course, when Ohio State travels to Beaver Stadium this fall.

Fleming arrived in Columbus with such promise. The No. 1 wide receiver and No. 4 overall prospect in the 2020 class, Fleming seemed destined for greatness at Ohio State. However, for whatever reason — be it his place on the depth chart, injuries and more — Fleming never quite reached his full potential with the Buckeyes. 

While unfortunate (for Fleming and Ohio State fans), there is still hope for him yet.

In his final season, Fleming will look to end his college career on a positive note.

“I want to be the best version of me that I can bring as a player and as a teammate,” Fleming told McGonigal. “I want to grab every opportunity this season.”

 WELCOME TO THE BIG LEAGUES. Ohio State club football defensive back Glorien Gough is now a walk-on for THE World Famous Ohio State Buckeyes. Gough’s promotion was announced at the spring game on Saturday while he stood next to some of the Buckeyes’ summer enrollees.

A Santa Ana, California, native and Mater Dei High School graduate, Gough is the fourth club football player to earn a call-up to the varsity program. Previous players include Chris Booker (2019-21), De’Shawn White (2017-18) and Eli Goins (2015-17).

“We are very excited for Glorien as he takes the next step in his football career,” club football head coach James Grega Jr. said in a statement. “Coming from Mater Dei, Glorien already had experience playing at an elite level. After the stellar year he had for us, we have no doubt he will excel at the next level and be the next great Ohio State walk-on.”

In one year with the club football program, Gough impressed with 38 tackles, five pass breakups, four interceptions and two punt blocks across nine games. His best performance came against Michigan State in the Great Lakes Conference title game. He collected five tackles and two interceptions. A third interception, which he returned for a touchdown, was nullified by a defensive penalty prior to the pick.

After the season, Gough received first-team All-American honors from the National Club Football Association.

All in all, Gough sounds like a ballhawk with a nose for the football. He will make a great addition to Ohio State’s defensive backfield (BIA) — and, likely, its special teams units — so I look forward to seeing the contributions he can make for the Buckeyes in the future.

 THIS AND THAT. Another Skull Session, another This and That.

You know the drill.

Last weekend, the Ohio State boxing club participated in the NCBA Championships in Charlotte, North Carolina. Head coach Nat Shineman emailed me this week to thank the Eleven Warriors community for helping the program reach its fundraising goals and recap the Buckeyes’ top-five performance at the event.

Eddie Kubit, Ohio State’s 165-pound male regional champion, lost his quarterfinal match to the eventual national champion from UConn. A senior and team captain, Kubit finishes his career with a 7-7 overall record. His 14 career matches are a program record.

Carmen Pape, Ohio State’s 156-pound female regional champion, won a handful of matches but lost her national title bout to a boxer from Army.

“Carmen battled back from a difficult first round to finish a bout that was almost too close to judge,” Shineman wrote. “Sbe ultimately lost a razor-thin split decision to become the national runner-up. Carmen was also honored by her peers as the female recipient of the 2024 Sportsmanship Award, presented to one male and one female boxer who displayed sportsmanship to all attending athletes.”

Nicoleta Durlesteanu also performed well at nationals, earning Most Outstanding Boxer honors from the tournament’s referees after a runner-up finish. Durlesteanu is the first Ohio State boxer to win the award at the national level. Finally, Ella Yi, Ohio State’s at-large qualifier at 132 pounds, had to drop out of the tournament due to a health issue at weigh-ins.

Nine current and former Ohio State wrestlers, including Brady Koontz, Joey McKenna, Jesse Mendez, Fritz Schierl, Kyle Snyder, Kollin Moore, Nic Boykin, Tate Orndorff and “Gas Tank” Gary Traub, will compete at the United States Olympic Trials this weekend in State College, Pennsylvania.

Here are the divisions in which each of those Buckeyes will compete:

  • 60kg: Koontz
  • 65kg: McKenna and Mendez
  • 87kg: Schierl
  • 97kg: Snyder, Moore, Boykin and Orndorff
  • 125kg: Traub

Day One of the trials will occur from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, while Day Two will occur from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6:30 to 10 p.m. on Saturday. All matches can be streamed on Peacock, and Saturday’s second session will be televised on USA Network.

While we are on the topic of wrestling, Ohio State head coach Tom Ryan and his program landed some massive commitments from Vince Bouzakis, the younger brother of current Buckeye wrestler Nic Bouzakis, and Maddox Shaw, the reigning Pennsylvania state champion at 139 pounds.

Talk about BOOMs.

In November 2023, Upper Deck Golf announced an event where people can golf inside Ohio Stadium in April, with greens on the field and tee boxes in the stands of THE Ohio State University’s Horseshoe-shaped stadium. 

Well, dear reader. April has arrived, and Upper Deck Golf is here.

According to the Upper Deck Golf website, a few tee times were still available for the event as of Thursday night.

Here are the two packages available to purchase:

The Standard Package ($79-99 per person)

  • Round of golf inside Ohio Stadium
  • Complimentary set of golf balls
  • Access to “Clubhouse Bar” with “Golfing Challenges”
  • Special stadium access

The VIP Package (Additional $60 per person)

  • Everything included in the Standard Package
  • Extra golf balls (with mulligans)
  • Free entry to the “Driving Challenge”
  • Free entry to the “Chipping Challenge”
  • Free entry to the “Putting Challenge”
  • Complimentary meal and beverage item (includes beer, wine or well drink for 21+)

That’s all, folks!

 SONG OF THE DAY. “Live and Let Die” - Paul McCartney.

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