drewsus: Is Wyatt Davis the best OL recruit OSU has pulled since dating back to the Tressel era? Willing to re-think your opinion of Kerry Coombs as a db coach? Or is the recent brilliance strictly a product of Ash/Schiano? All I know is that someone deserves a lot more credit than they are currently receiving. Back to back years with three early entries into the NFL is remarkable. Not sure if we ever see that again.
BG: Love Wyatt Davis and think he can be great, but guys like Jamarco Jones, Isaiah Prince, Michael Jordan, Taylor Decker, Josh Myers and Pat Elflein are pretty good recruits as well. Regarding Kerry Coombs, he was given special teams three years ago and was an assistant to Chris Ash with the cornerbacks, It was made pretty clear by Gene Smith that Ash would coach the ENTIRE secondary, meaning both corners and safeties, with Coombs no longer coaching the corners but assisting Ash as Chris saw fit. Chris Ash saw what a disaster the corners were when he took over, and knew he needed total control of the DB's, which he kept until last season. Ash was replaced by Greg Schiano, another defensive genius, last year. I have no direct knowledge of how the DB's were specifically coached last year, but my understanding is that Schiano kept things the same. I know for a fact that once Ash was hired and he watched the film on the last three games of Michigan, Michigan State and Clemson, he was appalled at how awful the play of the DB's were and how poorly coached they were. That was his main job in fixing the defense, and he knew he needed to take over both positions to fix it. And he took Ohio State from trash to championship level defensively, which Schiano continued last season.
rdsbucks: Bill I know you are bullish on the Bucks to win the CFP next year. What are the top 3 reasons they will this year when they couldn't the last two? Is it as simple as Kevin Wilson being added to the mix? What other factors make this year special in your mind?
BG: My first reason is that getting the offense away from Meyer/Warinner/Beck and giving it to Wilson and Day is a MAJOR upgrade. How major? See the above comment on going from trash to championship level under Ash. I think Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day do the EXACT same thing for the offense. I think Meyer felt he had to meddle with the offense because he did not trust Warinner and Beck, but that only made things worse in my opinion, culminating in getting shut out by Clemson. If Urban leaves Wilson and Day alone, concentrates on areas of head coaching that were not good last year, it makes the entire team better. Timeouts. Punt or field goal. Clock management (which was beyond awful). Substitutions. The defense is already great under Schiano. In my opinion, Ohio State has gone from subpar coaching on offense and not good in game situations, to great in both areas with the coaching changes offensively, while staying at championship coaching level on defense. This is as good of a coaching staff as there is in college football, and it's only been that way for one year under Urban. I'm a tad bit concerned with Studrawa over Warinner as O-line coach, but not overly concerned at all. Let's give Stud a year to get acclimated and assume he will be better this season. I think it all adds up to an undefeated, national championship season in 2017.
buckeyebones: An elite recruit gets offered by dozens of schools. How would you advise recruits/parents to narrow it down and on what time table? Elite linemen are scarce and they are the foundation to great teams. Would you apply a disproportionate percentage of your recruiting resources to excel in that area?
BG: I like to see players make their decisions prior to their senior seasons to protect themselves against injury. If you're Joey Bosa, you can play around and wait until Signing Day, but most recruits aren't him. The new trend of guys being committed to a school for a year, then decommitting in January and squeezing their recruitment into three weeks is beyond stupid, in my opinion. Jaelen Gill did this right. He has taken several visits to date, and he was fortunate to have parents that could make that happen, so he's done his research. I would eliminate schools that you know the player will not go to. The kid with offers from Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State needs to tell the lesser schools he won't be coming there. It eliminates lots of calls, and let's them focus on the main schools you're considering. I can't tell parents what to concentrate on, because they need to decide what's important. It's usually playing time and getting to the NFL, which is fine. I usually find that players with involved parents and coaches that care usually end up where they're supposed to be by Signing Day. This usually works out for the best for all concerned, to be honest. If you suck recruiting linemen, than doubling the amount you take only weakens your roster. Recruit the best you can, and coach them up the best you can. But don't waste roster spots.
WraithBuck: Hi Bill, have you ever thought of starting your own Buckeye fan site or blog and bringing in writing talent to assist with articles? When Scout announced the bankruptcy, did other sites make you offers to bring your talent to their sites?
BG: As I've stated for years now, I honestly love working for Scout. I've always told you guys I would never leave for another company, and would stay here as long as I was wanted. That still holds true today. When the bankruptcy was announced, I did look to see what other areas were available to me in case this gig went away or the new owners did not want me. I was honored to see that competing people did want to speak to me, but I was very upfront that my intent was to remain with Scout if there was Scout. When CBS acquired Scout they contacted me within 24 hours, and set up a time to speak. We worked things out in about five minutes, and things continued on for me. From what I've seen out of CBS in the first month, I'm very impressed and enthused about myself and my Scout brothers going forward with this company. But during the bankruptcy period I did look at starting my own site, or working for one of the competing sites, just out of making sure I had a place to land. Thankfully, it all worked out here because I love doing what I'm doing and have since I started in 2006.
buckii5: Is it possible that the 2018 class could be better than the 2017 both in numbers and star rankings (which would break there own star ranking record, wouldn't they?)
BG: I do think it's possible to bring in that type of class again, and I'm expecting more of the same. I don't get too caught up in star ratings, as I'm more about "first choices" in recruiting. You can lose a four-star and replace him with a four-star which makes things look even in the ratings. But I know they really wanted Freddie, and only took Bobby as a fallback. I like first choices, which last year's class almost all were.
dukebuk: Bill; You stated that Urban runs a really clean ship especially compared to Tressell who considered the NCAA rule book as a bunch of suggestions. My question is how and/or why anyone on Tressell's staff would be telling anyone about the "stuff" going on especially when Tressell is head coach? That's just cutting your own throat so why would they be that stupid to tell anyone anything even if it is to someone like you who won't squeal (sorta)? So were they trying to get him or just didn't care to put the info out there?
BG: I'm not following this question, to be honest. Maybe you can followup once this is posted. I do think Urban has OSU at the cleanest level since I've been following this team which is a long time. When you look at all the NCAA investigations OSU had under Tress they speak for themselves. There were also NCAA issues at YSU as well. Just look at the official record on the Derek Morris case, and see Ohio State's official response. That is telling about Tress and Bollman, and the SEC recruitment of Morris and his dad. Then you had a lot of deals where OSU wriggled out of NCAA sanctions by the skin of their teeth, with the Clarett deal, the Troy Smith stuff, the circumstantial stuff, and on and on. Research the NCAA issues under Tress, then tell me when the NCAA has even looked at OSU under Urban. There's nothing there. I've heard of nothing, and I'm not the homer type that covers things, but I've heard nothing about OSU under Meyer. Now if there was stuff going on now would I say that publicly? Probably not, but I wouldn't be so adamant that things are squeaky clean like I am either. I don't think any staff members "squealed" on Tress at all. When the NCAA shows up it becomes public knowledge. But maybe I'm not getting your question, so followup if you want.
sphinxbuck: Do you think it is harder for Urban Meyer to win a National Championship at Ohio State or Florida with the current state of college football and balance of power in the SEC East and Big Ten East?
BG: Great question. You have four chances to get into the playoffs now, as opposed to two in the past. That got OSU into the game three years ago. I think that alone might make it a smidge easier today, but I could be dead wrong on that. Tough to answer really, and I'd love to hear Meyer's thoughts on that.
JohnCarrollBuckeye: If Zach Harrison was a 2018 recruit, would he be a take for Ohio State?
BG: Yes, they would have taken him last year or in 2018. He has a chance to be REALLY, REALLY, REALLY special as a defensive end. Again, REALLY special. I think he ends up a five-star recruit and a top-10 guy nationally if it all goes like I think it will for him.