Bank Bag: OSU Playoff Berth Edition Part-III

Ohio State has secured a spot in the upcoming playoffs, and the Buckeyes are out recruiting until the dead period starts this coming Monday. Bill Greene is back to answer questions from BSB subscribers about the team. Here is Part-Three.

drewsus: Give me your starting secondary if you could take any defensive back dating back to Meyer's first year at OSU. Who replaces Hooker next year? You've stated in the past that Samuel was a lock to leave early...are you now wavering on this stance and why? What the heck do coaches talk about when they meet up at midfield during warm-ups? Especially in situations when the coaches do not like each other? Do you know anything about the nature of Meyer and Harbaugh's relationship? I can't imagine that Urban is impressed by any of Harbaugh's antics.

BG: I like what Ohio State has right now, and I have to say even though it might not be popular, but Damon Webb has really played really well down the stretch. I would still take Vonn Bell and play him next to Hooker though. It will be tough to replace Hooker, but I still think Erick Smith has a ton of potential and I'm not giving up on him yet.Samuel is telling people he's coming back, after saying last summer he was looking to go. I think he will take a long, hard look after the playoffs, but I still think he goes. No clue what these guys talk about at midfield to be honest, but it's gotta be all BS. I have seen Harbaugh and Meyer together at satellite camps in the summer. They do not have to do more than shake hands at all, but they do seem to spend a lot of time talking to each other and it seems very friendly. 

ebraun84: Bill, Given that Sheffield is set to announce this month, do you think the staff needs to be careful how they'd handle a commitment from Sheffield and will it will have any effect on Wade's decision set for early January? If not Wade, do you think it will effect anyone else...like Riep or Williamson? Is the staff setting themselves up for a crowded DB group with this class?

BG: There's just not much you can do about it, but I would think high school seniors would view Sheffield as a short term guy. They're all long term guys. You want a crowded DB room, one full of talent. If you're scared to compete, Alabama or Ohio State probably isn't for you. This is what you're signing up for when you go to elite schools. With three guys likely leaving for the NFL, there's opportunity for the new guys right off the bat if they're good enough. 

mancow3: Bank, How has the age of aerial drones effected recruiting? Second, do the Buckeyes generally perform better with a Republican or Democrat in The White House?

BG: Not sure about drones and recruiting, but I like killing terrorist suspects with them overseas. If anyone can find a way to utilize them in recruiting my guess is it will be Nick Saban. Well, since the last three national championships were won with a democrat (Johnson), a republican (Bush) and another democrat (Obama), I think it sets up perfectly for Ohio State to win one in the next eight years with The Donald. 

donfatman: You have to give credit where credit is due: Nick Saban might be the best football coach of all time. How far do you think Urban is from Saban in terms of reaching that level. I mean he is clearly the only one in his realm (IMO) at this point and he is 10 or 12 years younger. Can Urban sustain a high enough level for long enough to catch old Saint Nick at some point later in his career?

BG: This might sound really ignorant, but hey it's my Q&A piece, so what the heck? I think this year's playoff is a big one for Urban Meyer and Nick Saban, and their legacies. Should Ohio State win this year, that gives Urban four overall and two of the last three. You start thinking that Urban has overtaken Nick at that point. But if Saban wins this year, and goes to five out of eight, you start thinking he's easily the greatest of all time. And Bama would be favored to make it six out of nine, and probably seven out of ten. As for Urban's future, he's young enough to catch and pass Saban, but right now Saban and Bama are at the doorstep of history. To eventually beat Nick, Urban really needs Alabama to lose this year, in my opinion. 

peeblesbuck: Do you think that if Torrance Gibson comes back next year with a fresh start, that Terrelle Pryor's success at moving to the wide receiver position and being fully committed to that position this year finally as a Cleveland Brown that Gibson has a "come to Jesus" moment and realizes that if he makes that commitment and effort to learning the position that he will possibly be in a position to make millions as an NFL wide receiver?  Also, with Pryor's success this year where do you think he'd be today as far as success in the NFL if he'd have came out of college with the mentality of being a wide receiver 100%?

BG: For Torrance, let me say first that he got hosed by the Ohio State administration with this suspension. They overreacted to the Baylor deal that was on fire at the time. And I have a daughter, so I'm sensitive to this issue. If some dad took a baseball bat and pounded Joe Mixon or Greg Hardy squarely in the face I would find that humorous. But this was a total overreaction and I worry about the long-term affect on Torrance's career. He has Terrelle Pryor talent as a wideout. And Pryor is certainly no favorite of mine from his days at OSU, but he has a chance to be an all-pro wideout in the NFL. Pryor probably should have went to a school that threw the ball well out of high school and played wide receiver as a freshman. In my opinion, he had zero chance of succeeding as a QB in the NFL, and it sure as Hell was not going to happen under the direction of famed QB whisperer Nick Siciliano at Ohio State. 

phatassjungle: Bill imho both teams are equally talented.  I think the game comes down to preparation and coaching. Who has the better coaching staff?  How do we attack this team and win the game?

BG: I think Clemson and Ohio State are pretty much dead even as teams, and this is a great matchup. Ohio State needs to stop the run, first off, and put Watson in a lot of third-and-eight situations where you know he has to throw. If Clemson can run the football, Ohio State is in trouble. Offensively, J.T. Barrett needs to be better than he has been the past two games. Ohio State needs to score more than 17 points to win this game. And I think they need to throw it well to score on Clemson. If Barrett plays well, I believe it would be enough to give OSU the win. If not, they will lose. I think a lot of Dabo Swinney as a coach, and I've seen him go head to head with Meyer, Stoops and Saban lately in big games and not blink. 

notobigkat: Bill, I'm just curious about what the level of concern is regarding the offense in the locker room among coaches and players. I missed a few games this year due to traveling, but I watched MSU and Michigan. The plays are getting in really late, guys don't seem entirely sure where to line up, and the wide out patterns seem to be run straight out and turn around or simply run straight out. Am I missing something? I know they want to keep the middle open for barrett to tuck it an run if he doesn't see anything, but it just seems a bit odd. What is the take inside the locker room?

BG: I think there has been some frustration lately with this side of the ball. The offensive line has been whipped the past two games. Barrett has played one good quarter in the past two games. The wideouts haven't been catching the ball on the rare occasions the ball has been delivered well. And the play calling has been very conservative, where they just run the QB 25 times per game. But we saw things get pretty healthy in the fourth quarter and in overtime against Michigan. This is who they need to be going forward against Clemson. If they play like they did against MSU, and for three quarters against Michigan they will lose. 

sphinxbuck: How good of defensive player is Jabril Peppers?

BG: I think he's an NFL safety, and a high draft pick. He needs to continue to get better in coverage, and I don't think playing linebacker helped him in that regard. He can tackle well, and I think he can be an NFL starter next year. 

BuckeyeNatural: What trends do you developing in the B10 recruiting areas? The addition of Maryland and Rutgers has really opened up the fertile recruiting grounds over on the east coast. With reports of OSU to hire Elijah Brooks from DeMatha does OSU become the big dog over there in DC? Do you see 10 players being taken out of Ohio next year? The state of Michigan seems to really be noticeably improving with their overall talent output, meanwhile Illinois and Chicago has really fallen off, why do you think that is? TE is a big time and under rated strength of the state of Ohio. With us not taking any this year how many do you think end up in next years class? You've said Blue Smith ends up at TE and I agree, then you got Trenton Gillison who looks like a probable offer at some point, and Tyreke Smith is a huge upside guy who might be best at TE. That is 3 guys in state and that's not including the OOS guys like Ruckert who the staff obviously wants. We took 3 guys in state a couple years ago, there are 3 legit talents in-state this year with Dotson, Reeves and Pugh and ofc the guys previously mentioned for next year. For years now Ohio has produced a lot of really good TE's, Ohio doesn't get enough credit for being the best state in the country per capita for the TE position. Do you agree?

BG: The Big Ten has hired better coaches lately, and that's the top trend. I think Ohio State is a definite player in the East for sure, and that should only continue. I think Ohio State can take ten next year for sure, but I'm not sure that's all that important to the staff. High school football in Michigan has definitely jumped up, and I don't know why, because their population isn't growing. I love the tight ends being produced in this state right now, and I agree with you 100% on that. Not sure OSU is going to offer Gillison, but I like him better than Hawkins or Farrell. I think Tyreke Smith is going to end up as Adolphus Washington at defensive tackle one day. 

buckzip: Are there any more potential stud OT out there or was Smith the last one? Not including Munford.

BG: Let's see how they regroup during the dead period that starts this Monday. Remember last year at this time, nobody was talking about Dwayne Haskins, Keandre Jones, Malcolm Pridgeon or Jahsen Wint. It's still early in recruiting, as weird as that sounds. 

Encyclopedicbuck: Will Johnny Manziel ever play another down in the NFL? Although he was mostly bad in a Brown uniform, he did have a few good moments, like over 300 yards passing on a couple of teams. I would think him acting disrespectful to the Cleveland organization and to the NFL, in general, would keep him from getting another chance, more than his problems with addiction. Even Jerry Jones wised up to JM's BS. He doesn't need him for attention anymore, because of the QB controversy or non-QB controversy and playing like serious Super Bowl contenders.

BG: I would not think there would be much of a market for a small guy with an average arm, who has addiction issues. Even if he gets his life together, which I doubt will happen, I just don't think he's all that good. But for a team that puts clowns like Cody Kessler, Robert Griffin, Chris Hogan, Josh McCown, Austin Davis, Brian Hoyer, Connor Shaw, Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden, Thaddeus Lewis, Colt McCoy and Seneca Wallace out there, maybe Johnny is GOOD? HaHa. (Drops mic). 


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