Helwagen Chat: April 9 Archive

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

BuckeyeDave (Apr 9, 2004 1:05:55 PM)
Hi Steve - What are differences in areas of expertise, between you and Gary?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:10:23 PM)
Dave, we each have our areas we specialize in. My main emphasis would be covering OSU athletics on campus and on the road. I also cover the various camps and recruiting days. I make recruit calls as needed. Gary likes event coverage and getting out and seeing prospects in person. he also makes calls as needed. Duane deals with players and coaches and watches an inordinate amount of videotape. We think between the 3 of us we're on top of it.

edbuck51 (Apr 9, 2004 1:11:07 PM)
Do the Bucks take a break for Easter?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:12:17 PM)
They practice today, then have Sat. and Sun. off as well as Mon. Resume on Tuesday. Kids could go home if they wanted. Not sure what days (if any) are off from school.

cderekw (Apr 9, 2004 1:12:21 PM)
Hi Steve - With all the attention around the QB competition, Is there really one? It appears JZ has virtually been given the job. IMO, we won't know anything until these two guys get in actual game situation.

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:14:20 PM)
Tressel has just been honest in saying Justin had a slight edge. He could have said it was 50-50, but he didn't. But I only take that as a slight edge. Everybody tells me that Troy has been impressive when he has been healthy. Just wait till next Sat., I guess.

ZwickMaster (Apr 9, 2004 1:14:27 PM)
Any idea how T-Pitt looks this spring?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:15:36 PM)
We haven't seen any full pads yet. But the first day I was there, I noticed him. He runs well (obviously). Charles pointed out his "skinny legs" which don't bode well when it comes to breaking tackles. But, again, let's see how he responds next Sat.

edbuck51 (Apr 9, 2004 1:15:39 PM)
Any new info on the Nike camp?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:17:27 PM)
No, it's next Sat, the 17th. OSU has a scrimmage at 2 p.m. at the stadium. Have to thinkthey are scheduling around the camp, which must be in the a.m. When I know more, I'll let you know.

BuckeyeDave (Apr 9, 2004 1:17:36 PM)
Steve - Clarett's 40 time was clocked in the 4.6 range. How does that compare to his 2002 time and is that a little slow for an NFL TB?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:17:42 PM)
I know a lot of good players are due in. I'll work on compiling a list.

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:20:03 PM)
You always heard he had 4.4 speed. Perhaps those numbers were fudged or he ran this one on a "slow track." I think 4.5 is good. Remember, NFL backs have to be big and durable first. Small 4.3 guys aren't going to get a lot of yards in that league. You have to break tackles just to get 3-4 yards there. He's in the right range. And he is 230 pounds (again). If I was convinced he was on the right page, I would take him late first or early 2nd. The injury concerns may drop him lower. He's missed so many games over his prep and college career.

osufan25 (Apr 9, 2004 1:20:44 PM)
Steve, are practices during the spring and summe open to the public?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:22:16 PM)
No, at this point, Coach Tressel is closing all but some small 30-minute snippets here and there for the TV guys and still photogs to get some shots. The scrimmages next week (kick on Thurs. and jersey on Sat.) are at Stadium and open to public. Otherwise everything is pretty much closed.

toledobucknutty (Apr 9, 2004 1:22:30 PM)
Steve, what is the latest on Hairston? The last I read he was to decide sometime this week. Any late news?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:23:37 PM)
Nope, haven't heard any new updates since Buckaholic announced they were going into lockdown mode. Signing period starts 14th or 15th. Hopefully he will end this long national ordeal on the first day, but I would not hold my breath on that, either.

edbuck51 (Apr 9, 2004 1:23:47 PM)
Of the 15 practices in the spring, how many of them are full contact?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:25:22 PM)
Roughly 6 or 8. I don't have my schedule in front of me. But they are mandated by NCAA to have so many days in full pads, so many days in helmets and T-shirts and so many days in helmets and shoulder pads. It's a blend.

osufan25 (Apr 9, 2004 1:25:28 PM)
Steve, Do you have any news on Freddie Lenix, Antwon Hight and Curt Smith? I haven't heard anything on them lately. Antwon Hight seems to have totally fallen off the radar. Are his grades that big of a problem?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:27:55 PM)
Yes Hight's grades are a big problem. Lenix and Smith seem to be strong possibilities for the Buckeyes. But it may be a while. One thing that could be at work is the fact that they (OSU and Glenville) probably want these kids "still out there" through the month of May so a lot of colleges come through the school and look at all 8-10 of their college prospects (seniors and underclassmen). But I think Lenix is a strong OSU possibility and Smith may be as well. Hight needs to get it straightened out quickly.

edbuck51 (Apr 9, 2004 1:28:01 PM)
Do you know the nature of Dave Patterson's injury?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:31:15 PM)
No, sorry I don't have details. I think he is expected back in the fall, but will have no contact this spring.

bellevuebuck (Apr 9, 2004 1:31:22 PM)
Any of the incoming frosh O-linemen make the two deep this season?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:33:09 PM)
Perhaps if Olds and Barton don't pull through, they may put a freshman in thetwo-deep. Olds will decide this summer whether he wants to continue. Barton will be back to contact on Tuesday. Possibilities would be Mitchum and Person, I would think.

cderekw (Apr 9, 2004 1:33:19 PM)
Ideally you would like to redshirt all of your freshman due to depth on your team. Are the Buckeyes almost to the point of having the ability to this if they so desired and could get a kid to go along?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:34:48 PM)
Yes, they're close, but this was a large class and some of these freshmen will be needed for special teams, at the least. Freeman, from what I've seen, will be somewhere this fall. Ditto for Ginn and probably Pittman and/or Haw. Don't know enough about Trapasso yet to say he's the guy or not. Rest are at deep positions with no urgency to play this year.

edbuck51 (Apr 9, 2004 1:34:57 PM)
I noticed Sian Cotton was going with the ones yesterday. I assume this is partly because of Patterson's injury. Does Cotton look like he'd be ready to step in? Do you think Abdallah might make the rotation?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:37:25 PM)
I've actually heard mixed things about Cotton. And, any one day is just a snapshot. These guys (except for the ones who are entrenched) move from first to second team on a daily basis. Yes, his status has improved because of Patterson and Penton being out. I like Cotton's athletic ability, but he has to deliver over time. Maupin also in the mix, too. Abdallah will get a look because he'll be the only freshman DT (unless they also put Barrow there). Hard to say. Great problem to have.

calibuck (Apr 9, 2004 1:37:38 PM)
Hi Steve. Just joined the chat. Can you give us a comparison between Boekman and Bauserman?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:40:22 PM)
Boeckman is 6-5, 235. Bauserman is probably 6-3, 215. Both are great competitors. It helped Boeckman to have the time in practice last fall and winter. But he looks pretty good right now. Boeckman seems to have good accuracy and a strong arm. He's big and indestructible, almost in the Navarre mold (maybe more athletic than Navarre). Bauserman might be a cross between Bellisari and Krenzel, if that makes any sense. The athletic ability and the good decisions. That's my take on him. Obviously a great arm with the baseball connection.

BuckeyeDave (Apr 9, 2004 1:40:36 PM)
ESPN's Ivan Maisel currently has the Buckeyes ranked at #13. I think that siuts us pretty well. It shows a little respect for the passed 2 years and, I think, underestimates us a little. I think the Buckeyes like to be underestimated a little. Your thoughts?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:42:34 PM)
Yes, Tressel prefers being the little engine that could as compared to last year when they were almost overrated at times. I would have them in the top 10 or 15 for sure. Hard to ignore 25 wins in two years, although they have just 10 starters back and have lost so much. The new guys have to deliver. The last time OSU had a turnover like this was 1999 and they stumbled from No. 2 and 11-1 to 6-6. Of course., Tressel wasn't the coach then, either.

TulsaBuck (Apr 9, 2004 1:42:42 PM)
Everyone wants Lydell to get his 1000 yards -- how does he compare in speed to Wells, George, and others who were known for power and fundamentals more than speed.

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:44:40 PM)
I honestly don't know Lydell's 40 time and how it might compare. I think he has adequate speed. Lydell's biggest hurdle is staying healthy. Even healthy, he is not Maurice Clarett. But I submit, with strong run blocking, he doesn't need to be. He has adequate speed and power. If he's healthy, I think he'll break tackles and have a nice year. That's the key.

Buckeye!! (Apr 9, 2004 1:44:54 PM)
Is there enough Talent In Ohio this Year for All Of the Recruiting Needs For the Bucks to be Done Just In our own BACK YARD... NO Need for OOS Recruiting???

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:48:45 PM)
Duane Long has been panning the class of seniors to be for a few years, but he is starting to come around. He really likes the top 10-15 now more than he ever has. No, I don't think OSU will stay exclusive to the state of Ohio. But of the top guys, they already have DB O'Neal and OLs Boone and Cordle. I think they look good for DL Denlinger, DBs Lenix (yes, he's a safety, not an LB at 195) and Myers-White, athlete Curtis Smith, WR Hartline (if they want him), OL Brewster (ditto) and maybe DBs Brandon Harrison and Brad Jones. Others will surface at the camps. They figure to have 16-18 guys in the class. I bet at least 10-11 will be from Ohio in the final analysis.

edbuck51 (Apr 9, 2004 1:48:59 PM)
Do you feel JT views replacing Conely as a high priority, or do you think he'll get to that when spring practice is over? I guess it would seem pretty important with the May visit period right around the corner.

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:50:05 PM)
Sorry if it's going slow, but I like to research answers than just talk off top of my head.

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:50:48 PM)
I have to believe he is spending the off days talking to people. He has already dealt with 2 openings, so he should have some guys he "wanted to hire" but couldn't or didn't in his head. The name Bryan Deal of Pitt came up again yesterday from a practice observer. They wrap spring tomorrow. Maybe he'd be worth a call on Monday. Have to think he'll have somebody in place by May 10 or so.

TulsaBuck (Apr 9, 2004 1:51:06 PM)
There's always a few "can't miss" recruits who miss or near-miss. Don't hear Arden as a possible impact player anymore. Ditto on Hollins and Mo Hall. Best Bam can hope for is some chances. How do these stud athletes handle not making it? Do most come to accept that they got beat out? Or do a lot of them blame favoritism and other negatives?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:53:39 PM)
Arden was his own worst enemy. Hall is now dealing with injuries, but he had his share of glory. Hollins and Bam were simply beaten out by better players. But each still has a chance for that dreaded "career best year as a senior." Most guys remain upbeat about it, believe it or not. I wouldn't say they accept it, but they handle it and remain positive members of the team. Hollins also had injury problems. Maybe privately they grouse about "coach doesn't like me," etc. But we never hear that publically.

may may (Apr 9, 2004 1:53:50 PM)
i saw brandon braxton working out at my gym he is big but looks a little flabby and has really small shoulders for a kid so big doent look like an oklahoma recruit to me.

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:54:46 PM)
well we'll see how he pans out. They'll work with him and get the most out of him they can. But, yes, given the way the schools around here dropped him, I'd say he is somewhat of a reach.

edbuck51 (Apr 9, 2004 1:54:54 PM)
Have you seen Curt Lukens in the mix?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:55:58 PM)
They say he is splitting time between S & LB. I'm not sure he's in the two-deep, but he's competing and learning. Good hitter from what I've seen of him. He'll probably be a fixture on special teams and go from there.

edbuck51 (Apr 9, 2004 1:56:15 PM)
What are your impressions of the Cordle commitment?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:58:29 PM)
Good pickup. Younger Carpenter did not get all of those yards on his own. Team was 10-2 and won a division of the OCC against likes of Coffman and others. Somebody recognized his ability. He was first-team All-Ohio as a junior, which is rare in Division I. Shows great quickness and agility. Fits the mold of the Tressel/Bollman OL. Listed at 6-5, 285. Will probably play at OSU around 295 or so, if I had to guess. Could be a prototype OG. Just hitting the weights hard now. If he adds the strength component, look out.

goodfriday (Apr 9, 2004 1:58:36 PM)
What is the latest on Malik Hairston, still sounding like UCLA??

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 1:59:44 PM)
Yes, I'm afraid that UCLA is the team to beat, although Kansas also thinks it has a shot. goodfriday, by the way, is the password. When you come in next time, put your board handle or whatever in the sign-in field, then the password in the field to enter the Club Chat. No big deal.

BuckeyeDave (Apr 9, 2004 2:00:00 PM)
Bryan Deal would be a great pick for TE coach as he would give us greater exposure to central and southern Ohio, don't you think?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 2:01:17 PM)
Yes. I got to meet Coach Deal during the recruitment of Nick Goings and Rolland Steele (couple of great pickups there, huh?). He's a real personable guy. He moved on to Cinti. Princeton and then on to Pitt with Coach Harris. He has all the credentials you need and he's done a bangup job at Pitt.

Buckeye!! (Apr 9, 2004 2:01:21 PM)
I Know after the N.C. Season of 2002-03 Everybody and their Brother wanted a Piece of Jim Tressel to do Something or another for WHATEVER reason....Now that things are Kinda back to NORMAL....(SIGH) ....Why Not Have Ole Tress do the R.C Job Himself......?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 2:04:25 PM)
No. The head coach has plenty of duties already. The RC needs to be one of the assistants. Coach Tressel is intimately involved, but the assistants streamline the process and make presentations to him. They need to coordinate those things. He doesn't have time to call high school coaches for tapes, cataloging the tape and send letters and do all of that administrative stuff the RC does.

edbuck51 (Apr 9, 2004 2:04:34 PM)
It sounds like its starting to become a priveledge to be on special teams. This should do nothing but help ST become better. Do you think the players view it that way?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 2:05:33 PM)
Yes, I think so. Jenkins and Gamble proved that even the stars have to be involved on those teams and they can make a difference.

toledobucknutty (Apr 9, 2004 2:05:41 PM)
What happened with Malik in that regard? I thought he was a slight O

toledobucknutty (Apr 9, 2004 2:05:43 PM)
...slight OSU lean for a while. Was there some sort of falling out?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 2:08:03 PM)
No, things change over time. Buckaholic opined that the other schools (Kansas and UCLA and maybe even Michigan) beat OSU down over its record this year and perceived lack of tradition, etc. Maybe the Buckeyes can steal this one. But I have to think he's headed elsewhere.

edbuck51 (Apr 9, 2004 2:08:18 PM)
So the Nike camp is a bigger secret than spring practice?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 2:11:37 PM)
I just got booted, please repost last ??

Kirk (Apr 9, 2004 2:12:16 PM)
It was a follow up to an older question, edbuck51 asked "So the Nike camp is a bigger secret than spring practice?"

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 2:15:07 PM)
In regards to the Nike camp question, I admit I need to do some digging to see who will be coming to the OSU camp. It is good for OSU to have them on their campus. But the OSU coaches don't work the camp. Their own camp is a bigger recruiting tool. We'll see what we can find out.

toledobucknutty (Apr 9, 2004 2:15:09 PM)
It seems odd that the O-line struggled to open up holes last year and that 3 of them went to bowl games and are predicted to be drafted. That said, do you think it is even conceivable for this year's line to compare favorably? I do know they are said to be more athletic. Can that translate to "better"?

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 2:17:15 PM)
Well, that's what we're hearing, they will run outside better. That should only help open up the middle. But they also need to be able to throw better as well to open the run up. Hopefully the offense will be improved overall. That's the most important thing.

Buckeye!! (Apr 9, 2004 2:17:19 PM)
Steve..? In your OPINON.....Does hosting the Nike Camp Really help your school recruiting wise ....Or do some Schools actually see it as a Headache...

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 2:19:27 PM)
No, it's a nice recruiting tool. The key prospects will be invited to meet with the coaches in their offices and, I assume, to attend the scrimmage. Any time you can get a kid on your campus it is a plus. But there is only so much to be gained from it. The coaches won't be working with the players on the field directly. I assume OSU will have a game plan on how to capitalize on it.

Kirk (Apr 9, 2004 2:19:30 PM)
Let me add something about Nike Camp... My understanding is that the main purpose of Nike Camp is to expose lesser-known players. In the past, Nike camp lineups have had a handful of OSU-caliber recruits but have largely been guys who need exposure. So keeping that in mind, while there will be a few big-timers there for sure, I also wouldn't be surprised if the list of names at OSU Senior Advanced camp winds up being more impressive. But I could be wrong

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 2:20:27 PM)
No, Kirk, I agree. That has been my impression that Nike has not been as star-studded as the advanced camp.

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 2:21:16 PM)
The advanced camp, with the prospect of 4-8 offers, is much more "eventful."

88ismansweetlou (Apr 9, 2004 2:21:27 PM)
what do you think of 88 this year

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 2:22:57 PM)
I assume you mean Louis Irizarry. He's got the potential to become a star. He needs to make the plays he is capable of when he gets a chance and he also has to deliver as a run blocker, particularly if they're going to run outside more.

witter (Apr 9, 2004 2:23:01 PM)
Will the Buckeye Hoopsters get this turned around soon?...It doesnt seem right to see Gonzaga and Creighton have better bball teams than tOSU

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 2:26:07 PM)
Or UAB or Dayton or East Tennessee State or Kent or (insert name of anybody else better than OSU). It isn't right. There are some ungodly stats involving UC and Xavier. Each has had 25 wins or better like 5 of the last 6 years or something like that. If they get Hairston, they could double their win total next year. Even without him, Butler's presence at the point should translate in better possessions, more offense, fewer turnovers and more wins. Just be patient. Better days are ahead.

Guest (Apr 9, 2004 2:26:25 PM)
Do you think Nuge is going to set a record for the longest OSU field goal this year? Do you know what the record is?

ygtbuckeye (Apr 9, 2004 2:26:29 PM)
steve with so many kids coming from glenville, and going to college all over ,have you every heard of any of them going to scMU.

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 2:28:37 PM)
Well, Pierre Woods went there a few years ago before Tressel arrived. But with Tressel at OSU, don't look for any of the Big Ten caliber Glenville guys to go anywhere but Ohio State. In fact, although Woods is becoming a star at UM, there may be some bad blood between that school and Glenville at the present time. From what I hear, Carr has not played his cards correctly.

88ismansweetlou (Apr 9, 2004 2:28:40 PM)

88ismansweetlou (Apr 9, 2004 2:28:43 PM)

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 2:30:04 PM)
That is great to hear. He is one reason I can't wait to see the jersey scrimmage next Sat. Should be great to seethe new and improved LOUIS IRIZARRY (ha ha).

SteveHelwagen (Apr 9, 2004 2:30:47 PM)
See you later. Remember after the spring game, come here and we'll share what we saw. Probably like 6 p.m.

toledobucknutty (Apr 9, 2004 2:30:55 PM)
Thanks as always Steve and Kirk!

Buckeye Sports Top Stories