BuckeyeBK (Jan 23, 2004 1:03:18 PM)
Steve, what did you think of Zuttah's decision?
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 1:04:52 PM)
Stunning, is all I can say. I thought for sure it would be Maryland or Pitt if not OSU. Maybe lack of spots caused OSU to cool off. Not sure. Maybe this means they know they have Mitchum (I know, I better watch it) and possibly Hart.
tsteele316 (Jan 23, 2004 1:04:57 PM)
is this the club chat?
Kirk (Jan 23, 2004 1:05:06 PM)
Everyone who just came in -- Dennis is running a little late but if you want to send in early questions, feel free. The moderation is on. Steve's answering questions in the meantime.
OxfordBuck (Jan 23, 2004 1:05:18 PM)
Steve, can we get a prediction who you think the next 5 commits will be?
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 1:07:32 PM)
In the Buckeye Grove, I think I said Mitchum, Davis, Anderson, Lyons and Abdallah. As Duane would say, if they get those 5 break out the champagne. Would be great to see Hart's name on a signed LOI, I do know that.
BuckeyeBK (Jan 23, 2004 1:07:56 PM)
I have to ask.. what about Fred Davis are you hearing, if anything?
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 1:09:42 PM)
Just that he is scrambling to get paperwork in to clearinghouse so he has the option of enrolling at Miami and/or USC next week. He is trying to keep those options open, which doesn't look good for OSU. He may have to make a very quick decision next week on where he wants to be. OSU remains as viable an option as the next school, but he is doing everything he can to keep those other avenues open, too. Stay tuned I guess.
Harris Buck (Jan 23, 2004 1:10:10 PM)
Willie Young.........have we cooled on him? Grades maybe?
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 1:11:13 PM)
No, I think they'd take him if they have a spot. He has visits (Ga. and Fla.) these next 2 weekends and he isn't close to deciding yet. He likes OSU. But they may be full by then and, yes, he seems to be borderline academically.
Kirk (Jan 23, 2004 1:11:22 PM)
Everyone who just came in -- Dennis is running a little late but if you want to send in early questions, feel free. The moderation is on. In the meantime, Steve H. is taking your questions.
tsteele316 (Jan 23, 2004 1:11:36 PM)
What are our chances with Mitchum at this point?
Guest (Jan 23, 2004 1:11:44 PM)
And have you heard anything about Mitchum or Hart?
osu94 (Jan 23, 2004 1:11:51 PM)
I heard Mitchum's coached have past connections to the Buckeyes and this is a plus. Is this true?
HelpingHand (Jan 23, 2004 1:12:36 PM)
Dennis is here now
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 1:12:40 PM)
I think it is still Ohio State as the team to beat. Obviously a good sign he isn't going to Iowa. I know one of his coaches is a big OSU guy, brought him down here several times and even called me once or twice when I was at BSB to sell me on the kid.
dartos (Jan 23, 2004 2:13:46 PM)
Steve... anymore information you can give us about the new coaching position? Are you still hearing offensive? What area do you think the next coach will cover in recruiting? Thanks
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:14:55 PM)
Yes, still hearing offensive. They need help at WR so Daniels can work with Tressel on the all-important QB position exclusively with the young guys. No idea on how they would shuffle the recruiting deck. Dantonio did a lot in Western Ohio and Michigan, I believe. Tucker may be involved in Detroit now.
Hersh (Jan 23, 2004 2:15:20 PM)
Steve, is Ted Ginn still talking to others about coming to OSU? If so who and do you think it will have a major impact on them? Thanks.
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:16:29 PM)
Yes, Ginn is working the phones and came down last weekend in person to see and talk to as many recruits as possible. Did the same at the A-A game in San Antonio. I think it may help OSU with the likes of Davis, Hart, Jarrett, Bryant, those guys he has gotten to really know. Maybe Lyons as well.
slimkid (Jan 23, 2004 2:16:50 PM)
Steve, Dennis mentioned that he'll know on Saturday night whether or not OSU will offer him a scholarship. What is going down on Saturday afternoon that will be the deciding factor?
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:18:14 PM)
I can't speak for the OSU staff on their timeline. Obviously, their coaches are in constant contact with these kids and reading them. They are obviously hoping that as time passes the picture will either clear up so they know they can offer Kennedy ... or it won't.
JColeOSU (Jan 23, 2004 2:18:28 PM)
Steve, Please give us some good news on the OL front :)
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:18:32 PM)
Don't rule out an offer for him sometime after Sat., either.
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:19:40 PM)
I think they are still in the catbird seat for Mitchum. I also believe nobody is giving OSU credit for Jon Skinner. I think he is a real potential star as an OL here. Hart seems to be leaning ever so slightly for Auburn. But a lot can happen in 5 days. We'll see.
NapervilleBuck (Jan 23, 2004 2:19:53 PM)
Steve....how ya been?? Which incoming freshman do you think makes the biggest impact? Which will be the most pleasant surprise?
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:21:34 PM)
Great, Nape, biggest impact?? Hmmm, maybe Ginn just because they may use him on special teams. He'll be in heavy competition at corner (if that is indeed where they slot him). Trapasso could be the punter. Freeman could get a look, too. Davis, if he verbals, may get a shot at WR right away. Haw and Pittman will also log a few totes, particularly if there is no Reecie.
obee (Jan 23, 2004 2:21:48 PM)
Steve, More smoke than fire with the Morelli camp?
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:23:01 PM)
Well, rumors were his parents spoke with JT. They are almost silent running on what their intentions are. Walt Harris must be pulling his hair out with this one and Andrew Johnson as well. Those were the 2 cornerstones of his class. Losing Fitzgerald is tough enough, but to not get those 2 great players from down the street would hurt just as bad.
BuckeyeDave (Jan 23, 2004 2:23:19 PM)
So Fred Davis is pretty much a lost cause?
C'ville Buck (Jan 23, 2004 2:23:22 PM)
Is it me or does it seem like FD is looking for reasons to not attend OSU. Its like all we have going for us is his mom. Whats your take Steve?
SCOTTBUCKNUT (Jan 23, 2004 2:23:36 PM)
What happened with Fred Davis? It seems like he is leaning towards USC now.
goofy (Jan 23, 2004 2:23:40 PM)
I figure this chat wouldn't be complete without the normal Fred Davis question..so here goes. What's up with Fred????
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:25:37 PM)
I would not say that. Davis is simply working hard behind the scenes to make sure he has the chance to attend USC or Miami this spring. Then he plans on making a decision. If those plans fall through, then maybe it's OSU by default in March. I wish I could be more optimistic for you, but this kid is going to 1 of these 3 schools. Only he knows where he really wants to be. It is been an adventurous ride for him and all of us, I can say that. OSU is right there with anybody else. This may just come down to a whim next week sometime if he gets the green light to go out of state.
obee (Jan 23, 2004 2:26:07 PM)
Steve, living in Chicago didn't get the lowdown on Miles Williams, wha happen?
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:28:17 PM)
Well, our Gary Housteau has submitted a story we will be posting later today. The crux of the issue seems to be that Miles' core GPA (2.4 or so) and test score (18) are on the borderline, both for clearinghouse and OSU standards. That is strike one. Miles was asked to take an ACT in Dec. instead of visiting OSU and for some reason did not do so. That improved test score would have helped his cause. Somewhat open defiance of your sweater vested head coach. Strike two ... and in this game that's all you get ... yer out. Check for the story later. Great job by Gary on getting ALL of the facts.
hondo (Jan 23, 2004 2:28:40 PM)
Steve - What do you make of Zuttah going to Rutgers? Did OSU quit pursuing him?
ToledoFanatic (Jan 23, 2004 2:28:44 PM)
Steve. How surprised were you about Zuttah? I know we've gotten good to great kids but if we were to get shut out on the remaining O-Line guys, would you consider it a failure? Mitchum I am sure won't let us down though.
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:30:34 PM)
hondo and Toledo, quite surprised by Zuttah. Doubt OSU dropped him. Maybe they asked him to hold off until Mitchum-Hart decided because spots were tight. Too bad. But that doesn't explain why he bypassed (much more viable) Md. and Pitt to attend 3-and-whatever Rutgers (not that there's anything wrong with that ... ha ha)
Guest (Jan 23, 2004 2:30:43 PM)
Steve - who do you think is most likely to come, Dukes, Jarrett, or Lyons?
osufan (Jan 23, 2004 2:30:46 PM)
Steve, will we end up with any WR in this class. I have a bad feeling we wont get anyone
tsteele316 (Jan 23, 2004 2:30:56 PM)
with the latest rivals update having jarrett favoring usc and uva over osu, is it possible that neither he nor davis come to osu?
osufan (Jan 23, 2004 2:30:58 PM)
I haven't heard anything on dukes or jarrett recently. Are they a lost cause?
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:33:36 PM)
Well, they have 4 on the board with Davis, Jarrett, Lyons and Dukes. I think they end up with at least one of them, maybe even 2. Davis and Dukes aren't saying much, Jarrett loved his visit but everybody now keeps attaching USC to his name, Lyons I think it's between OSU and Miami. You have to hope that as the cards fall and, say, Davis picks USC that Jarrett eliminates them or vice versa. That could work to OSU's favor. Would be great to land 1-2 of those 4, for sure.
96Buckeye (Jan 23, 2004 2:33:54 PM)
Steve - What was the "I have heard Clarett has been reinstated" bit from Dennis all about?
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:35:49 PM)
96, I think what he meant was he was cleared to come back and work out, he has not, to my knowledge been fully reinstated. The factions at OSU that want him back would like that done in time for spring ball (although pounding him there makes no sense, really). Not resolved yet, by a wide margin, and I maintain if he gets this ruling in his favor it will be Sayonara
Susan (Jan 23, 2004 2:36:06 PM)
Steve, have you heard any 'transfer" rumors?
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:36:58 PM)
Let me add, it is interesting to ask recruits like Darius Walker and Dennis Kennedy what they are being told by coaches, players, isn
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:37:00 PM)
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:37:01 PM)
Nope, Susan, somebody asked me privately about a couple names, but none coming up.
obee (Jan 23, 2004 2:37:13 PM)
Steve, Gut feeling on Hart, Mitchum, Anderson?
cantonbuck (Jan 23, 2004 2:37:32 PM)
Steve, Rhyan Andersen said that we are the slight leader now and that he is waiting until signing day to decide, but already knows who it will be? Any clue what will become of him and tOSU?
Seabus (Jan 23, 2004 2:37:38 PM)
Steve, any gut feeling on Rhyan Anderson??
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:38:09 PM)
Hart to Auburn, Mitchum to OSU, Anderson to OSU or Miami (new reports say he is leaning there). I know he talked highly about OSU at one point. This is when the coaches earn their $$$$$.
sears3820 (Jan 23, 2004 2:38:28 PM)
Hi Steve. How do you see our punting situation shaking out next year?
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:39:59 PM)
That's a touchy one for sure. You have to hope A.J. Trapasso comes in this spring and wins the job. That would be best for all concerned. Backup plans are Josh Huston, maybe Mike Nugent or a walk-on. If I was an OSU student with any ability in that regard at all, I'd hustle over to the WHAC and put my name on a tryout sheet, that is for sure.
sears3820 (Jan 23, 2004 2:40:02 PM)
Steve, any word on how Dajuan Morgan's rehab is going?
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:41:32 PM)
No, we have somebody working on a story on him for our magazine. Hopefully we'll know soon. Richard McNutt missed his senior year because of injuries in high school too and it bothered him for a long time as well. You just have to hope Morgan can get healthy and get back into the flow. Can't imagine why they would have offered him if they didn't think that was going to happen.
ram (Jan 23, 2004 2:41:41 PM)
What is the idea of recruiting or having so many TE on the team. Will some convert to offensive lineme?
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:43:33 PM)
Well they don't really have that many. They have, what, Hamby, Caldwell (has never played and will be a senior), White, Irizarry, Nicol and Hoobler (says he will start out at TE). That's 6 guys. They like to play as many as 2-3 at a time in some sets. Arden is back on defense (for now, but stay tuned, that changes every 3-4 months). I don't think they have too many. That may be one of the best groups on the team.
bobbybuck (Jan 23, 2004 2:43:56 PM)
Ted Ginn Sr. a possibility to coach recievers?
djbuck (Jan 23, 2004 2:44:12 PM)
Steve, since you mentioned wr coach, any chance for Cris Carter
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:45:21 PM)
No, I don't sense that happening for Ted Sr. on this go-around. I know he loves to coach offense from what Gary and Duane say. Maybe down the line. He is a hard worker. Haven't heard a groundswell to get Cris Carter back in here. Talk about a 180. I was here when he left (on not such good terms).
Guest (Jan 23, 2004 2:45:38 PM)
Steve - How big a role can a high school coach play in getting one of his players a scholarship?
BuckinNC (Jan 23, 2004 2:45:46 PM)
Steve, it seems like we are having a momentum "deja vu" from last year's stretch recruiting run! Any good news to share?
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:47:46 PM)
Signing day is 12 days away and I, personally, can not wait. I think they will get 4-5 of the 14 guys I mentioned in the Grove, which will be fine. All have great offers and could certainly contribute. But if they get the right 4-5, we're talking about a special class. It could reengerize Monday afternoon with Mitchum. We shall see.
goofy (Jan 23, 2004 2:48:08 PM)
Steve..who do you see at WR next year with Holmes and Hall? ..Jordan? IS Hiley and Gonzalez at WR or CB?
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:50:11 PM)
Good question, Childress, after that great catch-and-run in the Fiesta Bowl needs to be exploited. Will John Hollins have a Drew Carter-kind-of-senior year (save for the injury)? Obviously, Jordan and Gonzalez are in the picture. Hiley, I hear, could move to the competition at corner, may be used both ways this spring. He looked great in bowl practice, hooking up with Troy Smith. Remember, one CB spot open now and another open a year from now, so they need options there.
dart (Jan 23, 2004 2:50:24 PM)
Steve , Do you believe that there is such a thing as a "silent verbal" and if there is do the Bucks have any this year?
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:52:57 PM)
Well, somebody here believed Mitchum was one (VBG). A silent verbal is when a kid tells a coach he is coming and then holds that news until he wants to make it known publically, yes, that happens all the time. I am not aware of any right now beyond, possibly, Mitchum. A source indicated that Patterson had verbaled in Dec., but just wanted to visit UCLA and Missouri before announcing at his banquet. So that qualifies. (That's how we were able to predict, somewhat accurately, he was going to verbal that night before he did.)
XHSCOACH (Jan 23, 2004 2:53:12 PM)
Steve, how do you rate our recruiting per midwest teams. Seems we've done pretty well
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:54:28 PM)
I have not studied the other schools that strongly this time, for some reason. They say Michigan and Penn State have also done well. Notre Dame, not so good I guess. rest of Big Ten, I have no clue. I will start studying them this week leading up to signing day.
fiesta (Jan 23, 2004 2:54:38 PM)
Steve, can you fill us in on what your have heard about Boeckman? Is he the 3rd string next year, or could he surpass Smith?
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:54:58 PM)
And, honestly, much will be decided with late verbals and signing day decisions, it seems.
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 2:57:25 PM)
No, I think Zwick and Smith are 1 and 1A and, in my mind, both should play this year, especially early on. The plan is still for Boeckman to redshirt, so he gets 2 years of separation between himself and Zwick-Smith. That would make him the front runner to possibly start after they're gone in 2007-08 (great planning, huh?). He's on the Jim Karsatos 6-year plan. Now if somebody would get hurt and they need him, they would take the RS off and he would play and then maybe RS next year. Plenty of ways they can play it, for sure. But everybody loves the kid, coach's son, tremendous body, great athletic ability, tremendous upside, future is real bright, tell me he won't be a winner with 3-4 years good coaching in him.
Guest (Jan 23, 2004 2:58:00 PM)
Steve, do you see any of the recruits that we have offered so far and have accepted as reaches. Nothing against these recruits it's just someones opinion
bobbybuck (Jan 23, 2004 2:58:10 PM)
Do the coaches have a pretty good idea who is coming of the still available or will it be a shotgun approach on signing day
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 3:00:07 PM)
well, one by one, the list will whittle down over the next 12 days. Mitchum decides Monday, Hart on Wed and so on. By signing day, they may only have 2-3 spots left. They may send out 4-5 letters, hoping to get 2-3 signed and faxed back by the right people. They will play their cards correctly, I'm sure. As I said, this 12 days is when these assistants earn their money. They need to move some of these key kids off other schools and on to OSU and get them verbaled and signed.
fiesta (Jan 23, 2004 3:00:25 PM)
Steve, Does the loss of Zuttah to Rutgers really hurt? Were we counting on this kid as a backup? Also, did he really have the talent to make an impact at OSU?
tsteele316 (Jan 23, 2004 3:00:26 PM)
are we pretty much out of the running for james bryant?
MrBuckeye (Jan 23, 2004 3:00:44 PM)
Steve, any news on the Andrew Johnson / James Bryant tandum? Are they still considered a package deal? Sounds like Johnson has taken OSU off his list. Any reason why? Rumors on Bryant?
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 3:02:39 PM)
On Zuttah, yes, I think he could have helped here. OSU would not have offered if he didn't.
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 3:02:45 PM)
In terms of Bryant, he sees LSU this weekend. I think Miami may be the team to beat. OSU apparently canceled Johnson's visit, maybe because spots were too tight, I don't know. Opinions are mixed on him. They're not linked at the hip, I know that. I'm not sure Bryant wants to go to Pitt. Maybe they end up at Miami together.
Seabus (Jan 23, 2004 3:03:10 PM)
Steve, why do you think we have more trouble landing top tier OL's than Michigan?? How would you change this if you were OSU God for a day??
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 3:06:15 PM)
Man, that's a tough question. OSU has produced its share of great OL with Stringer, Pace, Bentley and others coming to mind. I don't understand why it's been such a problem. Bollman seems to have his idea of what he wants in an OL and Tressel has given him carte blanche to go after it. Remember, he did lure Derek Morris here, but it did not work out because of problems on Morris' side. Few OL were rated higher than that kid. I contend they've got 2 good ones already with Person and Skinner in the fold and figure to get a great one Monday with Mitchum. They just need to get the machinery in place. Coop couldn't recruit them either very well in his last few years here.
XHSCOACH (Jan 23, 2004 3:06:29 PM)
steve, how do you see the front 7 playing, we are stacked with schlegal and kerr do we move D'andrea or not.
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 3:08:56 PM)
Let me add, I think Patterson is a potential star and could earn a spot somewhere on the DL beginning this fall.
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 3:09:00 PM)
No, I don't see a D'Andrea move right now. My front seven right now would be Fraser and Kudla at DE, Green and Pitcock at DT with Patterson, Frost, Penton and Richardson rotating through. Then at LB, Hawk, Carpenter and Schlegel with D'Andrea (get healthy) and Kerr rotating in. If that group of 13 guys can't get it done, then nobody will.
Guest (Jan 23, 2004 3:09:40 PM)
Steve, many people think JT isn't much of a closer...but aren't all the kids he recruits and gets a reflections of his forthright and business like demeanor/approach. He seems to be the salesman that believes in his product and relies on it to sell itself, rather than a "used-car salesman" type.
Guest (Jan 23, 2004 3:10:11 PM)
how much of a chance is there of a repeat of the stretch run of last year?
ToledoFanatic (Jan 23, 2004 3:10:16 PM)
Steve, I heard all last Spring that Smith was giving Zwick a real run for his money...even from an accuracy standpoint, but now all I hear is that it's Zwick all the way. Do you think Troy has a shot at QB next year?
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 3:12:29 PM)
It definitely isn't Zwick all the way, let's clear that up now. All Tressel ever said in Dec. was if there was a 2004 game today, that Zwick would start, but Smith would also play. It didn't help Smith much that his reps at QB were so limited in 2003. Zwick threw 8 passes to Troy's none. But it will be an open competition starting April 1. They have to get them both ready to play because you don't know what will happen when the bullets start flying. I like them both quite a bit. Look back to their spring game last year and you can't help but get excited.
fiesta (Jan 23, 2004 3:12:48 PM)
Steve, who can be expected to step into backup roles among the OL guys we have got?
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 3:14:40 PM)
Well I think Person is the closest to a finished product. Skinner went the distance this year injury free and is also a mountain. If he shows anything at all, he may be in the 2-deep, too. Counting on freshmen OL is the last thing a coach wants to do. Thankfully, the depth is such (10 returning scholarship linemen), they don't have to. Would be great to RS all of the signees.
goofy (Jan 23, 2004 3:14:51 PM)
Steve..thanks for answering my questions..Here's another...With the juggernaut at the DB position, is there something Tressel is doing that some of us may not get? It looks like OSU will have as many as 16 DB's next year. A few of them won't ever play besides special teams
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 3:17:09 PM)
You can never have enough good players who can run. Look at the Fiesta Bowl, they win the game, perhaps, because 2 guys who have never played (Jacobs and Hollins) but have some athletic ability teamed up for the play of their lives. I have them with 9 returning DBs and 5 incoming freshmen. Doesn't seem like an inordinate amount since you play 5 DBs half the time anyway.
fiesta (Jan 23, 2004 3:17:49 PM)
Steve, this is your chance, lets here how you feel about Bollman as an OL coach and as an OC?
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 3:20:29 PM)
Well, he was a great OL coach when they won the NC. I'm not sure what happened this past year, although Step was dinged up some. Bishop regressed somewhet. I don't know what to say. He is the OC in title and certainly helps JT produce the game plan each week, but JT is actually the OC because as gary says, "The plays roll of his lips." Can't really judge him as an OC, accordingly. I'd give him an A- for 2002 and a C+ for 2003 as the line coach. No reason a group of seniors should play like that, of course blocking teams 5 on 9 because there was no great passing threat did not help. Complex issues, certainly.
Kirk (Jan 23, 2004 3:20:46 PM)
Last question for Steve, then he's got to head to b-ball interviews...
XHSCOACH (Jan 23, 2004 3:21:01 PM)
steve, I guess the real question is, does Jt and staff change their scheme to put their best players on the field. We do have a great front seven just so much talent they all deserve pt.
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 3:23:46 PM)
JT won't be involved in those discussions. He has made it clear that he is only interested in coaching the offense. Now we'll see what happens when and if the defense ever starts giving up 20 or 25 points a game what his feeling is then. But, in the meantime, he is leaving those decisions to Mark Snyder and the defensive staff. I get the sense there are a lot of heated discussions in how to deploy the personnel and some strong personalities on that staff. Ultimately, it will be Snyder's call on how to play it. But I agree, they have some talent. Good problem to have.
SteveHelwagen (Jan 23, 2004 3:23:48 PM)
Hey, it's been a slice, 2 hours and 20 minutes of pure fun. We have over 100 people in here at one time. Thanks to everybody who participated and particularly Dennis Kennedy. A great kid. Thanks again and good night now!
Kirk (Jan 23, 2004 3:24:06 PM)