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Skull Session: Ohio State Class of 2023 wants to be Buckeyes, Jets should have picked Justin Fields in 2021 and The Predator returns Sunday

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Welcome to Friday’s Skull session.

Zed Key is a treasure that must be protected at all costs.

It’s kind of fun to see Key celebrate his teammates. I love the culture that Chris Holtmann is building with the Basketbucks this year – it looks fun!

Let’s have a good Friday, okay?

BECOME A BUCKEYE. Ohio State’s Class of 2023 added its 20th signer Thursday as four-star safety Jayden Bonsu has signed his national letter of intent becoming a Buckeye despite rumors that he may be moving elsewhere.

Before Bonsu’s addition to the class became official, Ryan Day spoke to the media on Wednesday to break down the 2023 class and what each prospect brings to the table for Ohio State. Among the many questions and answers, Day noted how each of the program’s signs wanted to be Buckeyes and all “did it for the right reasons”.

I found Day’s reasons why rookies chose the Buckeyes to be remarkable, as the Ohio State head coach said they recognize “the opportunity here” and what the program can do for them. His reasons included, but were not limited to, these five factors:

  1. Development at Ohio State (#DevelopedHere)

  2. Educational Opportunities

  3. Chance to win a national championship each year

  4. culture and relationships

  5. City of Columbus

Notice that there is no mention of name, image and likeness. While there probably should be, I don’t necessarily blame Day for not claiming it as a factor in why the 2023 recruits chose Ohio State.

It became clear that most of the prospects who chose to be a Buckeye weren’t in it just for the money, per se, as Miami (FL), Oregon and other (quack quack) programs seemed having donors with deeper pockets that could have led to more lucrative NIL opportunities elsewhere. Heck, even Washington had bigger NIL deals lined up to four-star quarterback Lincoln Kienholz than Ohio State, which Kienholz clearly explained in the video below. Still, he chose to play for Day and Corey Dennis because of their developmental backgrounds and a more direct path to the NFL from Columbus than Seattle.

Referring to Day’s five factors, Kienholz likely picked Ohio State for options No. 1, No. 3 and No. 3 4. Those three factors were more important than money to the Pierre, South Dakota native. However, that wasn’t the case for every other prospect in 2023, and won’t be the case in the future, which means the Buckeyes will need to have their boosters ready to back up the Brinks truck if necessary.

As I said during Thursday’s Skull Session, the swings and misses of 2023 were none of my business because the class was already established and on the verge of becoming Buckeyes. Still, I’ll be more concerned in the future if Ohio State continues to sniff out top talent due to a lack of money in the NIL bank.

That is, unless Ohio State wins a national championship this season, reaffirming the Buckeyes as one of college football’s top teams and making the five factors all the more powerful as Day continues to build his program in five years and beyond.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN. On April 29, 2021, Ohio State fans collectively groaned as the New York Jets selected BYU quarterback Zach Wilson as the No. 1. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft. instead of Justin Fields.

Back then it was like a CEO trying to be the smartest person in the room for New York GM Joe Douglas, which it was. And that has since been proven by the way Wilson and Fields have played for nearly two full seasons in the NFL, as the former was benched by the Jets mid-season – and likely won’t have a future in the Big Apple – while the latter is breaking records in a bumper year.

With those results in mind, ESPN’s Jordan Reid and Matt Miller corrected the Jets’ error when they rephrased the top 15 picks of the 2021 NFL Draft, as Reid sent the former Ohio State quarterback to the JETS with the No. 1. 2 pick instead of No. 11 to Da Ours.

2. New York Jets

Original pick: Zach Wilson, QB – New pick: Justin Fields, QB

Reid: The Jets have a chance to make their pick here. Fields just passed the 1,000-yard mark as a rusher in Chicago, but imagine him with that ascending roster and in a Mike LaFleur offense that keeps a quarterback on schedule with plenty of easy throws. He still has a lot to prove as a passer, but his development could lead to big things. Having him under center would change the trajectory of this team with an exciting double threat orchestrating the offense.

Wilson’s time with the Jets has been complicated. He threw 15 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions in his 21 career starts, and he was benched last month before returning in Week 15 due to the Mike White injury. He’s only completed 55.4% of his passes over the past two seasons.

Editor’s Note: Wilson played Thursday Night Football against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He completed 9 of 18 passes with an interception before being benched for Chris Streveler.

Of course, the butterfly effect is at play here with Wilson and Fields. If Fields was on the Jets last season, they may not have been able to sign Garrett Wilson in 2022, which completely changes their current roster. But, for the sake of it, let’s say Garrett Wilson is still on the Jets with Fields in this scenario. I mean, could you imagine? It would be endless fun.

Shame on the Jets for not making the easy call. May they think of what might have been for the rest of time.

THE RETURN OF THE PREDATOR. It feels like forever since I wrote in a Skull session of Chase Young’s return to training this year after tearing his ACL in November 2021. But now, finally, the former winger Ohio State’s defense will adapt to Washington Commanders against the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday.

This news from Commanders comes as a fairly early Christmas present, as it’s been a long time back to action for The Predator, who had racked up 70 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 16 quarterback hits and nine sacks over the course of his first 24 games as a pro while collecting an NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award and Pro Bowl honors in 2020.

Sooner or later – hopefully sooner – Young will look like himself on the football field again, which fans in Washington and Ohio State will be very excited to see. And in case you forgot how dominant Young was as Buckeye, here are some clips that might jog your memory:

DO YOU HAVE HOLIDAY PLANS? Ladies and gentlemen, I learned that there was something Marvin Harrison Jr. could never catch: Santa Claus. I also learned a lot more about Harrison’s holiday traditions and those of CJ Stroud.

Hear what kind of plans Ohio State’s WR1 and QB1 have for this Christmas as they hold up a small microphone and answer questions from the Big Ten Network. It’s quite a treat:

The next time I will write to you will be after the bank holiday weekend. Have fun and be safe wherever you are and let’s get ready for Georgia Week starting Monday.

Bring on the Bulldogs.

Ohio against the world.

SONG OF THE DAY. “Return of the Mack” by Mark Morrison.

CUT TO HUNTING. Scientists reveal secrets of frog transparency…the NFL’s “Sunday Ticket” is heading to YouTube from next season…”Top Gun”, “Black Panther” advances to Oscars shortlist… Cold temperatures could lead to to the weird christmas scene… Idaho man decorate the beard with 710 balls for the Guinness World Record.

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