Helwagen Chat: June 25 Archive

Here are excerpts from Friday's Chat session with Bucknuts.com managing editor Steve Helwagen. During the course of the Chat, we revealed the new Ohio High top 20 rankings for prospects in the state. Click this free link for all the details and much more.

Sweets9 (Jun 25, 2004 2:14:16 PM)
Steve -- nice interview during the N/S Game. Quick question for anyone -- if you could pick one guy from that game (non-OSU) that you think will have the greatest impact, who do you think it would be?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:14:20 PM)
I'll stay as long as I can, but my service cuts in and out.

Kirk (Jun 25, 2004 2:14:36 PM)
Steve, I'll sign out so you can turn moderation on.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:15:26 PM)
One guy, non-OSU? Hmmm. I thought Miles Williams made some nice plays. I liked Brian Hoyer, too, although he didn't have big numbers.

Seabus (Jun 25, 2004 2:15:47 PM)
Steve, I did my QB scouting today. I watched several of the top QB's Insiders Videos. Other than Paulus and Sanchez, I really thought Evan Sharpley looked good. Any recent news about him?? Is he still on the radar?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:16:28 PM)
Not sure about Sharpley. Haven't heard as big a buzz about him and OSU. I think Sanchez is a possibility. They really did everything they could to wow him. He seemed impressed when he left here.

Sweets9 (Jun 25, 2004 2:16:32 PM)
What did you think of Gregory, the QB from Athens?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:17:12 PM)
Gregory is going to Indiana. He could be a nice player for him. Good size and obviously good mobility with that 80-yard run. I still can't believe nobody from the North got to him. I think he went untouched.

buckeyenole (Jun 25, 2004 2:17:17 PM)
What about the Carlton Jackson kid from Ely? Is he a QB all the way or does he go to another skill position?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:17:58 PM)
Somebody said Jackson isn't even in our database. I never saw him, only going off HH's word. Don;t think he's been offered. Have to know more about him.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:19:33 PM)
Welcome to everybody here (again). Sorry things were so disjointed. I feel like the kid with a raincloud over my head. My computer doesn't work half the time and the password was screwed up. And my service could cut out at any time. If you notice me gone for 5 mins, that's probably what happened.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:19:40 PM)
Any ???

buckeyenole (Jun 25, 2004 2:19:58 PM)
The other unknown I was wondering if you knew anything about was the OL kid from OH named Greer or Geer that's supposed to be 6'4" or 5" and 300 lbs with VERY low body fat. Was he at the early stage camp?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:20:51 PM)
No, sorry, that name does not ring a bell.

Seabus (Jun 25, 2004 2:20:58 PM)
Steve, I saw someone post Chris Pool's view of the top Midwest RB's this year. He had Ringer as #1 over the kid going to Michigan (name slips my mind, Grady??) and Mendenhall (Illinois), what's your view of that??

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:21:55 PM)
He is real good. Over 2,000 again last year and working real hard in the weight room and on his academics. I guess I'd like to see how he does as a senior before I make any major judgements on him. Have any "majors" offered him to date?

Sweets9 (Jun 25, 2004 2:22:46 PM)
Iowa & Kentucky have offered Ringer, many others are waiting on official academic stuff

Seabus (Jun 25, 2004 2:22:56 PM)
MSU and Pitt I believe. Not sure if that is majors or not.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:23:48 PM)
So he's getting some run. Good for him. I think Ohio State is taking a wait-and-see approach. They have Pittman and Haw in the fold and are working Wells hard now.

buckeyenole (Jun 25, 2004 2:23:55 PM)
What about Harrison what's keeping him from getting an offer: attitude (not going to camp) or height (5'9") or something else? He seems to have all the skills.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:24:45 PM)
Must be the height. He's a real good kid, talked to him 2-3 times now. But have to say Winfield wasn't much taller than this kid. I saw a game or two of C-J's on tape and liked what I saw. I think Jamie Newberg has him in the running for a national top-100 slot.

Seabus (Jun 25, 2004 2:24:52 PM)
What about the format for the Insiders star ratings?? Newberg mentioned that had changed slightly. Do you have any input into that? Any opinions on how it should be handled??

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:26:37 PM)
Have not heard a word about rankings, other than the top 100 may (finally) be out on Monday. I have no input, though I believe Duane, as an "expert", does. I don't get too caught up in the rankings. I think you have to base them on how they play, how they measure up (height, weight, 40, strength stats, etc.) and on their offers. You can't outweigh one of those over any other, really.

Guest (Jun 25, 2004 2:26:45 PM)
I apologize if this has been asked earlier, and I'm sorry if I don't know how this chat works, it's my first. Does Brandon Smith stay at LB and put on just a little weight, or does he add 30 pounds and end up at DE?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:27:50 PM)
He is a big kid. Listed at 6-3, 230. I think he'll easily hit 245-250 at OSU within a year or 2. That would allow him to go either way I guess. I think it may depend on what aptitude he shows as an LB and where the team needs him the most.

rbuck (Jun 25, 2004 2:27:57 PM)
Sorry Steve, I missed out on the beginning of the chat. Have you heard if Crean has been contacted? I think he should be 1A, I see him as one of the top coaches in college basketball. Do you have any idea where this search is going?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:29:51 PM)
A source told me last night Crean had not been contacted directly by OSU. However, that source believes intermediaries have spoken. I agree, he is now my top choice. (Funny, that's gone from Matta to Knight to Crean). Crean gets nod for Big Ten ties, Final Four and he recruited Wade. Matta inherited his core (Chalmers, Sato and West) from Prosser. Not a big knock on him, but a slight difference. Both are great coaches. No clue what the next move is. Hopefully they resolve it this weekend and introduce somebody Monday or Tuesday of next week.

Sweets9 (Jun 25, 2004 2:30:04 PM)
1-50 overall are 5*

Sweets9 (Jun 25, 2004 2:30:07 PM)
51-250 are 4*

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:30:41 PM)
Those must be the rankings and stars. Hmmm. I like that 50 guys are 5-star guys. Not sure about the next 200 being 4-stars. That sounds like a lot to me.

buckeyenole (Jun 25, 2004 2:30:51 PM)
Do you think not offering ringer is an effort to move away from feast or famine classes at certain positions like RB where we seem to offer and get 3 every other year and the following year get none or one?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:31:42 PM)
No, because they want at least one back in this class (Mo Wells). I'm not sure what they're thinking. The position is thin, really (especially if Kennedy is a wash out, which may not know for a while). They need to take 2 this year.

Sweets9 (Jun 25, 2004 2:32:00 PM)
Not sure if my last one went through, but coming from Jamie, he said overall #'s 1-50 would be 5* guys, 51-250 would be 4* guys.....Steve -- who are your Top 3 OOS guys that you want to see at tOSU?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:32:59 PM)
That's a tough question. Sanchez at QB, definitely. Hard to beat a top-five QB. An impact OL (Doering or somebody else) and an impact DE (Worthington, maybe). Mo Wells would be 3A on that list.

Savante (Jun 25, 2004 2:33:06 PM)
Apologize if this has been asked earlier, but do you think backs like Ringer and Wells can hold up in the big ten, Steve, or would you prefer to see us going after bigger backs only?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:34:05 PM)
There is definitely that concern. Neither of them is much bigger than Guilford or Mo Hall, and neither of them have exactly torn down the house (although Hall has been hurt). It is a hard league to have a small RB. K-State's Sproles isn't much bigger, either, but they must find ways for him to be effective.

Pasadena Bound (Jun 25, 2004 2:34:16 PM)
Hi Steve. I'm sure there will be a lot of carryover from Dantonio to Snyder's defensive philosophy. One thing I hope he uses less though is that prevent defense. Granted we won a lot of games but there are a few that were tighter than they should have been because of the prevent. Do you think Snydes will use the prevent less? Thanks.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:36:29 PM)
You play the percentages when you use the prevent, especially with a stopper like Chris Gamble. You knew eventually you'd be in the red zone and your DBs were just better than their WRs. Of course, Rivers showed what can happen when a guy just gets red hot, too. Their base should be pretty strong. I wonder if you'll see OSU stay more with that base (with some nickel mixed in because Youboty and the backup safeties can ball) and just rotate people through every position (except for Hawk, Salley and maybe Fox or Underwood).

Sweets9 (Jun 25, 2004 2:36:36 PM)
Also, 251-750 are 3* guys....just looked again because I too thought 51-250 was a lot of 4* guys

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:37:53 PM)
Out to 750 for 3-star? That sounds like too many. Consider there are 100 schools and they each take 20 guys. That's 2,000 guys (roughly). 3-star, to me, should be a guy who projects to start 2 years at a school like Ohio State. There ain't 750 of those kind of guys coming out of high school every year.

Bellybuck (Jun 25, 2004 2:38:11 PM)
Hey Steve- Any word on Dominic James- I'm pretty sure Kyle said he would be checking up on him but I have not heard-How bout the kid from Brookhaven? Just curious if this period without a coach is scaring off the recruits.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:38:56 PM)
Haven't heard anything on the James front. Be prepared for OSU to not recruit so well this year because of the change and the uncertainty on sanctions. Other schools will use that (all too effectively) against OSU.

buckeyenole (Jun 25, 2004 2:39:08 PM)
Have you heard anything to substantiate wstripes claim that Sanchez is looking pretty much at Texas and SC only right now, that it could change, but that his thinking now?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:39:32 PM)
All I can go by is my conversation with him. He said OSU was at the "very top" of his list with those 2 and Notre Dame.

Seabus (Jun 25, 2004 2:39:44 PM)
Steve, it seems like this years QB class is very weak. Watching the videos I thought Paulus and Sanchez were great and a few others were good. When you have a position that is weak like that, how do you think it will affect OSU's approach??

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:41:03 PM)
Even with Bauserman out, they only really need 1 this year. Two would be a bonus. They should be in great shape on M. Hartline or Schlichter next year. That position is in good hands, it looks like to me. The 3 they have on campus are solid, now they just need to augment. I am sad about Bauserman. Great kid and, after seeing video, I understand why Jim Tressel liked him. Great decisions and a cannon.

Sweets9 (Jun 25, 2004 2:41:13 PM)
That's what I thought too Steve, here's the link though: http://mb1.theinsiders.com/ftheinsidersrecruitingfrm3.showMessage?topicID=1923.topic

Savante (Jun 25, 2004 2:41:17 PM)
Thanks for the previous responses, Steve. I just went premium not too long ago and I love it! I have another question -- the WR's in Ohio, who do you like best? I've heard Orton is awesome, but does he really have height concerns? What about Robiskie -- Duane seems to love him?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:42:53 PM)
Glad you are enjoying our service! Tell everybody you know. I saw Orton at state track and he looks the part. Not sure what height concerns there would be. He may weigh a little bit less than the rest. Have not seen Robiskie. If Duane likes him, take him to the bank. Nobody in this biz watches these guys as much on tape as our guy Duane.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:43:17 PM)
Quick poll: Who do you guys want as the new bb coach and why?

Savante (Jun 25, 2004 2:43:58 PM)
I'd like to see Thad Matta. 100 wins in 4 years.. how many coaches have done that? He's a good recruiter, great coach and his program seems to have a lot of integrity.

Savante (Jun 25, 2004 2:44:25 PM)
I would not be unhappy with Crean, though, he seems along the same lines.

Seabus (Jun 25, 2004 2:44:43 PM)
Motta. Knows Ohio, successful everywhere he has been, young, clean, classy. Why not Crean you say?? Because he is from Michigan

Pasadena Bound (Jun 25, 2004 2:44:53 PM)
Thad Matta. I'm worried about Crean bolting for MSU if (when) Izzo goes to the NBA in the future. However, I did want Knight.

Sweets9 (Jun 25, 2004 2:45:16 PM)
Matta -- great Ohio ties and he's got a proven track record....

Bellybuck (Jun 25, 2004 2:45:23 PM)
Motta then Crean

Sweets9 (Jun 25, 2004 2:45:38 PM)
Wait, can we get Phil Jackson?

Savante (Jun 25, 2004 2:45:55 PM)
Would it be possible to get Crean to agree that he can't take the MSU job if Phil Jackson leaves?

buckeyenole (Jun 25, 2004 2:46:06 PM)
I was in the RMK camp, but now that he's out I like Matta or Crean. I think Matta might be a little better b/c he performed so well at Butler as well as Xavier. He's the only coach to win 100 games in his first four seasons. For me the jury is still out on Crean. He has had some success at Marquette but how much of that is winning the player lottery with Wade and just riding a talent that you found?

gonecamping (Jun 25, 2004 2:46:36 PM)
Crean over Motta but either is OK. Not Sendek or Karl or Cleamons.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:46:57 PM)
Interesting, more run for Matta than Crean. I agree, can't go wrong with either. Crean went to Central Michigan, not UM or MSU. It would be a concern for him to jump from here to MSU.

Savante (Jun 25, 2004 2:47:21 PM)
I don't remember there being a lottery with Wade. I think Crean did a nice job developing him from all the information I can find... does anyone know where he was rated coming out of high school?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:47:34 PM)
I have a Cleamons story I will share in a bit. I want to answer a couple stray ?? first.

Bellybuck (Jun 25, 2004 2:47:41 PM)
I have a women's hoops question. Have you heard if Brittany Hunter is going to transfer to Ohio State-just curious- she would be a great get for Foster.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:47:59 PM)
No word on Hunter. Have to think OSU is after her hard. She is a GREAT player from right here in Cols.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:48:16 PM)
Plus, she knows Davenport and Hoskins well from McD A-A, etc.

toledobucks (Jun 25, 2004 2:48:19 PM)
sorry im late, when can we expect to see player rankings by the insiders?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:48:37 PM)
Jamie says top 100 coming Monday and expect more of an Ohio flavor than Brand X.

AnotherBuck (Jun 25, 2004 2:48:44 PM)
Steve: I came in late. Did someone ask you about the "soon to be buckeyes" Helpinghand alluded to earlier today? Is Bucknuts working on that story?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:49:09 PM)
We are working it, but those guys are in a car on their way home to Fla. Probably be tomorrow or Sunday before we reach them. We'll see.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:49:36 PM)
I think it's possible the OL Wilson has or may be offered. Other guy (a QB/athlete named Jackson) I doubt.

Sweets9 (Jun 25, 2004 2:49:49 PM)
Yes, I too was wondering about that....hopefully HH is correct, those guys sound like nice pick ups for the Bucks and it never hurts getting some guys down in that area.

Seabus (Jun 25, 2004 2:49:58 PM)
Also, Steve, the video on Cordle, WOW!!! That guy looks like he gets shot out of a cannon every time the ball is snapped. Whole piles are blown back by that guy. We might need to teach him to pass block, but its worth the investment.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:50:59 PM)
He is a versatile OL. Nasty and concientious, which is a deadly combo. That means he is looking to hit somebody on every play ... and he finds the right guy and takes him out. That's a big combo for an OL. Their agility limitations sometimes make it hard for them to get to "their guy" or they give up and miss him. Not with this kid.

ScottBucknut (Jun 25, 2004 2:51:04 PM)
Any news on Dennis Kennedy?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:51:20 PM)
Saw Hand ... but didn't ask. Have to think if it was a June test may be another week or so.

leftybuck (Jun 25, 2004 2:51:31 PM)
Steve, I haven't heard anything recently. I know a lot probably depends on the degree we are deciplined by the NCAA, and the coach we hire, do you think we are going to be able to keep all our bb commits hear?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:52:13 PM)
Foster seems iffy because of academics (perhaps that's a cover story to put himself back out there, although he'd need a waiver of some sort). He's in a CC down South getting credits he needs to transfer. Other 3 are solid.

toledobucks (Jun 25, 2004 2:52:19 PM)
with one mission viejo prospect under our belt, do you really think its possible to steal sanchez out of their too? if so that would really add to an already potentially impressive class

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:53:04 PM)
They may get 3 with Williams, Sanchez and an OL named Bemoll, I believe. That would be a major coup. I think Fickell is working that angle. He will be one of OSU's best recruiters on this new staff. Everybody just loves him.

buckeyenole (Jun 25, 2004 2:53:08 PM)
Have you heard anything about Mathis out of PA. He said he was an early scUM lean, but he's more interested now in tOSU, MSU and PSU. What do you think? Is he good? Does he have an offer?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:53:53 PM)
I'm at a disadvantage today. I don't want to jump off here and look up a kid I'm not familiar with because my connectivity has been so spotty of late. No idea on Mathis off the top of my head.

Sweets9 (Jun 25, 2004 2:54:10 PM)
I just watched my film I have on Alex Boone again today and I keep getting more impressed with this kid, and I stress kid because he's so young. Steve, who would you compare Big Alex to at this stage?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 2:56:26 PM)
Oh, jeez, well he's good but he's not Orlando Pace. Let's start there. He seems more like a Robert Gallery, although he'd probably admit he has a long way to go to be that good. He's dealt with some injury issues, and played through some pain. But that's made him tough, too. I say he's a prototype LT, but he could play either side if need be. Maybe a bigger Tyson Walter (hopefully without all the baggage ... and the Walter who was good enough to get All-Big Ten and get drafted).

buckeyenole (Jun 25, 2004 2:56:49 PM)
Rank the following positions in order of need from most to least: DE, LB, OL, P, QB, RB, TE, WR? I left off DT and DB cuz I think we're stacked there, but I see need at all the others. I just wonder where you think we need help the most the most.

Kirk (Jun 25, 2004 3:01:41 PM)
Hi everyone, Steve got booted again. :( He's working to get back in.

Sweets9 (Jun 25, 2004 3:02:13 PM)
Quick question while he's gone -- who's everyone's favorite verbal commit so far?

buckeyenole (Jun 25, 2004 3:02:16 PM)
I believe Mathis is a top 50 pa product from Cathedral Prep in Erie. He is listed on theinsiders database at 6-2, 225 with a 4.6 40. He had 88 tackles last year and 2.5 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries even though he missed two games due to injury. I was wrong about MSU. His most recent preferences in order are Tenn, OSU, and PSU.

Savante (Jun 25, 2004 3:02:37 PM)
Jamario! Hard not to love the way he plays the game. I love them all equally, though!

Kirk (Jun 25, 2004 3:03:03 PM)
While we're waiting, who wants to hear the Ohio High top 20?

Sweets9 (Jun 25, 2004 3:03:10 PM)
I agree, J-Mo is my guy, but I can't get over Boonie and Denlinger either.....

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 3:03:19 PM)
I am back. Will pick back up with the position question.

Kirk (Jun 25, 2004 3:03:23 PM)
Oops, Steve's back... never mind.

leftybuck (Jun 25, 2004 3:03:44 PM)
Gotta say Boone, it all starts up front.

Sweets9 (Jun 25, 2004 3:03:51 PM)
can we get it anyways Kirk?

Sweets9 (Jun 25, 2004 3:03:57 PM)
Yeah, would love to hear it Kirk

Pasadena Bound (Jun 25, 2004 3:04:00 PM)
Alex Boone!!

buckeyenole (Jun 25, 2004 3:04:07 PM)
Probably Williams b/c he just verballed to us and he's already out there recruiting guys for us.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 3:04:28 PM)
He can recite that top 20, while I work on that position ranking ?? Sorry for the interruption.

Kirk (Jun 25, 2004 3:04:53 PM)
Ok, I'll count it down by five.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 3:06:04 PM)
My order would be DE, OL, QB, RB, LB, TE, P (unless somebody steps up) and WR. It's hard to do it in that kind of order because it usually doesn't fall like that. They have pronounced needs at QB and RB, for sure. The rest aren't all that pressing, though they still need good players. If that makes any sense.

Kirk (Jun 25, 2004 3:07:47 PM)
#20 - Bryan Williams, ATH, Buchtel... #19 Brian Robiskie, WR, Chagrin Falls... #18 Trey Stross, WR, Avon Lake... #17 B.J. Travers, LB, Westlake... #16 Javon Ringer, RB, Chaminade-Julienne

Savante (Jun 25, 2004 3:09:03 PM)
I don't know if my question got through -- ignore this if it did. With the NBA draft last night, who do you expect to see as the next Buckeye on that list, or is there nobody at the university or coming it right now that has any sort of chance?

Kirk (Jun 25, 2004 3:09:44 PM)
#15 - RB Mister Simpson, Colerain... #14 Curtis Smith, ATH, Glenville... #13 Robert Brewster, OL, Cin. Wyoming... #12 Andre Amos, WR/DB, Middletown... #11 Brian Hartline, WR/DB, Canton GlenOak

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 3:09:49 PM)
I think Terence Dials can continue to develop and reach that level, maybe a second rounder down the line. Not sure about anybody else.

Kirk (Jun 25, 2004 3:11:10 PM)
#10 - DB Kendall Davis, Alliance... #9 Alex Daniels, ATH, Marion-Franklin... #8 Fred Lenix, ATH,

Kirk (Jun 25, 2004 3:11:34 PM)
Glenville... #7 Brandon Harrison, CB, C-J... #6 Mario Manningham, WR, Warren Harding

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 3:11:48 PM)
Daniels is one of the fastest rising prospects.

Kirk (Jun 25, 2004 3:13:17 PM)
#5 - Jim Cordle, OL, Lancaster... #4 Adam Myers-White, DB, Hamilton... #3 Todd Denlinger, DT, Troy... #2 Alex Boone, OL, Lakewood St. Edward... #1 Jamario O'Neal, DB, Glenville

buckeyenole (Jun 25, 2004 3:13:21 PM)
Daniels: WR, RB or LB?

Kirk (Jun 25, 2004 3:13:31 PM)
Ok, I'll turn it back over to Steve now. See ya!

Savante (Jun 25, 2004 3:13:48 PM)
Wow, there's a really good possibility we could get all 5 of the top 5? No kidding. Incredible.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 3:14:07 PM)
That is a strong possibility.

Savante (Jun 25, 2004 3:16:12 PM)
It's supposed to be a pretty good year in Ohio, too. Just tells you the quality of the kids coming out, and the awesome recruiting we're doing, I think!

buckeyenole (Jun 25, 2004 3:16:16 PM)
Who's Kendall Davis? I haven't heard about him.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 3:17:16 PM)
RB and CB from Alliance. Nice showing at state D-II in the sprints.

Seabus (Jun 25, 2004 3:17:27 PM)
The two that really jumped out to me are Kendell Davis and Brewster. Duane clearly has raised his opinion of those two.

fountainhead (Jun 25, 2004 3:17:38 PM)
are we guilty of rating the Ohio State prospects higher? i.e., if Mario were a OSU commit, would he be in the top 5? objectively, this makes me wonder.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 3:20:05 PM)
No, absolutely not. Burgess and Crable were top 5 or higher when they were being recruited and they were headed to UM. We don't do it that way. MM would be rated higher if he was bigger, faster and made more catches for run-based Harding. But he is a great, great talent as he stands there. Trust me on that.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 3:20:42 PM)
In fact, MM moved up a spot and Lenix (I believe), who could end up at OSU, moved down a notch or 2 from the spring rankings.

buckeyenole (Jun 25, 2004 3:20:49 PM)
I think cordle has come on THAT much. He's a DEVASTATING run blocker.

leftybuck (Jun 25, 2004 3:20:54 PM)
Steve, down the road what do you envision happening with Coach O'brien? Is it possible that he could coach at a big time program again? I know that rules are rules, and he broke them, but I think the world of him and only wish only the best for him. Do you have any idea how he is doing now?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 3:22:25 PM)
I agree. I wish the best for him. He's sitting out now for the first time since his coaching career started. He may decide he likes retirement and not bother with it or he may push to get back in in a year or 2. I don't think he what he did would preclude him from getting another job. He has a lot of friends. I don't think you'll see him back in a top school at a major conference. But maybe an A-10 school or something like that. Hard to say.

fountainhead (Jun 25, 2004 3:22:35 PM)
did you cover the basketball coach situation? is Knight really out of the running? do we really want Crean- his record isn't all that great? why Crean over Matta? And if George Karl is good enough for North Carolina (and 100's of NBA wins), why is he not good enough for OSU?

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 3:24:07 PM)
We've covered it as best as we can, considering nobody on the inside is talking (Dials even declined comment last night at MSLeague). Knight sounds like he is out of the running. Crean had 26 and 27 win seasons 2 of the last 3 years. Sounds good to me. Crean over Matta would be for Big Ten ties and he recruited Wade. Matta inherited his players from Prosser. Both would be great choices. Karl is the wild card. I'll share Cleamons story in a moment.

buckeyenole (Jun 25, 2004 3:24:13 PM)
Is this an good year in OH for the high end talent? It seems to be by these rankings.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 3:25:11 PM)
Yes, it truly is. O'Neal and Boone, I believe will each be top 20 nationally, which is not normal for Ohio. Usually the state gets 1 guy that high. The first 5-7 guys could play for anybody. This class has come on.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 3:28:18 PM)
Regarding Jim Cleamons, I saw Jim Tressel at the camp yesterday. We talked briefly about the coaching search and he talked about Cleamons' stay at Youngstown State. It seems Cleamons followed a coach who had violations then the next guy died, so it was a real mess when he got there. I have no facts on how Jim did (I know it wasn't good). He said the Clippers and another team wanted him as an assistant. Then the Bulls called. Cleamons went out on the practice field and asked Tressel what he should do. Tressel was not yet the AD. Tressel said, "They have that guy Michael Jordan, don't they." Clem said, "Yes, and I'll be coaching the guards." That was a no-brainer. JT sounded like he wouldn't mind seeing Cleamons, but don't read that he has any kind of special pull or anything like that. He gave him a thumbs up was how I took it. I've been waiting on somebody from the Y-town days to give me that perspective.

SteveHelwagen (Jun 25, 2004 3:29:52 PM)
To borrow a Tressel line, "I would say this: 'Nobody would work harder in restoring Ohio State's basketball tradition than Jim Cleamons. He is an Ohio State guy. He is a Fred Taylor guy and he is a Columbus guy. What more would you want?' " Ha ha.

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