St. Paddy's Day Skull Session: Warinner's Pitch to Tight Ends, Perry Talks Draft, and Ebner's Olympic Prospects

By D.J. Byrnes on March 17, 2016 at 4:59 am
Kerry Coombs is frenzied for the March 17th 2016 Skull Session.

Updated TV power rankings as of March 17th, 2016:

  1. The Americans
  2. Better Call Saul
  3. Everything else, in some order.

Thank you for your cooperation. We will begin today's lecture on page 32 in your textbooks.

 TIGHT END BREAKOUT!? Though Nick Vannett will be the second tight end in as many years to be drafted under Urban Meyer, it's been hit-and-miss at TE recruiting during his time in Columbus.

Ohio State has two four-stars joining the team this summer in Cincinnati's Jake Hausmann and Perry's Luke Farrell. Nick Vannett and Jeff Heuerman weren't recruited by Urban Meyer or his staff, so how did they pitch the 2016 products?


"With Coach Warinner, when he was at Kansas, one of the last years he threw the ball to the tight end 100 times in one year," Jake Hausmann, a four-star tight end and a 2016 Ohio State signee, told "He had 100 catches. Ohio State hasn't put up specific numbers, but they have just been saying they want to get the tight end more involved." 

There's more to Warinner's sales pitch. 

"They told me that this year they know they need the ball in the tight end's hands because it was so under-utilized in the past," Hausmann said. "And in the day and age we live in now, the tight ends are putting up ridiculous numbers in the NFL and in college. They know in order for them to be more successful than they are now, they really need to be throwing the tight end the ball." 

"This one time in Kanas" turns out to be a more effective recruiting pitch than I would've thought.

Is 2016 when Ohio State starts throwing to the tight end? The nice thing about this time of year is nobody can say with certainty that Ohio State won't throw to the tight end this year.

I do know I'd watch a 30 for 30 on Ohio State's quest to make a tight end into a consistent threat, because it's not for lack of talent yet it's plagued Ohio State throughout Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer's tenures.

So put me down for 100+ tight end targets. My advice is to hit the tight end "in the seam" as we say in the biz; that was like one of my five plays when I had time to play video games.

 PERRY PREPARING. Joshua Perry, a colleague of mine, stopped by the offices of 97.1 The Fan on Wednesday for an appearance on Carpenter and Rothman.

When Perry speaks, people listen:

Some highlights:

  • Perry is hoping to get picked early in the second round. He won't start sweating his stock until midway through the second. 
  • "My plans for the draft... I'm a low key guy so I'm going to keep it low key... I hope my mom cooks something nice."
  • Linebackers will be fine. Raekwon McMillan, who won't listen to first-round pick hype, drew praise as the unit's new leader. Chris Worley "woulda played a lotta football for us if it weren't for Darron Lee." Dante Booker is "definitely" more athletic than him. Healthy Nick Conner drew praise too.

 EBNER TALKS OLYMPIC MOVE. Safety Nate Ebner, who is still under contract with the New England Patriots for 2016, is taking a football hiatus to train for the 2016 Olympic Rugby Championships in Rio de Janeiro. (Not a bad hustle for getting a free trip to Brazil; Zika be damned.)

Ebner issued a statement on Wednesday:

"First and foremost, I want to say thank you to the Patriots from top to bottom for allowing me to come back and play for a truly first class organization. I also want to thank them and USA Rugby for giving me the opportunity to chase a dream I have had since I was a boy, in a sport in which I have always had a passion.

"I can't put into words how much this opportunity means to not only me, but my friends and family as well. I plan to represent the Patriots and my country to the best of my ability. Thanks again, Go Pats and Go Team USA!"

Props to the guy who didn't play high school football ascending to a position where, as a special teams gunner, he could tell Bill Belichick, "I'm going to South America for the summer."

His rugby spot, though likely, isn't guaranteed.


USA Rugby Performance Director Alex Magleby said that Ebner's past rugby history and his NFL training put him in good position to make the roster.

"He will be up against it in an already competitive player pool for Rio, but knowing Nate, he will relish in that challenge and will work hard to bring out the best in himself and his U.S. teammates," Magleby said.

I'm counting on Ebner for some summertime #content, but if they don't pick him then we'll need to find a new rugby team.

 MIKE THOMAS TO APPEAR ON ESPN'S SPORT SCIENCE. The big-handed and long-armed Mike Thomas will appear on ESPN's Sports Science sometime in the near future. 

Via Thomas' Instagram:

Mike Thomas on ESPN Sports Science

Hopefully they do a segment where they throw out a bunch of physics numbers about the cat-like contortion that allows him to dominate ant-like DBs in tight spaces. 

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