Skull Session: Marvin Harrison Jr. is Good at Football, CJ Stroud is a Spartan Slayer and Paris Johnson Jr. is a Complete Monster

Ohio State is the best team in America.

I know. I know. Hot take!

Ohio State’s offense is criminally insane. I imagine that every defensive coordinator sits in his office the week before his team is scheduled to play the Buckeyes with his head in his hands surrounded by hundreds of crumbled-up pieces of paper as he attempts to find any way to stop them. But there isn’t one. Sorry!

The best part is that Ohio State hasn’t even had Jaxon Smith-Njigba – a man labeled the best receiver in America heading into the season. Yes, they’d like to have him, but they haven’t even needed him. CJ Stroud has shined with Marvin Harrison Jr., Emeka Egbuka, Julian Fleming and others to make up for his absence, and TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams have taken care of business running the ball.

When Smith-Njigba returns, look out, America, because great googly moogly, this offense will be incredible. I’ve never known a time when inserting the best receiver in college football has ever hurt, so I don’t know how it couldn’t improve.

And the defense is getting there. The cornerbacks have struggled, but there’s a bye week leading into a matchup with the worst offense known to man (Iowa, in case you were wondering) that can change everyone’s mind. Keep calm and trust in Jim Knowles, Buckeye Nation.

Let’s have a good Monday, shall we?

DUNGY APPROVED. Marvin Harrison Jr. has been electric for Ohio State all season, and people are noticing. People like Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy, who coached Harrison’s father in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts.

As far as praise goes, it can’t get much better for the younger Harrison. The claim that he mirrors his father on the football field has been used for a long time now, but for Dungy to say the same makes it much more meaningful. I believe only three people can make that analysis with unquestioned accuracy, and they are Dungy, Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne.

Dungy thinks it. Maybe one day we will find out if Manning and Wayne think the same.

SPARTAN SLAYER. In the fifth century BC, the Persians killed almost all of the Spartans in the Battle of Thermopylae, completing one of the greatest military conquests in history as they killed some of the world’s greatest warriors with relative ease.

Thousands of years later, on Oct. 8, 2022, CJ Stroud might have accomplished a greater feat. He might have killed the Spartans for good.

Stroud completed 21 of 26 passes for 361 yards and six touchdowns in Ohio State’s 49-20 win over Michigan State on Saturday. That performance comes one season after Stroud connected on 32 of 35 passes for 432 yards and six scores against the Spartans in Columbus.

With these combined performances, I am comfortable calling the Buckeye quarterback the “Spartan Slayer” because, quite frankly, not even the Persians could pick apart the Spartans like Stroud has the last two years.

Stroud was a whole lot of fun to watch over the weekend, and he is now far and away the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. However, he’s not thinking about himself or his statistics after Ohio State’s big win. Instead, Stroud is focused on praising his teammates.

That’s a leader, and that’s a man who understands what it means to be a part of a team. As long as Ohio State keeps playing well and winning games, Stroud will be happy. The other stuff will follow.

A COMPLETE MONSTER. Paris Johnson Jr. has been nothing short of dominant in his first season as a starting left tackle for the Buckeyes, which should be no surprise to anyone.

Johnson might not be as big as his counterpart Dawand Jones – affectionately called “Thanos” by the Ohio State message boards – but he is as effective a blocker for his size. Johnson’s bend, drive and power are off the charts. Those traits make NFL scouts drool over him and why mock drafts have him as the first tackle off the board in 2023.

But there’s also more to Johnson than meets the eye, which extends beyond his physical traits. In an episode of The Journey on the Big Ten Network, fellow Buckeye Donovan Jackson said Johnson wants to dominate his opponents and won’t stop until he puts them in the dirt.

First, let me say this. Johnson’s block on Miyan Williams’ 70-yarder made me let out an oooooooooooo while watching. I mean, did he really have to do that poor Scarlet Knight that dirty? (The answer is yes.)

Second, Johnson’s mix of physical talent and championship mentality is exactly what Ohio State needs from the left tackle position. It’s a shame that Buckeye Nation likely only has another half of a season left to watch him in scarlet and gray because he is fun to watch protecting the quarterback’s blindside.

Third – wait… *checks notes* – I was saving that for the last blurb.

A GOOD CAUSE. Another reason Johnson will be sorely missed as a Buckeye once his time to become a pro finally arrives is because of the impact he is making on the Columbus community.

On Monday, Johnson and his nonprofit organization, the Paris Johnson Jr. The Foundation will hold a charity event at The View on Fifth – located at 1401 Holly Ave in Columbus – to collect new and gently used coats for those in need. In addition to coats, individuals are also welcome to donate hats, gloves, socks, hand-warmers and gift cards for meals to those struggling the most.

“A coat is a necessity, and everyone should have one in the winter,” Johnson said in a press release. “My mom always taught me to be grateful for what I have, and I was privileged enough not to worry if I was going to be cold in the winter. With my platform, I am giving back to homeless children and adults to alleviate the worries of going without a coat this year.”

The event, which will run from 4 pm to 6 pm at the View’s leasing office, is part of a series of planned holiday events with the Foundation’s annual Winter Giving Campaign.

SONG OF THE DAY. “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin.

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