Skull Session: Ryan Day Dismisses Notion That Ohio State Bought Its 2024 Roster, and Garrett Wilson Calls the Buckeyes’ WR Room “Competitive As Hell”

By Chase Brown on May 30, 2024 at 5:00 am
Ryan Day

Welcome to the Skull Session.

JT Tuimoloau is The Nittany Lion Hunter.

Have a good Thursday.

 NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. The Buckeyes have had quite the offseason in 2024.

Ohio State returned several stars, including TreVeyon Henderson, Donovan Jackson, Emeka Egbuka, JT Tuimoloau, Jack Sawyer, Tyleik Wliiams, Ty Hamilton, Cody Simon, Denzel Burke, Jordan Hancock and Lathan Ransom. It also landed transfers like Will Howard, Julian Sayin, Quinshon Judkins, Seth McLaughlin and Caleb Downs.

That combination of retention and addition led some to believe the Buckeyes "bought" their roster in 2024. However, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day dismissed that narrative on Tuesday during an appearance on THE Podcast.

“People say a lot about Ohio State. That’s just the way it goes. We get a lot of attention,” Day said. “That's not true. We brought in six guys in the offseason and in January, and they were all to fit holes.”

As Day sees it, Ohio State played the game and used the transfer portal to add depth to its roster like all other 133 FBS programs did this offseason.

“That’s the game. We're gonna play it, and we’re gonna be aggressive,” Day said. “The guys on the team are the ones that embraced it. I talked to TreVeyon Henderson before we brought in Quinshon Judkins. I talked to the guys on the team about bringing these pieces in, and they all wanted that. “That's what is great about Ohio State. During the recruiting process, I look these recruits in the eye and say, 'Ohio State is not for everybody' ...

... not for the faint of heart? ...

“You have to want to be great here. You have to want to be around dogs every single day. You have to be the best in the world at what you do, whether you are a player or a coach. You can't worry about what others say. That's kind of a small-minded mentality where you are worried about all these different things. JT Tuimoloau didn't worry about staying close to home. Jeremiah Smith didn't worry about staying close to home. Garrett Wilson didn't worry about staying close to home. They said, 'Hey, let's go to the best place in America that's gonna develop me and the hardest place to get on the field.' That's how it's gonna be at Ohio State. C.J. Stroud said, 'Pressure is a privilege.' If you're not willing to embrace that and understand what comes with that, this isn't the right place for you. But this is the right place for (the 2024 transfers). They're here for a reason.”

They are, indeed.

This season, Howard will (probably) be Ohio State's QB1, Judkins will create the best backfield in college football with Henderson, McLaughlin will add a veteran presence to the offensive line and Downs will be one of the nation's best defenders in the nation's best defense. Meanwhile, Kacmarek and Sayin will add depth to their positions – the former behind Gee Scott Jr. and Jelani Thurman, and the latter behind Howard and Devin Brown.

 “COMPETITIVE AS HELL.” Speaking of Garrett Wilson, whom Ryan Day mentioned while describing the #content of the section above, the former Ohio State wide receiver held a press conference after the Jets’ OTA practice on Wednesday. Amid the Q&A, a reporter asked Wilson what sets Ohio State's wide receiver room apart from other schools in the FBS. His answer was fantastic.

“Well, I think they recruit a certain type of receiver. There are a good amount of five-stars each cycle, and the ones who want to come to Ohio State ain't scared to play with another five-star that came in before them. That says a lot about someone. It says a lot about the confidence they have in their ability and their willingness to come in and learn. ... We know how to practice. We make practice as hard as possible so the game is what it is. When you have these other five-stars around you — in my time, it was Jameson (Williams), Chris Olave, Marvin (Harrison Jr.) and Jaxon (Smith-Njigba) — we were always competitive as hell. ... I think that brings out the best in guys. We had a great coach there (Brian Hartline) that got it rolling and instilled that in us. But, yeah, man, I think it says a lot about the way they recruit and the guys they decide to get. You don't see that too often. Most guys want to be the guy. But at O-State, it's like, 'Nah, nah, nah, you will get it on the back end, but come here and learn and put in the work, learn how to practice, and it will all pay off in the backend.”


“Come here and learn and put in the work, learn how to practice, and it will all pay off in the back end.”

That is the reason Ohio State is Wide Receiver U.

I hope that mindset continues for years to come.

 BEST FOOD SPOTS IN CBUS? This week, Ohio State football posted a video that showed several Buckeyes naming their favorite places to eat in Columbus. 

Lincoln Kienholz named Oshio. Devin Brown named Marcela’s. James Peoples named Hyde Park (and said he eats there “every week,” something most people in Columbus could never, ever afford – must be nice). C.J. Hicks named Soul 2 Go. JT Tuimoloau named Las Tapias and Nico’s Cafe. And there were a few more, but I can’t name all of them.

While I encourage you to debate the best food spots in Columbus in the comment section, the reason I featured the video above was not to have readers argue about food or restaurants, though that makes for excellent offseason #content. Instead, I included the video because of something Zen Michalski said around the 20-second mark.

“If you all aren’t aware, we do food review videos – me, Donovan and Tyleik – called Don, Zen, Leik Food Aventures.”

I was not, in fact, aware. Therefore, I decided to look for said adventures. I found one with a quick search on X.

One, I love that Michalski, Jackson and Williams have a food review show.

Two, is Bubbakoos good?

Let me know in the comments.

 “I’M NOT HERE TO DO THAT.” Remember when Steelers running back Jaylen Warren said his team’s special teams coordinator, Danny Smith, had entertained the idea of former Ohio State and Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields returning kicks this season?

Fields shut down that narrative fast on Tuesday.

“Nah, I’m not here to do that,” Fields told reporters when the Steelers returned to the practice fields for OTAs. “It was kind of a joke, to be honest.”

Fields then revealed he was in the meeting when Smith told Warren and other Pittsburgh players that Fields would be a good kick returner in 2024. He laughed at the comment, as did others, and told Smith he hadn’t returned kicks since he was a middle schooler in Kennesaw, Georgia.

When Warren’s comments went viral, Fields was surprised – but not all that surprised.

“It’s funny how serious social media took it,” Fields said. “It was kind of funny to me when people were making a big deal about it for no reason.”

Oh, social media.

What a cesspool.

But I digress.

As Fields said, he’s not in Pittsburgh to return kicks. He’s there to compete with nine-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson for the title of QB1. While it’s expected that Wilson will win the competition, Fields has treated each OTA session like he will be the starter in 2024.

“I’m competing,” Fields said last week. “I think Russ knows that. We’re competing with each other. He helps me get better. … I definitely don’t have the mindset that I will sit all year. I’m coming in every day, giving it all I got. I’m pushing him to be the best, and he’s pushing me to be my best each and every day.”

May the best man win.

 SONG OF THE DAY. “Hoot Owl” - Rayland Baxter and Sophia Roze.

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