Bank Bag: Spring Football Edition Part-II

Ohio State is looking like a solid national title contender in 2017 and spring football is under way. Bill Greene is here to answer questions from Buckeye Sports Bulletin subscribers. Here is Part-Two.

jnmbuck: Recently in Florida and had various conversations around pool. One man said a relative of his worked for the Big 10 Sports Information department and he said Urban was the most difficult coach to work with at things such as the Coaches pre season meetings. Have you seen or heard about this side of Urban or is it just sour grapes from an Iowa grqaduate

BG: I think it depends upon what day of the week it is, and which person you speak to. I know the coaches all hate these types of things, even though they realize it's a necessary evil and part of the job. I've never heard anything that makes me think he's any different than anyone else. To get a glimpse into these guys I think it's best to go watch press conferences after tough losses. That really should be the coach at his rawest and worst moment. Check out Urban after the Clemson beatdown, or Saban after his Clemson heartbreaker. I think both guys were pretty gracious in defeat, and there just aren't worse moments than that. I've never heard that before, and my guess would be Jim Harbaugh as the most difficult based on interviews we've all seen. 

Coors73:  Let's go back a bit.  What are your opinions of coaches Hayes, Bruce and Cooper both on the field and off.

BG: Woody was the ultimate in terms of a dual personality type off the field, and he could do both wonderful things in terms of charity, as well as ridiculous, boorish acts that were an embarrassment. On the field, he was a great coach and his record speaks for itself. He was a great motivator, and loved to physically dominate people at the line of scrimmage. Earle Bruce was as tough a guy off the field as he was on it, and he was one tough son of a gun. As a coach, I thought he was good, but no more than good. Certainly not great at Ohio State, as losing at least 3 games in eight of nine years shows. John Cooper is THE nicest college coach I've ever met, and the only bad thing anyone can say about Coop is that he couldn't beat Michigan. I think he was a great coach and deserved his Hall of Fame spot. He won 192 games as a head coach, and if you want to beat that all you have to do is win 10 games per year for 20 years. He built some powerhouse teams at Ohio State, but came up short so many times. If there is one coach I would have loved to see win a national title it's definitely John Cooper. All three of these guys were fired by Ohio State, and I believe all three deserved to be fired. At the end of each guy's tenure it was time for a change. 

IBABUCK: Bill Don't know if this has been asked before. I apologize if it has. You seem to have a very good FB knowledge about both strategy and FB talent. How did you aquire it. Playing? Coaching? Scouting?

BG: Talking to and listening to college coaches has been my greatest help. I have great friendships that were developed through my job at Scout, and having the good fortune of being able to pick the brains of guys that are at the top of their profession has benefited me greatly. For some reason, former Akron head coach J.D. Brookhart took a liking to me when I first started. I would go to Akron summer camps and he and I would go from position group to position group, and I would ask millions of dumb questions. From game strategy to why he liked this lineman over this other lineman. Why he was offering QB-A over QB-B. What college coaches were looking for at each position. I used to go there on Saturday nights in the spring and sit with Akron assistants and we would watch scouting film on all the top kids in Ohio. This would go on for 10-12 hours, with pizza and beverages included. They would watch guys they knew they weren't getting, like Jake Stoneburner, Mike Adams and DeVier Posey, and they would break things down. These former Akron assistants are guys like Joe Moorhead, the offensive genius at Penn State. And my relationships with guys at other schools around the country has grown as well. I've had tons of BS sessions until late into the night in Florida during high school spring football, with college coaches from all over America. I can call guys Sunday night and discuss their games, and their opponent's games played the day before. I've been following college football and recruiting since I was a little kid, and I continue to learn more each year through these guys. The college coaches have been my greatest teachers, no doubt about that. As well as the great high school coaches in Ohio that have also taught me so much. I've tried to combine everything I've learned from some really, really smart people and then to bring that to you guys in a way that you can understand. 

sphinxbuck: You have questioned the offensive line coaching under Studwara. Is that from what you are hearing from your sources or just what you are seeing on the field? Do High School coaches have less impact on where their players go to college than they did 10 years ago?

BG: I would say both on Studrawa, and I'm not sure I question him as much as I'm not sold on him. And I think there's a big difference. The debacle against Clemson is on him 100%. His unit was not prepared to handle an injury, and Ohio State paid the price. They also got destroyed by good D-lines like Michigan and Clemson, but also got killed by a bunch of freshman and backups at Michigan State. To win the national title in 2017 the O-line must be better. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt after only being at Ohio State for one year. I'm picking them to go undefeated in 2017, so my thinking is he will be better. The high school coaches have so little impact any more that I'm almost ready to say close to none. It sure wasn't that way 10 years ago. Not sure this is a good thing, but the high school coaches are almost totally out of the loop in recruiting anymore. 

BadHabit48: OSU has carpet bombed the state of Georgia with offers. Previously, Derrik Allen was one of the guys that OSU seemingly had a great shot at but ultimately he committed elsewhere. It is still only March, but do any of these recruits have a legitimate interest in OSU at this stage? What is your evaluation of Meechi Harris as a football player? He looks very smooth on the field, but probably doesn't have the first-step explosiveness of his in-state counterpart in Scates. I'd guess OSU would want to take a look at him in person before making any decisions, but do you feel he is a recruit with the talent to play at the big time colleges?

BG: They have done well in Georgia previously, but I'm not sure that won't get tougher going against Kirby Smart rather than Mark Richt. Kirby is a great recruiter and will have more success keeping guys home. I think they're in the mix for Jamaree Salyer, and he likes Ohio State a lot. And of course they have Emory Jones committed. As you said, it's only March so it's tugh to say on the out of state guys at this point. I like Meechi Harris a lot. He might be a better pure receiver than Scates, and Meechi can fly, make no mistake about that. I think he might be a camp kid, but the chances of him getting an OSU offer are very high. I definitely see Meechi Harris as a high Power Five guy. 

brett5958:    Hypothetical. There is a high school senior that you have never seen and want to evaluate you have the choice of either A) Picking any single game from his high school schedule and attending live, B) Getting a full game tape from his entire senior season but not seeing him live at all or C) following him around the 7 on 7 and camp circuit but not doing either A or B. I think I know the answer just from reading all these years but I am really just looking to see what you are looking for in each situation. 

BG: Because I know myself and because I really want to give an accurate evaluation, I have to see guys live. Whether it's a game or camps doesn't seem to matter in my being right or wrong. But if I'm going off film alone, my batting average goes way down and I know this. The good thing about camps is that the coaches will match best on best, because that's what they want to see the most. It's also what I want to see the most. In games, sometimes they go against horrible players and it's tough to figure out how he might do against studs. That's why camps are so important to the college coaches. 

mrbigbux: The way the 3rd wide receiver commit worked out - do you think the Buckeyes would rather had Keyshawn Johnson Jr over Gardiner? Which one would you prefer?

BG: I was never all that high on Keyshawn Jr. and I don't think they were either. Being who his dad is you have to play ball with him, but I never saw the kid as Ohio State good. If he were Keyshawn Smith I don't think he would have had all the offers, but I could be wrong. I have not seen Gardiner and think he's a definite project, so we will see if he develops or moseys on down the road in a few years. 

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