Skull Session: Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson Are Nation’s Best Duo, Arch Manning is Considering Ohio State, and Jim Tressel Helps Fight Illiteracy


Are we thick enough into the offseason that you’ll watch a solo ramp entrance from a drum major in street clothes?

I won’t judge, I promise.

Word of the Day: Dissimulate.

 BOTH BEST. Hey, did you know that Ohio State heads into next season with pretty much the consensus top-two receivers in the country? Cool, Pro Football Focus does, too!

1. CHRIS OLAVE, OHIO STATE

Olave was projected to be a first-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft but made the surprising decision to return to school and boost his stock even higher. For the Buckeyes, this is clearly fantastic news. They are returning perhaps the most refined route-runner in college football.

Olave has generated a step or more of separation on over 87% of his targets since 2019, the highest rate in the country. Against single coverage over the past two seasons, he has racked up 15 receptions of 15-plus yards in which he had more than a couple of steps of separation. That trailed only Alabama’s DeVonta Smith for the most in the FBS (19) and was five more than the next-best Power Five receiver.

2. GARRETT WILSON, OHIO STATE

Ohio State may no longer have Justin Fields, but the team certainly has the clear-cut best wide receiver duo in the country. That’ll surely ease the transition for (most likely) C.J. Stroud at quarterback.

Like his teammate Olave, Wilson is one of the best route-runners in the game. He impressed against single coverage (sixth in PFF grade on such plays) and frequently found soft spots against zone while working from the slot. That led to a separation rate that ranked eighth-best in college football this past season. The 2019 five-star recruit is bound to put up numbers in this offense once again in 2021.

I’m going to be so sick of writing about this by the time August rolls along, but I also recognize how absolutely arrogant and spoiled that makes me.

Writing about how everyone thinks my favorite football is absurdly good just gets so boring! Feel bad for me!

I need some bold #takes warrior to rank both of them outside of their top-10 receivers list just to get my blogger juices properly flowing.

 CHECKING ALL THE BOXES. Hand up, I did not expect Josh Myers to be the first Ohio State offensive linemen off the board and I absolutely did not expect to hear his name called in the second round of the draft.

But I’m clearly an idiot because now that I think about it, I cannot imagine a better fit than Green Bay, and it makes all the sense in the world for them to pull the trigger as soon as they got the chance.

Hey, the last time the Packers went with a Buckeye center, he was a seven-year starter, and a 2020 All-Pro. That’s all the reason I’d need to go back to that well one more time.

 SURE, WHY NOT? Ohio State’s currently holding a commitment from the highest-rated quarterback prospect of all time in Quinn Ewers, who’s a class behind five-star quarterback Kyle McCord, who’s a class behind five-star quarterback CJ Stroud and four-star Jack Miller – all of whom are following the highest-rated quarterback to ever play for the Buckeyes who just became the No. 11 overall pick.

And now, 2023 five-star quarterback Arch Manning – yes, that Manning family – is considering taking his talents to Columbus, because why the hell not?

“You still want to workout with your teammates and not be gone every day, you want to have some semblance of normalcy,” Arch’s father Cooper said. Manning and his teammates are in the thick of spring practice right now. “Arch has been talking to Stanford, he’s especially interested in doing a Stanford, USC swing and also a Notre Dame, Ohio State swing. It might be hard to get it all done in June but he’s been enjoying talking to those guys as well.

“On the heels of that I think there will be a time he wants to see Virginia (where his older sister will attend school) and North Carolina too. He’s been to LSU and he’s been to Ole Miss. We’ll figure out, hopefully whether it be in July, go see some schools, maybe it’s in the dead period but at least you can go see some things out there. Then August boom you’re in summer practice and it gets harder. He’s been enjoying getting to know these schools from other parts of the country. You kind of knock out what’s close to you and he’s enjoyed having conversations with Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stanford and USC. They just kind of came on the scene in the last month or so, the last few months.”

Now, if I were a bookmaker, I’d put the odds of Ohio State actually signing Quinn Ewers and Arch Manning in consecutive classes at less than 1 percent for obvious reasons. But signing five five-star wide receivers in a four-year span doesn’t make a whole lot of sense either, so I’m well past the point of being surprised by these things.

 GET DUMPED THEN, ILLITERACY. Luke Fickell, Mike Vrabel and Ryan Miller started the 2nd & 7 Foundation back in 1999 to help promote childhood literacy, and they continue to help kids read to this day – with an assist from our favorite sweater-vested friend.

(I’m linking the video here instead of embedding it because it autoplays with full audio as soon as the page loads and as a professional Internet user I’m way too annoyed by that to willingly subject my readers to it)

« In football, the building block is running. In life, that building block for success is reading. »

It may sound cliché and obvious, but if I never learned to read as a small lad, there’s not a chance in hell I’d be writing words online for a living. So shoutout to The Vest and everyone else at 2nd & 7 for helping support my eventual heir.

 SONG OF THE DAY. « The Story » by Conan Gray.

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