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Skull Session: Chris Holtmann’s team needs an ID, CJ Stroud is QB1 for the NFL Draft and Ohio State will be loaded next season

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Ohio State women’s basketball continues to win.

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I like that on this team.

Let’s have a good Friday, shall we?

Uhhh, Chris? Before Ohio State men’s basketball began a five-game losing streak, with the Buckeyes as the top team in it KenPom’s modified offensive proficiency. That was so good! But now, after a 40% shooting performance against Minnesota and consecutive sub-40% shooting performances at Rutgers and Nebraska, Chris Holtmann’s squad has fallen to 11th in the same category. Yikes!

I’m sure one could point to several other areas where the Basketbucks struggled amid this disastrous slide, but the drop in offensive efficiency frustrated me the most. At first, I wasn’t sure why. Then, I thought, something would not read him as deeply as he was at the moment: this team, despite playing 18 games this season, has yet to find its identity.

In 2017, Holtmann began his tenure at Columbus with a reputation as a defensive-minded coach. Ironically, his Ohio State teams haven’t been stellar in this department for what feels like a forever. Instead, it was that crime that showed up in the Holtmann era.

But here we are watching the Buckeyes endure a five-game losing streak, and “shine” is probably the last word that comes to mind when watching the team’s current offense. I think “stagnant” is probably a better way to describe what it’s like when Ohio State has the ball.

The five players on the court — no matter who they are — have struggled to consistently get a clean look from plays, looking lost and, at times, out of control when on a moving attack, four one set. These factors have resulted in Ohio State scoring 69, 73, 67, 64, and 60 points in their last five contests, which translates to just one giveaway of free McDonald’s fries, folks! Not to mention a free Big Mac!

Offense has always been Ohio State’s bread and butter under Holtmann, but it hasn’t been so easy to come by lately, making the Buckeyes’ defensive struggles more apparent than in previous years. What kind of identity can you get without attack or defense? The answer is no identity at all.

I’m not sure if I think the team’s identity can be found so late in the season. However, there is no greater test of a team’s character, chemistry, and strength than a five-game stretch from Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan, with battles against the Illini and Hoosiers on the road. If the Buckeyes have any calling card in 2022-23, they will find it within the next two weeks. For the safety of the Buckeye Nation, let’s hope they do.

STROUD → QB1. According to draft analysts from several national sports news outlets, CJ Stroud is projected to be one of three quarterbacks selected in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, along with Bryce Young of Alabama and Will Levis of Kentucky.

Depending on which mock draft you’re looking at, Stroud will be either the first, second, or third quarterback out of the three, as there is currently no consensus on the order in which they should be selected when we get to late April.

Quite frankly, I find that ridiculous, and apparently, so do the former and current Georgia players The SNAPS Podcast Co-host Aaron Murray. For Murray, Stroud is the No. 1 obvious choice for a team that needs a signal caller over Young (and Levis, but he chose not to compare Stroud to Levis because people, come on, come on) for several reasons:

  1. Size Stroud (6-foot-3, 218 pounds) vs. Size Young (6-foot-3, 194 pounds)

  2. Stroud accuracy (Profession 69.% Comp) vs. Young accuracy (profession 65.8% companies)

  3. Stroud’s performance against Georgia (23-34 for 348 yards and 4 TDs, 192.4 pass rate) vs. Young’s performance against Georgia (61-101 for 790 yards, four TDs and two INTs, 138.3 pass rate)

I strongly agree that Stroud is a better prospect than Young because of his size and accuracy. However, I will admit that Stroud’s performance against Georgia in 2022 is not a one-to-one comparison to Young’s outings against the Bulldogs in 2021, as they were different defenses due to their personnel (but still similar in talents, nonetheless).

Will Stroud be the first quarterback in the 2023 draft? I don’t know. Mostly not. But I think he’ll finish as the best signal caller in this class when we look back at him next year and five years, 10 years, 15 years and beyond.

why? Because Stroud has the accuracy, durability and size to stay in the league for the long haul, which makes me excited to see what he can do at the next level of play for whoever is blessed enough to land his services in the future.

Oyo state loaded. Despite sending an experienced and talented draft class to the pros after last season, Ohio State will bring plenty of skilled players back to its roster in 2023, including several Buckeyes who will be on top of NFL plates in 2024.

Thursday, ESPN’s Matt Miller release him An early look at projections for the 2024 NFL Draft, and — a real shocker here — the Ohio State crest was all over the menu in several different locations. Here’s who’s watching Miller when Ryan Day’s future team takes shape this spring, at fall camp and off-season:

Trevion Henderson

A right leg injury slowed Henderson’s sophomore season, but over the past two years, he has rushed for over 1,800 yards and added 26 total touchdowns. At 5-foot-10 and 214 pounds, he has the attributes that would make him an NFL starter. Henderson led all Power 5 running backs with 6.8 yards per carry when healthy in 2021, and with a truly elite pace in the open field, there are some Jamal Charles vibes here.

Marvin Harrison Jr

Son of NFL legend, Marvin Harrison Jr. is creating his own legacy in Columbus. As a true sophomore, the 6-foot-4, 205-pound receiver caught 77 passes for over 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns while looking like the 2022 version of Randy Moss. Harrison has elite size and body control, but his best attribute is his hands. He’s as confident as they come, with strength and focus that yielded zero drops in 2022. He’s a likely WR1 in the 2024 draft.

Emeka Agboka

In pursuit of the WRU tag, Ohio State has another receiver who is expected to carry the top tier — and Egbuka will be the leading receiver in most colleges thanks to his way of running and exploding off the line of scrimmage. His speed and acceleration have him ranked as the best deep threat in the class of 2024. Egbuka had 74 catches, 1,151 yards, and 10 touchdowns in 2022 despite being the Buckeyes’ second choice.

Kid Stauffer

One of my favorite football players in the class of 2024, Stover doesn’t catch a ton of passes but stands out as a blocker on the field and as a receiver when called upon. He amassed 36 receptions for 406 yards and five touchdowns in 2022. At 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds, he looks like an instant starter in the pros.

Miller also listed Matt Jones, JT Tuimoloau, and Lathan Ransom as players the Scots will likely have huge circles around their whiteboards for the next 16 months. Surprisingly, Tommy “Thumbman” Eichenberg is not mentioned, which is odd. Perhaps Big Ten Linebacker of the Year and the Butkus Award for Eichenberg in 2023 will get him on Miller’s radar.

Olympic Village. Ohio State ice hockey won its first national championship in 2021-22. As we move into the new year, I’m looking forward to the team title as one of the best moments in Buckeye sport from last year (after only the 33rd synchronized swimming championship, of course).

It looks like the folks at Big Ten Network also did some thinking in January, releasing a feature about how head coach Nadine Mouziral has transformed the women’s ice hockey program in her short stint with the team, with a national championship representation. As a sign of the positive future of what is to come for the Buckeyes with Muzerall as Ohio State’s leader.

This season, Ohio State is the #1 team in the USCHO poll (earning all 20 first-place votes) with a record of 20-2-2 through their first 24 games. Led by former Patty Kazmaier, Sophie Jacques, veteran forwards Jennifer Gardiner and Emma Maltice, and goaltender Amanda Thiele, the Buckeyes are on a mission to win another championship this season.

With only 10 games to play and five regular season opponents not faced – St. Cloud, Minnesota State, Minnesota, St. Thomas and Wisconsin – Ohio State is approaching the final stages of that task. She’ll need mental and physical toughness to take on that stretch, and the NCAA Tournament stretch, if she’s to make it.

Fortunately, this is what Moziral highlights most in its players. Time to turn back?

song of the day. “Hello!” by Outkast.

cut to the chase. The stolen hot dog figurine is back For the owner of WVa Restaurant… AP’s 25 best movies: Who made the cut?… Spanish archaeologists reveal Tomb of the ancient crocodile mummy in Egypt… The redesign of Wikipedia is barely noticeable. That’s the whole point.… study showing heavy stones May give big jumps in the water.

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