What's new on the Buckeye front
GrandiosePooBah (Jul 30, 2004 1:13:55 PM)
Next to commit?
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:14:08 PM)
I'm turning on moderation now ...
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:15:27 PM)
New on the Buckeye front, next week is the Big Ten meetings. Jim Tressel, Dustin Fox and Lydell Ross are headed to Chicago for 2 days of media grilling about the upcoming year. Great Big 33 game last weekend. Wow, OSU was everywhere there. Had the 2 biggest stars on the field with Lyons and Ginn. Photo day is Aug. 11, but I have no details (time, format, etc.)
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:16:48 PM)
Next to commit? Hmmm, Andre Amos has a tough call between Purdue (where he thinks he'll get the ball) and Ohio State (really knocked his socks off earlier this week). I talked to several OOS recruits like athlete Eric Sledge and CB Malcolm Jenkins who are watching OSU closely. They know they won't be able to wait too long.
Nutz (Jul 30, 2004 1:16:52 PM)
Does the Buckeye staff even knows Jonathan Stephens wants an offer?
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:18:32 PM)
You got me on Jonathan Stephens. Who is he and where is he from?
PABuck (Jul 30, 2004 1:18:44 PM)
Strategically speaking, wouldn't it be better for the program in the long haul if players like Izzy and Ira and those in similiar situations were cut loose upon confirmation of guilt?
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:21:02 PM)
I don't want to defend those guys because what they did was 100 percent wrong. I'm not sure where the wind is blowing on them right now. Irizarry is at Y-town State, no word on Guilford. I'm not convinced either will ever be back at OSU. If they are, then they've done something extraordinary to earn it. Coop always made the case, "How can I help a guy if I get rid of him?" There's something to be said for loyalty. Beating up people in the street ain't acceptable though, either. It can be used in recruiting both for and against them.
Nutz (Jul 30, 2004 1:21:08 PM)
Sorry maybe that last name is wrong! He's suppose to be the # 1 RB
Nutz (Jul 30, 2004 1:21:11 PM)
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:22:45 PM)
Yep, he's about 5-10, 220 pounds from Washington State. Insiders has him in the top 25 overall nationally, I believe. I saw a report where he mentioned Ohio State and that he'd like to check them out. I question whether he leaves the Pac-10 with offers from Cal, both Oregon schools and both Wash. schools, though.
buckeyebill (Jul 30, 2004 1:22:51 PM)
How do you feel about Miami admitting Williams?
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:23:40 PM)
They bent over backwards to make that happen. Special dispensation from that lovely Donna Shalala, too. You make exceptions in extraordinary cases. This kid is the next Wilfork or Vilma, so there you go.
Nutz (Jul 30, 2004 1:23:46 PM)
Really don't you think Izzy and Ira deserve about 11 or 12 more chances
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:25:20 PM)
Ha ha. We sit on the outside and what we know is only what WE know. Jim Tressel and his coaches deal with these kids every day. They make reads on where these kids' motives and hearts truly lie. If either of these kids worked night and day to get back on this team, at the appropriate time it would happen. I can't comment because I don't know what length either of them have gone to to make that happen. If they satisfy the coaching staff and administration then so be it.
buckeyebill (Jul 30, 2004 1:25:25 PM)
Do you think Tressal would have taken him? No way
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:26:20 PM)
Man, I don't honestly know. Again, there is perception (he's a terrible kid) and reality (you and I don't really know, do we?). Coaches put their necks on the line, as Coker has done here, for kids they think are worth it, I guess.
madler6808 (Jul 30, 2004 1:26:24 PM)
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:26:32 PM)
Lawrence Wilson, I assume ...
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:27:50 PM)
I think Ohio State is obviously right there. Time will tell. There are reports he wants to decide soon.
Nutz (Jul 30, 2004 1:27:57 PM)
What a Big 33 game, eh Steve! Gotta love the future for the Bucks!
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:28:57 PM)
That was an incredible showing. Ginn and Lyons put on a clinic. Haw looked good with few good opps to run the ball. Welch gave up 2 long balls, but battled all day. I like to see that. Tucker will coach him up. Hoobler is a monster on defense. I'm moving over to the side that wants to see him on defense.
buckeyebill (Jul 30, 2004 1:29:00 PM)
Who do you think the next commitment comes from?
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:29:38 PM)
We had this earlier. Maybe Amos or Wilson or possibly Malcolm Jenkins from New Jersey. he's a corner. I'll have an update on him soon. He's down to VT, OSU and hometown Rutgers.
GrandiosePooBah (Jul 30, 2004 1:29:42 PM)
You get criticized either way. If you don't take him, you don't give 2nd chances. If you do take him, it's because he has star potential.
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:31:28 PM)
Exactly ... people will use it against you either way. You can also use it to spin it -- vis a vis we have loyalty to our kids or "your kid won't be around bad apples, because we don't tolerate them." At the end of the day, you do what's right -- for you, the school and the kid -- and that's all that matters. If these kids show contrition, get their stuff straight and fly right, they put themselves in a position for leniency. Louis is a multiple offender, so this works against him, obviously.
Guest (Jul 30, 2004 1:31:32 PM)
My fault steve, Does he end up at OSU or ND
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:32:15 PM)
I have not spoken to Lawrence since camp. I think OSU is right there. It's a tight one. ND with Willingham will make some strides.
GrandiosePooBah (Jul 30, 2004 1:32:20 PM)
I'm still baffled why we have so much trouble getting OOS stud running backs here. Any clue?
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:34:00 PM)
They never really did capitalize on Eddie George -- well other than Reecie. They've gotten some nicely regarded guys like Wiley, Wells and Ross through the years since then. They just have never been able to bring in a topflight OOS RB. I don't understand it. Everybody used to say how much they liked Tim Spencer, too, but even that didn't help them. This is one of life's little mysteries, I guess.
Nutz (Jul 30, 2004 1:34:06 PM)
Steve was there anyone who looked bad in the All-star games? If you'd rather not say that's ok!
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:35:49 PM)
People have bagged on Welch and Mitchum. Welch was on the spot with 2 deep receptions. On one of them, he was all over the receiver and the WR made a great play. I won't hold that one against him. Lyons also caught a deep ball near him. Todd Blackledge said the corner blew the coverage and Welch was left to save the TD, which he did. Welch battled the whole game and isn't afraid to hit. I want to see what kind of a player Tucker makes out of him. Mitchum got beat by Barrow once or twice, but may have been playing a new position (G instead of T, I believe).
buckeyebill (Jul 30, 2004 1:35:54 PM)
What date is the first day of camp? What kind of coverage do you plan?
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:36:49 PM)
Camp begins Aug. 10, I believe. Photo day is Aug. 11. OSU really has not announced any practice schedule yet. We'll be there every day it is open and at every interview session. We will be all over preseason camp -- as much as they let us.
Bellybuck (Jul 30, 2004 1:36:57 PM)
Hi Steve- I saw that a Steve Helwagen was doing pretty well in a local golf tournament-was that you? When will we get some news on Matta and staff-interviews, recruiting etc...
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:37:47 PM)
Nope, that was my dad. He plays in a lot of Ohio amateur type events. Matta has been silent running. I assume we will get he and his staff in the weeks ahead. We will be working on recruiting coverage of the key prospects in basketball as well.
GrandiosePooBah (Jul 30, 2004 1:37:59 PM)
Do you think Dick Tressel is going to make us better or worser in recruiting that STUD running back we need?
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:38:30 PM)
Well, other than Reecie, there haven't been many studs to write home about in the last 10 years. So I'll say better. It can't get much worse.
Nutz (Jul 30, 2004 1:38:51 PM)
Steve I'd just like to thank you for the great work you've done at Bucknuts since coming over. It was great before, but it's a lot better now! Hope your batteries are recharged!
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:39:39 PM)
I appreciate it. We are excited about the opportunity we have here to entertain and inform all of you. We do the best we can. Our goal is to have the best college sports fan web site in the country. We'll keep plugging until we can say that.
GrandiosePooBah (Jul 30, 2004 1:39:43 PM)
Has anyone come up with the schollies available # with Olds gone, Izzy gone and Ira maybe gone? Best Guess?
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:39:54 PM)
Yes, got that right here ...
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:40:08 PM)
I keep that sheet handy for moments just like this ...
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:40:17 PM)
Excuse me while I whip this out ...
Nutz (Jul 30, 2004 1:40:21 PM)
20! My guess
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:42:29 PM)
My sheet says they would have 78 on scholarship without those guys as well as Hiley and Reggie Smith this fall. With 14 outgoing seniors, that leaves 21 spots. Hiley seems to be at a JUCO and Smith may be at Walsh. So they may be able to give 21.
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:43:49 PM)
Bauserman is out. Pettrey still says he is coming. There are 8 other verbals. So 9 from 21 is 12 more to give.
Guest (Jul 30, 2004 1:43:55 PM)
Is that with Superman and Smith transferring
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:44:02 PM)
Yes, I think so.
PABuck (Jul 30, 2004 1:44:13 PM)
Re: Basketball. We should be strong in SW Ohio, but does Coach Matta or any on staff have close ties in Cleveland and NE?
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:45:19 PM)
That's a great question. The last time I checked, Xavier took down the bios for Major and Groce and OSU hadn't put any up. Really, Cincinnati and Dayton is where it's at for the next 3 years. There are a few isolated kids here and there in NE Ohio and they need to get the ones they need to get. But for recruiting base alone, Matta was a slam dunk.
Bellybuck (Jul 30, 2004 1:45:25 PM)
Steve- when will Ohio High be mailed and who do you think will be the top team in Div I in ohio this year(H.S. football)
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:47:06 PM)
You should receive Ohio High within the next 10 days. Insiders handles that. When I was at BSB, I could tell you "WE sent it today" because I'd watch it go out. I can't tell you that with insiders because they print and mail it. I have not received my box of Ohio High or BTM here in Columbus. I'd appreciate it if and when they arrive at your house, if you'd give us a shout on the message boards. Look for both mags any day, and we're excited as hell about both. Best team in Division I? Hmmm...
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:49:55 PM)
I previewed Division I for the magazine. Elder has won 2 straight titles, but lost so much. It's hard to ever bet against Cleveland St. Ignatius. Don't count out St. Ed's that made such a great late run to the title game. St. X with Schoenhoft has to be a favorite to come out of the SW. This might be Moeller's year to reappear, too. Glenville could be a sleeper to go deep if O'neal and Lenix get off and their line play holds up. The Ohio Division I tourney is one of the best in the country. So much depth. I'll pick LSE and St. X as my early favorites. Colerain will also be good, too. Will Cols. ever field another D-I state championship team? and ...
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:50:43 PM)
I want to say I'm also excited about Division III. Some great programs in there with Dayton C-J, Licking Valley, Ger. Valley View, Alter and many others. That was perhaps the best tourney last year.
Bellybuck (Jul 30, 2004 1:50:49 PM)
Westerville South may be the best in Columbus-from there it probably is elder and iggy
buckeyebill (Jul 30, 2004 1:50:52 PM)
Pre season pick for Mr Football?
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:52:37 PM)
It usually goes to the guys with the numbers. Maybe Tyrell Sutton or Javon Ringer with another 2,000-yard year. Boone may be the best player in the state, but I don't think a lineman has ever won it. Ginn did a lot to publicize Glenville. Maybe that will help O'Neal, who will step into the two-way role at QB and DB, I understand. Manningham would need a big year to steal it. McDaniels would have to feature him. Those are some of my best picks.
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:53:24 PM)
They did mark out for Katzenmoyer that one year, so a lineman or LB with "the name" or the rub of Ohio State will get a few votes.
Bellybuck (Jul 30, 2004 1:53:49 PM)
Columbus needs Watterson and Desales to combine schools-they would be equal to an iggy or elder at that point-
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:54:30 PM)
That's a good point. None of the Cols. Catholic schools have the enrollment as the powerhouses to the north and south. I doubt you will ever see those bitter rivals combine in one school, though (ha ha).
PABuck (Jul 30, 2004 1:54:55 PM)
Yeah, the Battling Beavers of DeWatters
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:55:01 PM)
That's a good one!
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:56:22 PM)
We secured our own silent verbal commitment yesterday ...
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:57:03 PM)
We have signed up somebody to be a regular contributor to the Bucknuts Media Network. The announcement will come in mid-August, right when things are starting to heat up. Stay tuned.
GrandiosePooBah (Jul 30, 2004 1:57:12 PM)
Seems like the BUZZ for Matta has died down. Being out of town, I have no idea. Is OSU and the community still excited about Thad?
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 1:59:11 PM)
Yes, I think so. But he has probably been on the road during the observation period this past month, so there was little time to do any more PR work. He's probably still getting settled in Cols. with his wife and 2 little girls (beautiful family, by the way). I would think over the next month or so his profile in the community will rise, particularly as the schedule is announced and ticket applications go in the mail, etc.
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:01:27 PM)
I was asked to give an update on Lawrence Wilson: I have not seen a report, but I understand one exists with him possibly saying it is between OSU and ND and he'd like to get it over with soon. I have not spoken to him since camp. Duane will be contacting him (or at least trying to). I think OSU is at least 50-50 here.
Seabus (Jul 30, 2004 2:01:34 PM)
Joining late, sorry if you have discussed already, but in your opinion will Haw and Pittman both get carries this fall?? If you were Tressel would you redshirt one?
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:04:10 PM)
I think Mo Hall is the wild card here. If he is healthy and able to contribute fully, then maybe one of the freshman takes a redshirt year. In my mind, that would probably be Haw. Pittman has the slightest of advantages because he's been to spring ball and knows the system. Am I saying Pittman is better than Haw? No. Until I see them side by side, running behind the same line in the same system I will not make that judgement. More likely, both will play complementary roles to Lydell Ross until such point that Ross falters or gets hurt (obviously, you hope neither of those happens). But there is a very real possibility that one of these freshmen could end the year as the starter, if Ross' past problems (inconsistency, injuries) rear their ugly head again.
jck21 (Jul 30, 2004 2:05:14 PM)
any new news on the next commitment?
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:05:53 PM)
That was asked early on. The leading contenders in my mind would be Amos, Wilson or New Jersey DB Malcolm Jenkins. All 3 want to decide in the next several weeks and OSU is a co-fave for all 3.
GrandiosePooBah (Jul 30, 2004 2:05:58 PM)
Ronnie Wilson update?
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:07:13 PM)
Bob Lichtenfels of Insiders just got Ronnie and he said ...
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:08:36 PM)
he has visits set with N.C. State Sept. 18, Pittsburgh Oct. 16 and OSU Nov. 20 for the Michigan game. Others on his list include Florida and LSU. I think, from everything I've seen and heard, that Ohio State is the team to beat. What a great OL haul that would be to have Boone, Cordle, Bemoll and this 335-pound beast?! Their OL depth woes would be cured.
Guest (Jul 30, 2004 2:08:54 PM)
Thanks, Steve et al--I check Bucknuts before I check my stocks---news is generally better!
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:09:38 PM)
I've been accused of being too positive and making stuff up (although I honestly did think Sanchez was coming here because the word I heard was that USC was out), so take everything I say with a grain of salt ( ha ha).
skeelo (Jul 30, 2004 2:09:46 PM)
in talking with coach tress does he seem to think or feel that we have a great team or do you get the feeling like the rest of us do he just doesn't know
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:10:56 PM)
Coach Tressel sounds cautiously optimistic, from the times we've spoken about the 2004 team. He admits they lost a ton of great players (just look at the NFL draft record they set). But he knows they have a ton of talent in the pipeline. Problem is young players can get you beat. He knows that, too. So he is cautiously optimistic.
GrandiosePooBah (Jul 30, 2004 2:11:12 PM)
Malcolm Jenkins seems just average or did I miss something? Is he a highly rated prospect?
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:12:41 PM)
He's not considered one of the nation's top 10 corners or anything like that. He is 6-0, 185 with nice 4.43 speed. He camped at OSU and impressed Tucker enough to merit an offer as a corner. His final 3 are Virginia Tech, Rutgers (he is from Piscataway) and Ohio State. He is qualified with a 3.2 and a 980. If Tuck likes him, good enough for me.
Seabus (Jul 30, 2004 2:13:21 PM)
Steve, with the Bucks out to such a great start in this recruiting cycle, how limited do you think they will be with scholies to Ohio talent through say October?? Do they maybe wait and see a few games of this high school season and then readdress the offers within State?
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:14:32 PM)
Yes, great point. They have offers pending to 4 Ohio kids I believe with AMW, Wilson, Amos and Daniels. There is no urgency to offer anybody else. Let the game tapes trickle in and make some calls then. They are somewhat tight on scholarships this year. Plus, they must have a good feeling they are going to get some nice OOS players too that they must hold some spots for.
GrandiosePooBah (Jul 30, 2004 2:14:51 PM)
Drum roll please...
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:15:22 PM)
If you're referring to our announcement, it will be a long drum roll. We are targeting Aug. 16 for that announcement.
GrandiosePooBah (Jul 30, 2004 2:16:06 PM)
I was referring to the Ronnie Wilson news, you sort of gave us a pause...
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:16:22 PM)
Yeah, I wanted to dial up Bob's report and make sure I didn't screw it up (ha ha).
GrandiosePooBah (Jul 30, 2004 2:16:48 PM)
What's your opinion on offering Javon?
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:20:21 PM)
Again, we do NOT have the full story. Somebody sees something because Cincinnati, Florida, Iowa, Tennessee, Michigan State and others have offered him. Two straight 2,000-yard seasons says a lot. I hear he is up around 190 or 195 now. What are his exact academic marks, 2.3 and a 21, maybe? In this climate, does that past muster with OSU admissions? I don't know. I think OSU's stance is they are going after Maurice Wells. They don't want anything to get in the way of their pursuit of Maurice Wells. If he opts for Ga. tech or USC, they will go to Plan B. Lots of variables here, it seems.
Seabus (Jul 30, 2004 2:20:50 PM)
Steve, give me your right tackle prognosis for the season. Just throw it out there now so that come Michigan you can say you were right on or way off.
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:20:56 PM)
Oh man ...
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:23:11 PM)
That may be the most unsettled and troubling position on this football team. If you watched the spring game, you saw the RTs routinely get eaten alive by Richardson, Frost, whoever. Tim Schafer and T.J. Downing are in a platoon there now. I assume that means they will split reps with the first team. Look for Bollman to mix Kirk Barton in there if he's healthy and possibly Skinner, Mitchum or Coleman as well. That's 6 guys to choose from. They just need to find one serviceable guy. Problem is it's at such a key position. At least if they turn somebody loose, Zwick or Smith will be able to see the guy coming.
Seabus (Jul 30, 2004 2:23:41 PM)
Here's mine. I say downing and Barton are 1, 2 with little gap at the beginning of the season and then a frosh steps in and establishes themselves as a Robbie Sims type towards the end. I think maybe Skinner is that guy, if not him, Person but I like Person at guard.
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:24:05 PM)
I like Skinner a lot, too. Person is probably more suited as a guard.
GrandiosePooBah (Jul 30, 2004 2:24:10 PM)
Do you think we only take 1 RB this class?
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:25:18 PM)
Well, they lost one with Kennedy, who I forgot to include in my scholarship count. So that means they can actually have 22 in this class. They have 8 verbals and Pettrey, so as of today, there are 13 left. They may take 2. They really need 2 if Mo Hall is done after this year.
GrandiosePooBah (Jul 30, 2004 2:25:22 PM)
I still think we need a minimum 2 RB's this year.
GrandiosePooBah (Jul 30, 2004 2:25:26 PM)
I'm outta here, Steve. Thanks all and have a good weekend.
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:25:41 PM)
Take care. I got about 10 minutes left. Any last blasts???
Seabus (Jul 30, 2004 2:25:47 PM)
Lots of impressive guys at the Big 33 but Person looked like the best OL there. He's just so solid in every sense of the word.
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:26:28 PM)
I agree, great kid, big, strong, hard worker. Future All-Big Ten, in my opinion. Maybe a 3-year starter too, stepping in for Kne at RG in 2005.
Seabus (Jul 30, 2004 2:26:44 PM)
Steve, when is the Big Ten pre season conference and are you going to get to go up there??
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:27:27 PM)
It is next Wednesday and Thursday in Chicago at the Hyatt, I believe. I will be there, bringing back all of the insights.
Seabus (Jul 30, 2004 2:29:10 PM)
Nice, ask Joe Pa if he has improved his 40 time so he can better chase down the referees when things don't go his way!!!!!
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:29:49 PM)
That's a good one. Joe is always a fun one to listen to. He hardly speaks above a hushed whisper and there are usually 30 people crowded around his table to hear the stories.
Seabus (Jul 30, 2004 2:30:39 PM)
Is that a good event or is it just all soundbites? Do you get a good feeling for how each team will be by reading between the lines?
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:32:21 PM)
It is a great event. Of course, it is everybody's take on their team before they've even begun camp, so things change quickly within a matter of days or a week or 2. Most of the coaches are very candid. Some of the best to listen to are Alvarez, Mason, Paterno (though he hardly ever divulges much about his plans for the year), DiNardo, Walker.
labsbeabmm (Jul 30, 2004 2:32:28 PM)
Please tell me that we have a big-time running back about to sign
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:33:36 PM)
Nope, I'm sorry, I can't tell you that definitively. But they're working hard on it. Conredge Collins is another guy I will have an update on. He is 225 pounds. His dad Tony played for the Pats in their first Super Bowl. He needs to get his grades up, but he could be an impact back for sure.
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:34:25 PM)
Guys that's 90 minutes. Any other pressing questions before I go???
Seabus (Jul 30, 2004 2:35:14 PM)
Thanks Steve, sorry to keep you with my wonderings. Have fun up there next week.
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:35:44 PM)
Thank you and, trust me, I will. There is noplace on the planet quite like Sweet Home Chicago.
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:36:23 PM)
Going, going ...
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:36:45 PM)
SteveHelwagen (Jul 30, 2004 2:37:04 PM)
I may be traveling next Friday. Stay tuned for details on that event. Thanks for participating.