Helwagen Chat: Jan. 30 Archive

Here are excerpts from Friday's Chat session with Bucknuts.com managing editor Steve Helwagen. He conducts these Chat sessions each Friday for Bucknuts.com subscribers. Click this free link to read all the questions and answers.

Here are excerpts from the Chat conducted Friday by Bucknuts.com managing editor Steve Helwagen.

nbuck (Jan 30, 2004 1:02:08 PM)
steve are your peeps still confindent about jarrett?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:03:34 PM)
Well, they were 2 days ago. Haven't spoken with them since. That came from 2 different sources close to the situation. I doubt the Dukes verbal or even Lyons' potential verbal on Monday will factor into this. I understand his mom believes OSU is the best place for him, so that helps.

XHSCOACH (Jan 30, 2004 1:03:38 PM)
Hey, Steve bring the good stuff with ya

XHSCOACH (Jan 30, 2004 1:03:39 PM)
Let's start with any new phone conversations, you've had in the last week

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:06:22 PM)
Honestly, this is the time when kids clam up, so conversations are sparse. In some cases they have nothing more to add. We will be working the phones again this weekend to dredge up more stuff. But this is when they become real scarce. My best phone conversation of the year was with Albert Dukes' mom. You have to read her comments on the front page story. Wow.

MATTY75 (Jan 30, 2004 1:06:28 PM)
Any chance on landing Morelli?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:07:38 PM)
No, I think it's between Penn Stateand Iowa from the last update I read. Boy, Pittsburgh has really dropped the ball.

jnelson80 (Jan 30, 2004 1:07:43 PM)
Steve, Will a Dukes and a Jarret make up for the loss of Davis?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:09:52 PM)
Oh, no doubt. Let's face it, these are all unknown commodities. Dennis Kennedy could go on and win the Heisman Trophy, but you couldn't get anybody to care when they were in the process of offering him, see what I'm saying? Yes, Dukes and possible additions of Jarrett and Lyons -- not to mention Morgan -- give OSU several options at WR. Jarrett is an awesome talent. Lyons could play O or D. Dukes is just a play maker (17 TDs as a senior on an 11-1 team). Don't sweat Davis. They will not miss him.

buckhaven (Jan 30, 2004 1:10:03 PM)
steve, who do you feel we finish this class with?

Dan (Jan 30, 2004 1:10:09 PM)
Hey Steve... Great Job! Who else do you think we get?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:12:06 PM)
Lyons almost assuredly. Then, possibly Jarrett and/or Estopinan (looks 50-50 for both) with an outside shot at Bryant, Anderson and/or Harvey. Young may not be ready to make a verbal so quickly because of academics, perhaps. I am being told -- and I have NO NAMES or DETAILS -- that OSU may have more spots to play with than even I believed. I am in the process of tracking that down. May not be until Wed. when we see Coach Tressel in person, but there may be some open spots. Stay tuned.

nbuck (Jan 30, 2004 1:12:29 PM)
steve have you heard anything about maurice hall at the end of the season it was said he needed 2 operations on his knees,if only 1 of them was as bad as they seem might this be career ending as a possible medical scholarship

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:14:16 PM)
I have heard nothing to that effect. I can't believe they would make a quick judgement on something like that. They'd probably like to see how he rebounds and is able to go through spring ball (or not). No hurry on that decision. I doubt they would push him out with a medical just to sign some other kid already.

TJM025 (Jan 30, 2004 1:14:28 PM)
hi steve, do you think we will oversign and if so what circumstances would it have to be in order for that to happen?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:16:33 PM)
Jim Tressel said a year ago he hates to do it because then something has to happen (flunk out, injury, transfer) to fit everybody in by start of fall camp. If my information is correct and 1 or more returning players will not be back (AGAIN, I HAVE NO NAMES, so please do not even ask me to speculate who it could be that's leaving -- if anybody is), then they may have more spots than I originally believed a week ago.

jnelson80 (Jan 30, 2004 1:16:50 PM)
What's the word on Kennedy, as compared to Haw and Pittman?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:19:03 PM)
Well, he has good speed in the 4.4 range.He's 5-11, 190, so he would not be a power back. Could honestly end up as a corner. But everybody who has seen him believes he can play at this level. Haw has great power and speed. I know Gary and Duane both like him. Pittman a great speed guy, maybe a cross between the 2. They are really getting 3 different kind of backs, which is fine.

MATTY75 (Jan 30, 2004 1:19:09 PM)
What is the latest on Derrick Harvey?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:21:38 PM)
I think OSU is still high in his thoughts. He also visited Maryland and Florida and is also considering Tennessee. He is supposed to announce Tuesday afternoon on ESPN, so I guess we'll know then. But I think OSU is still in the running. They would love to have him.

buckwho (Jan 30, 2004 1:21:52 PM)
What do you think are the differences between recruiting now and how it was under Cooper?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:22:47 PM)
One thing seems to be Tressel relying on his coordinators much more for talent evaluation and offers. He seems inclined to let them have the say. Bill Conley

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:23:15 PM)
s role hasn't changed dramatically. He still oversees everything and does a fine job in that regard. They just work well together. I'll say that.

ucfpengbuck (Jan 30, 2004 1:23:19 PM)
Steve,I spoke to coach from the university of Florida that told me that Dajuan Morgan's scholarship was pulled by OSU. Do you know this to be true. I have a lot more on this but since bucknuts deleted my post I'll leave at this.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:25:24 PM)
Well, our Charles Babb talked to Morgan for an hour last night for a magazine article and, obviously, Charles had no clue to ask about it. But He said the kid and his mom never let on that he wasn't going to sign with OSU. Charles was to talk to the high school coach as well. You would think the kid and his mom would have told Charles "I'm not signing with them now" at some point in the discussion as they talked about why he picked OSU.

Wells20 (Jan 30, 2004 1:26:08 PM)
Steve, did you read the Miami Herald articles on recruiting and do you have any comments on them, or can you compare them to OSU's official visits?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:28:29 PM)
I did not read the Herald articles, sorry. I can tell you, from speaking to recruits, a typical OSU visit consists of arriving Friday, dining with the player hosts and the coaches, perhaps a dessert at Coach Tressel's house, some social time with the players (typically somebody hosts a party near campus), get up Sat. to attend practice (during Dec.) or academic meetings, campus tour, basketball game, dinner again Sat. night, more social time, Sunday final goodbyes with stadium tour, time with Tressel 1 on1, etc. Can't say exactly what happens during the "social times," if that is what you are alluding to.

68Buck (Jan 30, 2004 1:28:39 PM)
What are our chances with Anderson?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:29:59 PM)
He seems to say Oklahoma is now in front with OSU No.2. But then he says there could be a surprise on signing day. Nothing like that to build some suspense. I'd say probably 30 percent chance he ends up here.

russiabuck (Jan 30, 2004 1:30:13 PM)
Any chance of this being a top a top 3 class?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:31:42 PM)
Maybe with Jarrett and Bryant or Anderson in there, sure. That would give them 6 top-100 guys I believe. That's pretty strong. I think they're in the top 5-6 for sure. All that's really important is they got good kids, most of them strong academically and they fulfilled most if not all of their glaring needs -- RB, OL, WR, DB.

Guest (Jan 30, 2004 1:31:57 PM)
Steve will ther be a suprise asst coach coming aboard

Kirk (Jan 30, 2004 1:32:15 PM)
Speaking of Jarrett, lots of questions about him, so I'll throw a few Jarrett ?s on now...

HunterdonBuck (Jan 30, 2004 1:32:18 PM)
Steve, You are killing us with the comments in the Grove on Jarrett, tell us what your peeps know about Jarret, or else!!! :)

HunterdonBuck (Jan 30, 2004 1:32:24 PM)
Steve, trying again, what are your "peeps" saying about Jarrett?

NJBuckeye (Jan 30, 2004 1:32:33 PM)
Steve, If SC considered Jarret their number one guy, they sign Davis, how does Jarret feel about being number two?

MATTY75 (Jan 30, 2004 1:32:41 PM)
Do you think Jarrett is really as high as a 50/50 chance?

nbuck (Jan 30, 2004 1:32:51 PM)
what can you tell us about what jarrets mom likes the most about osu?

canalfultonbuckeye (Jan 30, 2004 1:33:00 PM)
Steve, do we land Jarret?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:36:42 PM)
Well, the best intelligence I have about Jarrett is that I was told his mom really likes OSU and would prefer him here than Virginia. But he also really likes Virginia. Weeks ago, I was told that, although he and Fred Davis were somewhat tight after the A-A game, that they each agreed they'd likely have to go to separate schools. Maybe Dwayne wised up and realized Carroll and Chow were running all over the country telling everybody "you're our No. 1 guy" (Babb says the count on that is 4 guys and counting) and realized they weren't sincere. Again, I was told he likely would not be doing interviews until he announces, so I doubt we get anything directly from him. We're working the edges the best we can and this is what we're hearing ... that some folks have him close to convinced he needs to be at tOSU.

MATTY75 (Jan 30, 2004 1:36:52 PM)
In 05' do you rhink the Buckeyes will go after an in-state QB...say Tyler Horner. Do you think he will be a 3*, 4*, or a 5*. 3000yds as a junor is pretty impressive

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:41:04 PM)
Well, the Bauserman situation bears close inspection. If he does indeed go baseball, then they certainly will need 1-2 QBs next year. Horner is 6-2, 185 and has another year to grow, which will be important. I'm sure Joe Daniels and Tressel will take a close look if he comes to the camp. I know Duane likes him. Duane also likes St. X's Rob Schoenhoft (6-5, 220) who has the size but may be a little raw. They may go out of state next year for more than half the class, believe it or not, including at QB. But those are 2 of the Ohio boys who will get a very close look.

Mike68 (Jan 30, 2004 1:41:11 PM)
Steve- Do to having 25 (or more) schollies this year, at least half of the kids will have to be redshirted due to a #'s game (a la '02). Of the current verbals, which one's do you see NOT being redshirted

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:43:42 PM)
I agree with your premise and support it wholeheartedly. A redshirt year is so beneficial. But the guys I think can impact the bottom line in 2004 include Haw and/or Pittman (especially if there is no Reecie), Freeman (mainly on specials), Ginn (specials and perhaps by midseason at CB), maybe Mitchum or Person (if needed on OL), Trapasso (if he wins punting job).

JulianBuck (Jan 30, 2004 1:44:01 PM)
Steve, Im curious about Ohio States lack of presence on the west coast this year. It seemed to me that there were a few kids that OSU should have been in on. Tim Spencer seemed to have made a nice impression out here the past few years. I KNOW we are not conceding the territory to USC,. Any thoughts?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:47:07 PM)
It's hard for OSU to run back and forth to Cali. It hurts that Spencer is leaving because that was his territory and he came back with some occasional gems (Rambo, Wiley, et al.). They will need to reestablish somebody there in May when they can hit the road. Plus, let's face it, the USC sleeping monster just woke up. Every kid in Cali for the next 5 years will want to play there. So now you have to recruit there like OSU has done in Fla., content to take the kids ranked, like 15th-30th instate who can still be difference makers in the Big Ten.

Exiled (Jan 30, 2004 1:47:22 PM)
Any rumblings that current commits - especially the early ones - might renege on signing day?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:48:10 PM)
No, haven't heard anything to that degree.

Guest (Jan 30, 2004 1:48:21 PM)
We wil miss FD as the one who got away ,I hope everything works out for him he has some fences to mend back home I would think

MATTY75 (Jan 30, 2004 1:48:25 PM)
Re: Fred Davis ...any chance he could pull an Irazarry? Or his he already at USC?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:48:47 PM)
Don't know, don't care.

Guest (Jan 30, 2004 1:49:05 PM)
Steve any word on New positions coaches to replace Spencer & Mark D

Guest (Jan 30, 2004 1:49:10 PM)
Do you think Tressel is planning on using all the scholarships available this year?

buckhaven (Jan 30, 2004 1:49:15 PM)
steve, what is the latest with MoC coming back?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:53:33 PM)
I kind of view that like the Davis thing. I have taken a low key approach to the whole thing. USA Today seems hell bent on running a story on him every day of the week. He got cleared to work out with the team at the facility, but I think he wants to wait until he is cleared to play to go through the formal workouts. I'm not sure even if he's cleared he wants to work out with them anyway (rumors of personal trainer,etc.). You hear that OSU needs to petition the NCAA. But they are obviously waiting for the court ruling and to see how his academics (not that he's questionable gradewise because I don't know) and citizenship hold up through the end of winter quarter (mid-March). Some think the NCAA will hold the kid up --- and he does have to make $3,800 in restitution to be eligible. So there are a lot of dynamics in place there. My personal belief is he wins the suit and goes pro. Others think he loses the suit and OSU welcomes him back. If he loses the suit, though, things could get murky. I guess just pick up

osuwitt (Jan 30, 2004 1:53:54 PM)
do you think there will be and bad surprise on signing day...any possible good ones?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:55:39 PM)
I can't see any bad ones unless rumors that somebody isn't signing for academic reasons pan out. That would not be good, certainly. Good ones, yeah, maybe they snag a Jarrett, Bryant or Anderson that we had not counted on. That's possible, I guess. But 93 percent of the work on this class (or more) has already been done.

hondo (Jan 30, 2004 1:56:06 PM)
Hi Steve - Do you think the Buckeyes land Hairston? How much flak will OB get if they don't?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 1:59:08 PM)
OSU seems to be the compromise candidate in this derby and that's not all bad. He said he didn't like style of play at Kansas and UCLA, too laid back. He may want out of Detroit, so that hurts Michigan's chances. He likes LaMonta Stone a lot. He would get almost a Jim Jackson reception at this point if he chooses OSU. If he doesn't, then O'Brien and Co. will be scrambling to get an impact, athletic JUCO who can play next season. They have to do something to jump start this team. The entire team is back except for Radinovic and Jenkins.

Guest (Jan 30, 2004 1:59:25 PM)
gantrell shavers took his test's again on jan24 i he gets them back after signing day and qualifies do you think he could be a late enrolle aka "big daddy"

SCOTT BUCKNUT (Jan 30, 2004 1:59:37 PM)
Why do you think USC is having such success with recruiting (besides being co-national champs)? Are the coaches making "promises" to the players about their status when they come in like some of the mesage boards are saying, or is isomething else?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 2:02:26 PM)
It is not a surprise to me that Pete Carroll is having this kind of success at USC. He is a rah-rah college guy with tons of energy. I assume most of you watched the BCS selection show. On that very show -- as his team was getting the short straw and the Rose Bowl -- he showed why he is so good. He spun that situation into a complete positive for USC, didn't bad mouth anybody and put his best foot forward. That's what you do in recruiting. A kid says, "But you guys don't do this." Carroll says, "Yeah, that's true, but we do this and this and this and this and this." He is a great talker, energetic and has a passion. They have restored the tradition at USC after years of suckiness.

Guest (Jan 30, 2004 2:03:01 PM)
What are the chances on Olu Hall?

Guest (Jan 30, 2004 2:03:19 PM)
Hav you heard anything on the Cedric Scott front?

Guest (Jan 30, 2004 2:03:30 PM)

Guest (Jan 30, 2004 2:03:39 PM)
With that team up North getting Jamison and the wide receiver do we have a shot at taking over 4th spot

ncinthenext3 (Jan 30, 2004 2:03:42 PM)
Steve, any rumblings from or around Mr. Bryant - I think he could really round out this class.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 2:06:12 PM)
Gary says every time he talked to him he got a vibe that the kid really likes OSU. But I also did see a report where he said his final 3 were Pitt, Miami and Florida. That obviously doesn't sound good. Ted Ginn Jr. and he are really tight from the A-A game. Maybe there is some hope, but I'd rate it at only 20 to 25 percent.

68Buck (Jan 30, 2004 2:06:33 PM)
Steve - Besides Ginn which recruit is most likely to come in and contribute immediately?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 2:07:27 PM)
Trapasso at punter, Haw and/or Pittman at RB (if no Reecie), maybe Freeman or Person or Mitchum, but they'd all have to claw through a bunch of bodies to get on the field on D or O, respectively.

Goofy (Jan 30, 2004 2:07:38 PM)
Any idea whether Jamario will play RB this year? and, do you know whether he will be up in the top 5 or so DB's in the nation next year?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 2:09:15 PM)
I think there is a good chance he'll be a top-25 player nationally. He went to San Antonio and tested really well. If anybody gets a look at that Mansfield highlight tape when he's a soph and doesn't put him in the top 50, at least, nationally then they need their head examined. No clue what Ginn Sr. has in store for O'Neal. I would imagine after missing much of this past year due to the transfer/discipline, he will become a featured player again as a senior.

buckhaven (Jan 30, 2004 2:09:43 PM)
steve, if zwick lands the qb job, what happens with smith?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 2:11:26 PM)
Good question. I don't think it will be that simple. I see Tressel rotating them a good bit, maybe most or all season long. Troy could be used as a wingback or RB or WR, I guess. I'd love to see them both on the field together a lot so you have the threat of 2 passers. Run backwards screens to Smith where he has the option to pass or run, I suppose. Could be explosive.

hkalin (Jan 30, 2004 2:11:33 PM)
steve. what's the word with Javier Estopinan?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 2:12:50 PM)
He sounds like he can't decide between OSU and Florida. He'd be a great one to have as an undefeated heavyweight wrestler. Those kind of kids bring a toughness and an ability to use leverage to their advantage. It's just wait-and-see right now.

sears3820 (Jan 30, 2004 2:13:09 PM)
Any rumblings about who we should watch out for in regards to the vacant assistant coaching jobs?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 2:14:49 PM)
Nope, nary a word on that. Maybe we'll get a sniff Wed. or at the prep coaches clinic. I suggested a high school coach (McDaniels or Ginn or somebody else) in my Grove column. I'm sure he has plenty of applications on his desk. I liked the idea of the Minnesota RBs coach (2 1,000-yard guys this past year, must be doing something right).

edbuck51 (Jan 30, 2004 2:15:09 PM)
This year will be the transition year from the Cooper to Tressel eras on the field as far as athletes are concerned. I'm looking forward to some new blood, especially on the o-line. Do you think another top five finish is in the cards?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 2:19:01 PM)
Great question and, yes, this is the changing of the guard year. You go from having 19 Coop starters in 2002 to 13 last year to a projected 1 (Joe) this year. Last time this happened, I like to say, was the transition from the great 98 (almost) champs to 99 (ken-Yon and Co.) and the new guys didn't get the message that the had to EARN their own title on the field. A top-5 finish? Hmmm. On paper today, OSU is favored in all 11 games it will play next year. But inexperience will probably cost them 2 games. 9-2 with a bowl win might be a top-five finish. Can't predict such today, but it is entirely possible if the pieces fall into place quickly.

russiabuck (Jan 30, 2004 2:19:38 PM)
Steve, I've already given up hope for this years basketball team as far as any noise in the tournament. Do you expect Terwillger and Butler to make much of an impact, and what are our chances with Hairston?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 2:21:46 PM)
Butler will make a great impact if he continues on his current pace. He brings them the lead guard they don't have who can score, penetrate and dish. Terwilliger is probably 2 years away from being a force, but I understand he won't back down in the meantime. The other signee is still, to me, a complete unknown. I know his name (Jermyll Jackson-Wilson) and that he's 6-7. But that's it. I think OSU has the slightest of edges for Hairston because of LaMonta Stone. But it would not surprise me if he went somewhere else in April, either. Lot of time between now and then.

BigTimeBuck (Jan 30, 2004 2:22:11 PM)
Please comment on this years out of state recruiting vs years past.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 2:27:02 PM)
They have done an incredible job. I think 9 of the 23 verbals plus Bauserman are from outside Ohio. If they get Lyons, that's 4 guys from Pa., including 3 of the state's top 11. Two of those guys (Nicol and Mitchum) are national top-100 guys. That's amazing for a state where they've only had 1 guy in the last 10 years, and that was 10 years ago. Dukes is huge from Fla. They went to Mizzou and stole Patterson from the Tigers. They got Abdallah, whom Lemming loves, out of New Orleans. They identified positions they needed help with OL with Mitchum, WR and DL with Abdallah and Gholston and got guys they needed to have. They've done well out of state, obviously, in the past. This just proves again that Tressel is a force in Florida and OSU is setting up shop in Pa.

Goofy (Jan 30, 2004 2:27:26 PM)
Steve..Can you give us an idea who your top 5 Ohio recruits are?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 2:30:14 PM)
Top five Ohio recruits for this year, I guess? My list would be Ginn (OSU), Davis (USC), Freeman (OSU), Person (OSU) and Haw (OSU). So they did good on my list. If you're asking about next year, OSU already has 2 of the top 4 or 5 including unquestioned top man O'Neal. Boone also a likely top-five pick, along with Mario Manningham, Freddie Lenix and either Antwon Hight or Todd Denlinger.

Kirk (Jan 30, 2004 2:30:23 PM)
Thanks everybody for the questions... we have to cut it off now (if a question was sent and didn't get answered, we apologize... crowds should begin to diminish after signing day) but since so many people asked, Steve, one last time, go ahead and post your feelings on how you feel the recruiting class will finish...

TJM025 (Jan 30, 2004 2:31:49 PM)
kirk, are u stickin around?

Kirk (Jan 30, 2004 2:31:50 PM)
If you guys want to chat for a while I can stop back in in about 15-20 minutes to maybe answer a few questions

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 2:32:36 PM)
Well, I admit that even I am confused about how many more spots they have. My people tell me Lyons is looking good for Monday night so that's a great start to a great finish. If we say they have 2 more spots on top of that, I'd say that Jarrett and Estopinan would be a tremendous way to close it out, knowing that maybe Harvey could also fall. This is a top-five, maybe even top-two class, Great job by the staff as a whiole, even working a man down for all of January.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 2:32:44 PM)
Thanks to everybody for showing up ...

calibuck (Jan 30, 2004 2:33:00 PM)
Kirk...please post the chat as soon as possible. I and I expect others could not get in till the last three questions. Thanks

Kirk (Jan 30, 2004 2:33:24 PM)
We will have a transcript up hopefully sometime today...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 30, 2004 2:33:39 PM)
... I want to do a quick sales pitch. Upgrade to annual subscription by Feb. 10 and you get on the mailing list for the March recruiting wrap-up issue of Bucknuts. By going annual, you pay LESS money for the year and get MORE with the 2 Insiders yearbooks and our monthly mag. Check it out, people. I'm gone.

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