Skull Session: Marcus Freeman Gains Bulletin Board Material, Eddie George Won’t Let His Son Play for Michigan and Tyler Friday is a Great Leader

Four days. That’s it. That’s the introduction.

Before we dive into the good stuff, look at these cleats:

Anytime Nike embraces using gray in an Ohio State uniform concept, I think it’s a huge win. In recent years, you’d believe black is one of the primary colors with how much they use it, so it’s nice to see them return to the roots.

Anyway, let’s have a good Tuesday, shall we?

BULLETIN BOARD MATERIAL. There’s an old sports saying, “Good teams win. Great teams cover.” That means Ohio State will need to be 18 points better than Notre Dame on Sept. 3 to be considered great, as week-of odds are set at 17.5 points in favor of the Buckeyes.

Now I’ll offer some pushback to that adage. The Buckeyes don’t need to beat the Irish by 18 points to be called one of the best teams in college football. Simply adding a number in the win column should suffice. This is a top-five matchup in the season opener at Ohio Stadium – the first of its kind for the Buckeyes.

However, there’s also been a lot of noise surrounding this matchup all offseason, which would make a big win over Notre Dame even more significant for Ohio State.

From Marcus Freeman insinuating in The Players Tribune that he’d chosen the wrong school when he played college ball for Ohio State, to his critical comments about his alma mater’s academic standards (which he later claimed was a misquote), Buckeye fans would love to see their team cover the spread.

As more fuel for an Ohio State supporter’s fire, Freeman added another storyline in a press conference on Monday when a reporter told him several oddsmakers set the point spread favoring the Buckeyes in the matchup. Freeman’s response?

“I didn’t know that,” he said. “I’m gonna write that down. You said 17.5 points, right? We’ll use that in a team meeting today. That’s good to know.”

Freeman’s words indicate he has no intention for his team to lose by more than two touchdowns and a field goal. Still, John Ewing of BetMGM claims it is more common for a favorite to cover the spread in a Week 1 top-25 matchup than not.

Ewing’s odds have Ohio State as 15.5-point favorites, but the message still applies. With all the intensity building up for the game, Buckeyes fans will undoubtedly take a win however they can get it, but I think they’d really like a beatdown, too.

EDDIE’S A BUCKEYE FOR LIFE. Eddie George’s Ohio State roots still run deep, and so does his hatred for Michigan. The Heisman Trophy winner and current Tennessee State head coach reminded Buckeye fans of that fact over the weekend when he discussed his son Eriq’s future in college football.

Eriq is a defensive lineman in the class of 2023 from Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville. He has offers from Tennessee State, Eastern Kentucky, Marshall and UT Martin, among others. He’ll likely receive more during and after his senior season of high school ball.

However, Eddie said he doesn’t want Eriq to play for two schools at the next level. He wouldn’t want Tennesee State’s rival Jackson State to show interest, and – as you can imagine – he won’t let his son accept any calls from the Wolverines should they come knocking.

“He can’t go to Jackson State,” Eddie told the Mississippi Clarion Ledger after his son’s game in Nashville. “He’s not going there or to that team up north. But I told him to see all that’s out there and ultimately to trust your intuition, trust your gut.”

Eddie understands that his recruiting pitches to his son must always be part Buckeye, part coach and most importantly, part Dad.

“This is his deal, his process, his career,” Eddie George said. “He knows what I’m doing (at Tennessee State). He’s around me every day, and he knows how he’s going to get coached (if he chooses TSU). I tell him to go and see what’s out there. Go where your heart’s desire is.”

Still, it’s hard to imagine Eddie George being all that excited about his son ever wearing maize and blue with a winged helmet in Ann Arbor. That would make Thanksgiving and the following days after that a little awkward.

O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN! There will come a time when Ohio State runs out of these kinds of videos to post for its captains. According to my calculations, the Twitter account has covered Cade Stover, CJ Stroud, Kourt Williams and now Tyler Friday, leaving Tommy Eichenberg and Kam Babb as the final Buckeye captains without a video.

As has become custom for the Skull Sessions, when those videos are posted, you’ll know where to find them, and that’s right here.

Friday’s video features the fifth-year defensive lineman and his position coach Larry Johnson telling Friday’s parents that he had been named a team captain for the 2022 season. As was the case with the parents in the previous clips, Friday’s mother and father were overwhelmed with excitement for their son.

Johnson said during preseason camp that Friday has been a fantastic leader in the program since he arrived on campus in 2018. Johnson also said Friday was on track to become a captain last year before he suffered a season-ending ACL tear in summer workouts.

“We thought Tyler had great leadership skills before he got hurt. I mean, he was really emerging as a leader. I think he turned the table when he got hurt and how hard he worked in the rehab to get back to where he was.” Johnson said on Aug. 16. “If you saw him every morning, every day grinding to get himself back. That was impressive to a lot of kids. It set the bar for who he was as a young man. I think that’s why his teammates voted him captain.”

OLYMPIC VILLAGE. Former Ohio State men’s tennis star JJ Wolf secured the first upset of the 2022 US Open in New York City when he defeated No. 16 Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets (6-4, 6-4, 6-4) to advance to the second round of the event.

Wolf collected 14 aces during the match and used his powerful serve to gain momentum against Agut, a Spanish national with 11 ATP Tour titles and a victory over 21-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic in his career.

After Wolf’s win, the former Buckeye jumped and threw his fist in the air to celebrate – something he made a tradition during his playing days in Columbus.

At Ohio State, Wolf was a three-time first-team All-Big Ten honoree. He capped his Buckeye career with a Big Ten Player of the Year award and All-American recognition with a singles record of 35-2 and an 11-0 mark in conference play in his junior season. Wolf turned professional after that season.

As of Aug. 29, Wolf was the No. 87 player on the ATP Tour with a 7-7 record in 2022, and his career record of 9-13 has earned him $678,060 in prize money from singles and doubles tournaments in the professional ranks.

SONG OF THE DAY. “Free” by Zac Brown Band.

CUT TO THE CHASE. Tea drinkers enjoy possible health benefits… Princess Diana’s car auctioned for $851,000 days before her death anniversary… NASA’s moon rocket delayed after engine problems surface… A goat ate this police officer’s paperwork… National Cinema Day could bring $3 movie tickets to your local theater this weekend.

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