Skull Session: Ryan Day Stays Strapped, Jack Sawyer Wants to Bring “Gold Pants Back to Columbus” and the Styles Brothers Raise Over $11,000 For the Huckleberry House

By Chase Brown on May 31, 2024 at 5:00 am
Ryan Day
Ohio State Dept. of Athletics

Welcome to the Skull Session.

Akron at 3:30 p.m. and Western Michigan at 7:30 p.m. 

Just like we all predicted.

Also, noon, 3:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. for the Nebraska game... we really narrowed that down.

Have a good Friday.

 STAY STRAPPED. Folks... Ryan Day went paintballin’ this week.

Yes, that photo is real.

And that's it.

That's the section.

 JACK. SAWYER. If Ohio State wins The Game and a national championship this fall, Buckeye Nation would praise Ryan Day first – and deservedly so, as he is the head coach and leader of the program. The list of people Buckeye Nation could praise second is endless, but to me, one stands out above the rest: Jack Sawyer.

Although Cody Simon and Tyleik Williams were the first Buckeyes to announce their official return to Ohio State, I see Sawyer as the architect of Ohio State’s reloaded roster. I think the 6-foot-5, 260-pound defensive end would agree with that assessment. He did, to some extent, during a recent appearance on “The Bobby Carpenter Show” with Bobby Carpenter and Joshua Perry. 

While he didn’t call himself an architect, Sawyer said his conversations with TreVeyon Henderson, Emeka Egbuka and others inspired the Buckeyes’ veterans to run it back for another season.

“We’re in our senior year. We’ve been in the program for three years going on four. Now, we are the old guys. We have to carry the water. We have to be the leaders in the locker room. We have to set the standard. We have to make sure we leave the program better than when we got here,” Sawyer said. “When we were all talking about coming back, I remember talking to Trey and Emeka about how our leadership would have to be to a different level. We’d have to hold the team to a different standard.”

Challenge accepted, Henderson and Egbuka said… give or take a few words. Donovan Jackson, JT Tuimoloau, Ty Hamilton, Denzel Burke, Jordan Hancock and Lathan Ransom said the same… give or take a few words.

Four months after those Buckeyes decided to come back, Sawyer said Ohio State has reaped the rewards of having a veteran presence in the locker room.

“We have the best leadership since I’ve been here,” Sawyer said. “You see people stepping into that mold now. You see Trey, Emeka and Denzel being more vocal. Everybody across the board has stepped up and filled that role we all should be.”

A native of Pickerington, Ohio, Sawyer hopes the Buckeyes will receive a larger reward than improved team culture in 2024.

“Being from Columbus, loving the Buckeyes through and through since I was a little kid, I wanted to leave a legacy (at Ohio State). That’s our main goal coming back,” Sawyer said. “We want to bring a national championship and the Gold Pants back to Columbus.”

So, if Ohio State wins The Game and a national championship this fall, praise Ryan Day. Then, not too long after, praise Jack Sawyer, the man who inspired almost a dozen NFL-caliber players to run it back with the Buckeyes.

 IT’S GO TIME. On Thursday, Ohio State cornerback Lorenzo Styles Jr. and linebacker Sonny Styles appeared on 97.1 The Fan's “Morning Juice” to discuss their offseason with the Buckeyes and, more importantly, their work with the Huckleberry House in Columbus.

For the second consecutive year, the Styles brothers will participate in a “Sleep Out” in downtown Columbus to raise awareness for youth homelessness in Central Ohio. This year's Sleep Out will occur at the Chase Plaza outside Field on Friday.

“Huckleberry House has been around since 1970 and we serve at-risk and homeless youth. We have the only teen crisis shelter in Central Ohio. We have a transitional living program where we house 113 young people who have experienced homelessness. We do counseling. We do outreach,” Huckleberry House executive director Sonya Theising said. “About a year-and-a-half ago, Lorenzo and Sonny came and toured the Huck House. We are just thrilled to have them participating not only in (Friday's event) but just being around and spending time with the youth in our shelter. ... We really appreciate them using their platform to bring awareness to a mostly invisible problem in our city.”

In addition to attending the Sleep Out, Lorenzo and Sonny have raised over $11,000 for the Huckleberry House. Here is their encouragement for Ohio State fans and non-Ohio State fans alike to donate to their campaign:

We are Lorenzo and Sonny Styles, student-athletes who are honored to support the Huckleberry House Sleep Out Campaign. We had the opportunity to visit the Huckleberry House last year to see the great work they are doing in the community for homeless youth.  On the field, we are battling for a championship, but off the field, young people the same age as us, and in many cases even younger, are battling a far tougher opponent. On May 31, we are sleeping out at Field, Chase Plaza, to support the 2024 Huckleberry House Sleep Out Campaign and to show solidarity with the youth who battle homelessness on a daily basis.  This will be our second year participating in this event, and we ask that you please join Team Styles in this battle against youth homelessness by donating to the Sleep Out fundraising campaign.  

We both THANK YOU for taking the time to read this. Please know any contribution makes a difference. … All donations go directly to Huckleberry House & Huckleberry House is a U.S. tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization, and you will receive an email receipt from Huckleberry House for your donation.

Thank you, Lorenzo & Sonny

And here are some statistics to look over as you consider contributing:

  • 1 in 7 children will leave home before 18
  • 1 in 10 14 to 24-year-olds endure some form of homelessness each year
  • 1 in 20 young people are couch-surfing for shelter day-to-day, week-to-week and month-to-month
  • Over 50% of young people in shelters and on the streets report that their parents told them to leave or knew they would leave and didn’t care

Thank you to all who have donated and will donate to the Huckleberry House. You are all rock stars.

 THE TWO-TIME. ​A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned The 2024 Field House Fairway Fore Hope in the Skull Session. The event, scheduled for June 17 at The Ohio State University Scarlet Course, will benefit The Field House Cancer Foundation, which former Ohio State wide receiver Chris Fields created in honor of his late brother, James.

This week, the foundation announced a special addition to its “Buckeye Legends” roster, Archie Griffin. The former Ohio State running back and two-time Heisman Trophy winner agreed to participate in the event on Thursday. As is the case with all the events Griffin attends, he has become its most famous attendee – yes, even more than Ryan Day, Urban Meyer, Jim Tressel, Terry McLaurin, Cardale Jones and Braxton Miller.

From The Field House Cancer Foundation:

As the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner and a true Buckeye legend, Archie Griffin's participation will undoubtedly make our event an unforgettable experience for all attendees.

The outing will take place on June 17th at The Ohio State University Golf Club, with proceeds benefiting The Field House Cancer Foundation & Buckeye Cruise for Cancer. We have an exciting day planned, including a round of golf, a chance to interact with Buckeye greats, and a post-outing dinner with a silent auction featuring exclusive memorabilia and trips.

As of Thursday, the foundation is still accepting registrants for threesomes (whose fourth player will be an Ohio State football coach or player) and foursome pairings. 

Complimentary alcohol, boxed lunches and buffets will also be included for each golfer. In April, Fields appeared on the Eleven Dubcast and told Johnny Ginter and George Eisner about even more perks for playing in the event.

With Griffin and all of the other Buckeye Legends in attendance, it sounds like an event Ohio State fans won’t want to miss.

Click here to register.

 SONG OF THE DAY. “Going, Going, Gone” - Bob Dylan.

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