JohnCarrollBuckeye: Bill last week you said you got information that makes you feel Wade will not be in this class. Any way you can share, and if he is not in this class what direction do you think the staff will go?
BG: I was told the parents really want him at Alabama. He's visiting Ohio State this weekend for an official, and this will be the last time they have him on campus. If he's solid to the Buckeyes, he will cancel all remaining trips and lock himself in. I do not expect that, as I feel more trips are coming. The Bama official comes later this month, which will be his 268th trip to Tuscaloosa. I think Bubba Bolden gets in if they feel Shaun Wade is out.
ericjlivingston: Thanks for doing these, Bill! Has Urban gotten more conservative during his time at Ohio State? It feels like he's elected to punt on the opponents side of the field more this year than previously. I saw it mentioned somewhere that it seems as though Urban gets more conservative when he has more talent. What are you seeing?
BG: I think he does tend to go conservative in tight games, with the exception being Alabama in the semi-finals. For this year, I think it's a direct product of not trusting this offense. This team is still very young offensively, and J.T. Barrett has not played well enough to show the coaches he can carry the team. I don't think this year's offense has anywhere near the overall talent of last year's offense, so I don't think it's that as much as youth and performance.
NorthPoleBuckeye: Browning, Okudah, and Wilson seemingly enjoyed their visit to Florida State recently, any chance any of them end up there?
BG: You truly think they enjoyed a weekend away from home with great football, great weather, pretty girls and a rocking nightlife? I'm stunned, LOL. There are no bad visits. I can write all the recruiting updates for visits for the rest of this decade right now. "The food was great, the stadium was loud, the coaches were great and I loved the campus." Cut and paste for every recruit on every visit through 2030. FSU won't get any of those three, in my opinion.
tcbucks: Hi Bill, thanks for doing this each week. I really look forward to it!! It sure seems that offensively Urban is playing not to lose (ala MSU game last year) instead of being aggressive and playing to win. Is this because he feels they are not ready to open it up yet, or are they trying to open it up but things just aren't going well? It just seems the playbook has been very limited since we beat Oklahoma. Also, this team just doesn't seem as physical and tough as a typical Urban team. Why are they lacking that "Edge" that they've had in the past? It's almost like they are playing scared and not flying around like they usually do. Do you feel that way too, or is it just me?
BG: I truly believe it's a combination of youth and inexperience, combined with a QB that is playing just "OK". When Ohio State was flying high early in the year, Barrett was being mentioned every week for Heisman consideration. Haven't heard that in the past month, have we? The offensive line has not played as well as they were earlier, and the playcalling has been shaky as can be. Add it all up and you have a different look in October than you had in September. I still think this can be a really good offense though, so I wouldn't give up that they can get back to putting big numbers on the scoreboard. This team is sitting in a good spot with only one loss right now, I think. Lots of football left to be played.
jwinslow: What do Mack and Victor bring to the table that the current WRs lack? Do you see KJ Hill's role increasing as he gets healthy again?
BG: Obviously they bring nothing to the table over the current guys or they would be playing right? LOL. In my opinion, Mack is ready to go because of his physical body, while Victor probably needs a year in the weight room. But they are true wideouts, and guys that have played the position all their lives, not guys you're trying to convert. I think Mack should be out there now, because he's the future. I also think K.J. Hill probably deserves more reps, because he has shown some talent and he's not playing behind Julio Jones and Amare Cooper.
BuckeyeL: What are your thoughts on the progression of some of our commits that haven't been talked about much...Marcus Williamson Isaiah Pryor Brendan White Isaiah Simmons JK Dobbins.
BG: I think Williamson has improved greatly and the move to IMG was a good one. Pryor is a really impressive defender too, and I think he can become a Darron Lee or Jerome Baker type. Brendan White is playing a lot of QB this year, but he has a chance to be good at OSU if he can find a position and not be a tweener that bounces from position to position. Antjuan Simmons seems to be OK, but I would not be as high on him as others are. I believe Dobbins was hurt this year, and I really haven't checked into his film much at all. What I saw out of him as a junior was really impressive.
BuckeyeBK: Do you think urban makes an offensive change. Not talking coordinator but adjusts system? Any commits on horizon? Is any other DT a Buckeye in this class? Do you expect victor or Mack to eventually solve receiving woes?
BG: There simply has to be changes to this offense, be it coaching changes or a dramatic shift away from running the zone read and becoming a more modern passing team. Something has to change. The QB's they're recruiting aren't 20 carry guys, nor do they want to run the football. The WR"s they're bringing in want to catch the football, not be glorified guards. And the offense as it's currently constructed cannot be counted on to win the Big Ten championship, let alone a national title. Things have to change before next season. For commits, Jeffrey Okudah's date is upcoming. If they tell Bubba Bolden this weekend "You need to commit this week or we are going in a different direction", he would commit I believe. So he could be next if they want. If they see that Jay Tufele or Marvin Wilson are not options, they could take the Paschal kid and convert him to tackle I guess. I don't think solving the passing woes fall on Mack or Victor. They're really good, but I think the answer lies with Meyer/Warinner/Beck, or Meyer/Blank/Blank.
mrbigbux: You're opinion is that the Buckeyes will sophisticate their passing attack next year with the addition of Grimes and company. How do you see Tate Martell's talents fitting in with this?
BG: I think Tate Martell has a chance to be really good, and it's going to be interesting to see the QB dynamic next season. I believe we could see a QB transfer before fall camp of next year. If Haskins gets the job, I could see Burrow moving on. If Burrow gets the job, I could see Haskins rolling down the road. If Barrett returns, it really gets crowded in the QB room. And then Emory Jones arrives a year later. There's zero chance that Burrow, Haskins, Martell and Jones all finish their careers at Ohio State, and the movement could start before next season. Danny Clark was basically the first QB transfer, and he won't be the last one. At his size, Martell would get killed running the football in this offense. Haskins can't run well nor does he want to, so he really doesn't fit the current offense at all. Burrow would be the one closet to Barrett, but if they go to less running the QB and more a passing QB, he could be on the out. It's going to be fun to watch the QB room next season, whether Barrett returns or not.
rollymolly2: Saw a picture of Okaduh. First is he 6'3" and if yes can you confirm he is a safety and not a cornerback as some others have reported. Could he be in the same mold as former USC and NFLer Jason Sehorn? Looks the part although Sehorn was around 6' 1"
BG: I interviewed Okudah in person in January of 2016, and he was nowhere near 6-foot-3. I'm a legit 6-foot-2, and was shorter than I am. Unless he's had a growth spurt this year, I'd call him 6-foot-1. I think the Sehorn comparison is a good one, to be honest. My description of him has always been a bigger, more physical Vonn Bell. I love Okudah as maybe the most talented player in the class. Could he play corner? Yes, I think he could. As a safety? I think he can be Malik Hooker.