Helwagen Chat: Feb. 20 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 for all of the questions and answers.

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.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 1:04:04 PM)
Hello everybody, I'm ready when you are. 

onebigbuckeye (Feb 20, 2004 1:03:24 PM)
I have an offensive line question. What happened to Ryan Cook and Matt Zahn, two recruits from a few years back; and what is the status of Ivan Douglas?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 1:08:02 PM)
Ryan Cook just left the team before last spring I believe. I think he sensed he was not one of Bollman's favorites (was recruited by previous staff). I tried several times to reach him in Indiana, but never had any luck. It's too bad because he looked the part. Zahn, however, never looked the part. The rumor was he was transferring to Marshall, but I heard he never made it there, either. No idea where either of them are now. Douglas is a sad story. Everybody knows about the blood clots. Doctors told him to give up the game because of his health and the idea his life would be in jeopardy if the clots reemerged on his lungs. When he was healthy, he was actually not bad at LT. Started there almost all of the national championship season. He is itching so bad to play, but the medical advice is against it.

237NoWorkout (Feb 20, 2004 1:08:13 PM)
Steve, Could this be the year that OSU stays in state recruiting WRs? Looks like Gilmore, Hartline, and Orton all look good.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 1:09:53 PM)
Yes, I like those 3 as well as Brian Robiskie at Chagrin Falls. Orton has the look at 6-4, 175 and comes from a good program at HHWayne. Hartline is just a good all around athlete. We're still gathering info on Gilmore. OSU probably needs 2-3 WRs in this class with Hollins and Childress and possibly Holmes leaving.

DragonKnight (Feb 20, 2004 1:09:56 PM)
How impressed are you with Javon Ringer? Is he the top senior to be RB?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 1:11:19 PM)
I really like Ringer. C-J played great competition outside their division and is one of the state's top 10 programs right now. He can dominate a game if they want him to. Two 2,000-yard seasons says a lot. But he is only 5-10, 190 and has some grade issues to iron out. Let's wait and see what happens with him.

Mr. Eddie (Feb 20, 2004 1:11:24 PM)
Steve: What's the latest news on Louis Holmes?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 1:13:12 PM)
We are grasping at anything we can to get info on Louis. The prep school coach has been in communicado. We are working with second- and third-hand sources in Fla. to get a number for his mom and dad, family members, Louis himself to find out what's up. All signs are he has got his test score. Until I hear from a coach or Louis or his mom and dad that it's OSU for sure next fall, I take everything I hear with a grain of salt. If his athletic ability is all it's cracked up to be, would be a nice late addition.

butkus (Feb 20, 2004 1:13:24 PM)
Steve, Just your personal opinion please...if you were recruit by the Bucks, and offered early, based on what happened this past year in Florida, would you accept early or wait it out? I personally think it may back fire on Tressel, but JMO! (Do you think it will effect Ohio boys)

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 1:16:05 PM)
No, I don't think it will be a major impact. These things dissipate over time. They may have a hard time at that one particular school. Here in Ohio, everybody worships the ground Tressel walks on. In hindsight, there may indeed be more to each story than we'll ever know. I guess give all involved the benefit of the doubt and move on.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 1:17:28 PM)
And, those kids (Morgan and Williams) still ended up at good schools and will get their education paid for nonetheless, so that's good, too.

BuckeyeDave (Feb 20, 2004 1:16:24 PM)
What is the state of Ohio State's recruiting in southern Ohio and Cincinnati? Especially the Greater Metro Conference and the Greater Catholic League, and especially since Cincinnati Elder of the GCL has won the state championship a couple of times.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 1:19:02 PM)
Jim Heacock does a decent job in Cincinnati. They've had some Cincinnati area kids on the roster like Ryan Hamby and B.J. Sander and now the Underwoods from Hamilton. I think they'd like to do more and better down there, but it is a competitive market. Kids down there (like Wynn) get pulled to the SEC, too. Yes, Elder won a state title and OSU flirted with some of their kids, but nobody was ever offered (I believe). That's just the way it works out sometimes.

237NoWorkout (Feb 20, 2004 1:19:13 PM)
Steve, Is OSU recruiting Justin King as a CD instead of a RB? Seems like everyone else is looking at him as a running back. Thanks for the input.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 1:22:46 PM)
I doubt OSU has gone so far as to say "we want you for defense" this early in the process. Even if they have, like what happened with Lyons, what he does as a senior may change their thinking. From what I've read, I think the kid sounded open about either side. OSU needs 2 tailbacks in this class (since they lose Ross, Hall). Maybe he would be one of them. King already has some great offers -- BC, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, OSU, ND, Pittsburgh, Penn State and Wisconsin.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 1:24:47 PM)
Back on the Cincinnati question, Duane Long had Brandon Underwood as the only Cincinnati area kid in his top 20 this past year and they got him. Others in top 50: DE Dyral Biggs, not offered and went to WVU; OL Ryan Stanchek, not offered and went to WVU; QB Kurt Shoemaker, not sure; S Brandon Wamsley, not sure. So at least this year there weren't any Ohio top-five kids down there.

Henry (Feb 20, 2004 1:22:55 PM)
Steve, what's the latest on the ESPN Magazine story that's supposed to "blow the lid off" OSU?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 1:25:58 PM)
Henry, I guess it must have been the gambling allegations and the ties to Dellimuti. What more could there be and who would care at this point. The cat is out of the bag and the kid's in the NFL now.

onebigbuckeye (Feb 20, 2004 1:26:11 PM)
Steve, do you think that we have a realistic shot at getting Malik Hairston?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 1:29:31 PM)
Oh yes. Definitely. Coach Stone is working very hard on that every day, I imagine. I think Malik wants to make sure he isn't missing something at one of the "so-called elite" schools like UCLA, Kansas and maybe even Oklahoma or UNC. Wow, would he look good on this team next year. More than being a go-to guy, I think he would help everybody settle back into reasonable roles. Everybody is trying to do too much and that's when mistakes and forced shots and turnovers and bad decisions happen. I honestly believe they would play better defense if their offense was better and at least more consistent. It is such a struggle for them to put the ball in the basket right now. I would not call Hairston a lock, but I would be surprised if he went anywhere else. Given the state of this team and this program, he should be able to come in and play 33-34 minutes a game next season (if he's any good at all).

MO-UTH (Feb 20, 2004 1:29:49 PM)
Steve, what round do you think Clarett goes in? I'll say 3-4.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 1:32:34 PM)
That decision is incomplete right now. It does not help he weighed in at 237. He needed to be a lean, mean 228. Maybe by his workout in 6 weeks he will be. That will be the determining factor. If he shows the athletic ability we all know is in there, he could as high as the late first on down to middle second. If he can't get in the proper shape, then probably, yeah 2-4. I'm sorry but I will maintain my stance all along -- how do you go from being the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy to chopped liver overnight? He is an awesome talent, whether you love him or hate him.

237&NoWorkout (Feb 20, 2004 1:32:48 PM)
Steve, Is Eric Haw going to be ready to play come September? Seems like it would be difficult to not be at OSU in the spring and still get playing time in the fall.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 1:34:51 PM)
Well, let's see, David Boston and Michael Wiley and Robert Smith and Andy Katzenmoyer and Orlando Pace all did it. Why not Haw? I just saw him today at the Big 33 function here in Cols. He talked about how playing in the 2 all-star games will get him mentally ready to start camp. I think Clarett's departure excites him because he knows he will almost have to be in the rotation from day one. Yes, Pittman gets the jump on him this spring. But, trust me, if Haw shows up in any kind of shape, with his size and speed they have to give him a whirl.

Mr. Eddie (Feb 20, 2004 1:35:04 PM)
Steve: Do you think any Ohio offensive linemen, besides Boone, will get an early offer?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 1:37:42 PM)
I'm not sure. Rocco Cirroni (6-7, 250) kind of fits the Kirk Barton mold. But maybe they want to see him in camp this summer before pulling the trigger. I don't know of anybody on our Ohio OL list who needs an offer right now. With scholarships so tight, they probably don't feel the need to overextend early offers. So, my guess is, no, Boone will be the only Ohio OL they offer until May or June, probably.

LV-Buckeye (Feb 20, 2004 1:37:51 PM)
will ohio state ever try to recruit in california to keep ol petey out of ohio

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 1:39:42 PM)
well, they're starting over out there with somebody new since Tim Spencer left. Would be great to 1-2 kids a year out of California because there is so much talent there. I like the way they do it in Florida. They usually get 2-3 of the state's top 50. Miami, FSU and Florida can't get them all. Same obviously applies in Cali, where USC can't take more than 13-14 instate kids a year.

kopakigo (Feb 20, 2004 1:39:55 PM)
Steve, how many offers does OSU have out on the table now? Who? Thanks

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 1:40:02 PM)
LV, following up, you have to admit it's hard to get a kid to travel 2,000 miles to attend college. That's a lot of 5- and 6-hour plane trips (and that's if you get a direct flight).

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 1:44:09 PM)
I apologize, but I can't definitively answer the offer question. I looked at the Insiders data base earlier today for a story I was working on and it was fine and as I look right now it is not working. I would have to defer that question to the info in that data base. Ones I know off the top of my head would be RB Maurice Wells of Fla., RB-CB Justin King of Pa., safety Adam Myers-White of Hamilton, Ohio, WR Derrick Williams of Md. and the 2 verbals (O'Neal and Boone). They also offered Manningham and Ky. TE James McKinney (soft verbal to the U of M).

osudrinker (Feb 20, 2004 1:44:30 PM)
Hey Steve, How high do you believe Boone and O'Neal will be on theinsiders top 100 if it was to come out today? Also do you know when it actually does come out?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 1:47:04 PM)
My guess is they won't stick their neck out for a top 100 until April or May. I asked Jamie Newberg about that on Monday. He said "Everybody on the Internet wants things yesterday, but it takes time to get tape in, talk to coaches about kids and formulate opinions and rankings that would hold water." What good is a top 100 rushed into print after signing day if it contains kids who won't even get MAC offers? That's why they take their time, do it right and usually, there is not a lot of fluctuation from beginning to end of the process. If O'Neal is not a national top 20 kid, I'll eat my hat. Boone probably national top 30 to 50, I guess. O'Neal is incredible.

DragonKnight (Feb 20, 2004 1:47:20 PM)
Reguardless of class, who's the top few QB's in Ohio? Who's your favorite out of the WR's?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 1:50:25 PM)
DK, tough question. I'm not sure if Miles Schlichter, who will be a junior, ranks ahead of any of the seniors or not. Tyler Horner of Clayton Northmont appears to be the top senior. I guess I prefer the big, Michael Jenkins type receiver and that's why I'm pushing for 6-4, 175-pound Craig Orton, who had 53 catches and 9 TDs. Hartline (6-3, 175) and Robiskie (6-3, 190) are also in that area code, too. David Lighty is the name to remember. He'll be a junior at Cleve. VASJ and goes 6-5, 185. Great 2-sport star in basketball as well.

edbuck51 (Feb 20, 2004 1:50:36 PM)
Do you envision major rule changes coming from the NCAA regarding recruiting?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 1:53:24 PM)
No, they always talk a big game about fixing this or that but nothing hardly ever changes. Maybe one day they'll have an early signing period in Aug. for football. Other than that I'm not sure what needs changed. Institutionally, schools need to look long and hard at tactics on official visits. If you think for one second this is a Colorado-only problem, you are deluding yourself. This kind of thing is rampant. One recruiting expert I used to deal with was a recruiting coordinator at a D-I school and he says you would not believe some of the stories. 17- and 18-year-old kids unleashed with alcohol and the rest of the college night life scene can sometimes yield dangerous results.

bellevuebuck (Feb 20, 2004 1:53:38 PM)
Hi Steve, which RS freshmen will crack the two-deep this season?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 1:55:45 PM)
RS freshmen in the two-deep? Hmmm, maybe Jordan at SE or Hiley at FL. Probably Barton at OT, Frost at DE, maybe Maupin or Cotton (one or the other, certainly) at DT because there are only 5 returning DTs. That's probably it for the 2-deep. I think Frost, by season's end, and maybe Barton (if nobody else works out) could be the first from the 9 RS freshmen to get a starting nod.

brianpacebuck (Feb 20, 2004 1:56:07 PM)
steve, what do you know of Gene Delledonne from delaware? He was supposedly a ball boy at the elite 11 camp (which morelli was as a junior also). Does OSU have a good shot at him and how would you rank him compared to other QBs?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 1:58:50 PM)
DelleDonne has great size at 6-5, 225. I had not seen where he was listing OSU. I thought he has Michigan, Maryland and others on his list, though. Don't know much about him and certainly have never seen him on tape.

onebigbuckeye (Feb 20, 2004 1:59:01 PM)
Steve, is there a shot blocking center prospect in Ohio State's future a la Ken Johnson? With the way our guards play defense, having a swatter back there would be a tremendous pickup.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 2:00:29 PM)
Ha ha, good dig at the (non guarding) guards. Can't say I know of any shot blockers in the pipeline. Kyle Lamb says they were looking at the 7-footer Nevill from Ga., but may be cooling on him until they know exactly what their scholarship status (i.e. Marinchick, etc.) is.

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 2:00:31 PM)
Time for 2 more, then out the door

Tatum (Feb 20, 2004 2:00:52 PM)
Steve, do you believe Freddie Lenix gets an offer before the season? Thanks...

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 2:02:24 PM)
Possibly. There were rumors it was going to happen already. I wonder if that is being done so other schools will again traipse through Glenville (i.e. the "good of the group" deal) and look at some of their other kids. But it was my impression they were going to offer him. He's listed at 6-0, 195 and plays LB, but have to think he'll end up as a prototype SS at the college level.

BuckeyeDave (Feb 20, 2004 2:02:32 PM)
When I attended an OSU Alumni Club reception for Jim Tressel last Friday, he said there was a kind of grass-roots movement in the NCAA to bring back the Freshman Ineligibility rule. Your thoughts?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 2:04:26 PM)
No, don't like that at all. Scholarship limits have made it hard to field competitive teams sometimes. In principle, it's great to give a kid a year to acclimate themselves academically and as practice players on the scout team. But, no, I don't like that rule. Some freshmen are ready from day one, like reecie. If that rule was in place, OSU's last NC would still be 1968, right?

SteveHelwagen (Feb 20, 2004 2:04:27 PM)
Gotta go. See you next week!

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