Helwagen Chat: Aug. 6 Archive

Here are the excerpts of Friday's Chat session with Bucknuts.com managing editor Steve Helwagen. He conducts these Chats each Friday afternoon for Bucknuts.com subscribers. Click this free link for a look at the archive of this week's Chat.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:11:08 PM)
Hope everybody is having a good day. I'm just glad to be back in Ohio.

greymonkey (Aug 6, 2004 1:12:26 PM)
Any guess on the next commitment?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:12:35 PM)
Malcolm Jenkins ...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:13:03 PM)
ha ha, no maybe Andre Amos or Lawrence Wilson. This class is already kind of in the stretch run, it seems.

ScottBucknut (Aug 6, 2004 1:13:08 PM)
its great to see the momentum building for the season to start. when you look at the new links you see 10 or more stories instead of 2 or 3. Any preseason predictions Steve?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:13:24 PM)
Me, predictions?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:14:10 PM)
Ah, I'm on record in the Aug. Bucknuts The Magazine as saying 10-2. I think the losses will be N.C. State and Iowa. You will still get a Big Ten title and, with that head to head win over UM, a Rose Bowl.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:14:42 PM)
Will that satisfy? My feeling is this will be the build toward next year, although, as we saw in 2002, things sometimes happen a year ahead of schedule.

BuckeyeDave (Aug 6, 2004 1:14:48 PM)
Quick score prediction for the Ohio St - Cinti game. Susan think 28-10, I think 24 - 17. (Both of us think Ohio State wins, of course.)

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:14:53 PM)
Of course ...

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:15:35 PM)
It's early for me to narrow in too far on something like that. Let's say 26-12 Ohio State. I just see some goofy things happening in the opener.

BuckeyeDave (Aug 6, 2004 1:15:39 PM)
Whatever happened to Carlos Snow?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:16:07 PM)
Good question. He tried pro football briefly. I'm not sure where he ended up. Man was it a big deal when he picked Ohio State.

ScottBucknut (Aug 6, 2004 1:16:13 PM)
Purdue has Orton coming back, but no one thinks they will be that strong, What is your opinion of Purdue this year?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:17:01 PM)
Purdue will be awfully tough. The key is the defense. They need to come along quickly. Tiller will be content to win games 38-35 until then. He will have Orton throwing 40 times a game. That's going to be a tough team to beat if he gets hot.

Susan (Aug 6, 2004 1:17:08 PM)
As conservative as JT"s offenses are, and as critical of that as many are, the past 3 seasons have shown his offenses score easily in the opening game and two of those opponents weren't slouches. That's why I predicted 28-10. The Buckeyes could score more.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:18:39 PM)
Yes, and I'm not convinced Cincinnati will be that great defensively. Remember Trent Cole from Xenia. He is one of their top defensive players. They gave up 29 or more points five times last year. They have 7 starters back on defense. Plus, they now have Dantonio, too. Hmmm.

ScottBucknut (Aug 6, 2004 1:18:43 PM)
WE WILL have a running game this year. That should help with scoring

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:19:53 PM)
I agree. I think Ohio State will be improved in the running game, despite the loss of so many veteran OL. If Zwick can be effective with the pass, it should back people out of the box. I think people were able to crowd the box because they didn't expect Krenzel to complete a lot of 15- or 20-yard routes against them.

Susan (Aug 6, 2004 1:19:58 PM)
I watched the 02 Purdue/OSU game last night. I think the Spoilermakers will be out for some serious revenge this year at home against OSU.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:21:36 PM)
Joe Tiller, I bumped into him in the elevator. I said I was looking forward to this year's game at Purdue and how some of the recent OSU-PU games were classics. (Really, 99, 00, 02 and 03 were all decided by 4 points or less and all 4 were decided in the final minute or so; OSU blew them out 35-9, I believe, in 01.) He said "Yep, we've had some great games against them. I guess we just need the luck of the Irish or something."

onemonthaway (Aug 6, 2004 1:22:58 PM)
Steve, with QB settled and OL in great shape, how would you prioritize remaining recruiting by positional group? I'm presuming RB is at the top of the list, but what after that?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:25:05 PM)
They need 2 RBs. They seem to be going slow there and have put a lot of eggs in Maurice Wells' basket. This Jonathan Stewart kid from Wash. is also intriguing. I think with Hollins and Bam leaving (and maybe Holmes, too) they need some help at WR. OL they need one more. DL, probably 1 more. They need help at LB, probably 2 if they can get the right guys. And obviously, they want AMW and/or Oatis at safety. They may be done at CB unless a GREAT one wants in.

Susan (Aug 6, 2004 1:25:09 PM)
Steve, which coach gave the most inspiring or most interesting speech at the luncheon?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:26:30 PM)
Media were not invited to the actual luncheon (at least we weren't given tickets as we were every year up until last year). I heard Dustin Fox gave a great speech representing the players, though. At the media sessions, Tiller, Alvarez and Paterno are always the most entertaining. Ferentz, Turner and Carr are always very dry.

redondo (Aug 6, 2004 1:26:34 PM)
Hi Steve - Beyond the obvious QB questions and responses, Coach Tressel's comments this past week seemed to me to be more focused on the defense than anything else. Is it my perception powers, or simply the way it was reported or some other reason. It would simply seem to me that in OSU's case the attention/questions should really be focused on the offense. Last year's ineptness seems to have gotten dismissed by the blocking schemes may not have been the best and we did have a good offensive showing against KSU. Your thoughts? Thank you.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:29:25 PM)
You make some very valid points. I would not say that Tressel "accentuated" defense in his remarks. I think overall he made the case that OSU has a ton of talent, but precious little game experience. That was his theme. I thought people like Branden Joe got healthy for the bowl and that made a big difference. Plus, as I noted above, Krenzel was kind of a feast-or-famine guy. He could dink you down the field and hit an occasional HR, but was not a big intermediate threat. That really worked against the running game. But, yes, despite all the changes on offense, Tressel thinks they have the potential to be pretty good.

buckeyenole (Aug 6, 2004 1:30:13 PM)
Hello Everyone I'm a little late. Kirk, I liked the "All Name Team". Steve, do you think that Skinner will be the starting RT by season's end?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:30:58 PM)
That's hard to say. They will give the older guys (Schafer, Downing and Barton) every chance to win the job. But if they consistently turn guys loose, they will be out of there. That position may be handled by committee ... ouch.

buckeyenole (Aug 6, 2004 1:31:30 PM)
Any news on Amos or L. Wilson?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:32:27 PM)
Nope, still in a holding pattern on both counts. We'll continue to try and get in touch with them. It seems like Amos is between OSU and Purdue, though he may not decide right away. Wilson is between OSU and ND, it seems, and could decide now or later.

C'ville Buck (Aug 6, 2004 1:37:15 PM)
Hi Steve! Sorry if this has been asked, was late getting here. Whats your guess on Ringer?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:39:12 PM)
The vibe I get is that he still likes Ohio State a lot and there may be a chance in the months ahead. But OSU seems to be listing Maurice Wells No. 1 with Conredge Collins, Mikell Simpson (possibly, he said he didn't have a formal offer letter) and Jonathan Stewart also up there. Maybe Ringer comes in through the back door in December. He has some great offers like Tennessee and I think Florida, though.

buckeyenole (Aug 6, 2004 1:39:34 PM)
The reason I asked about Skinner is b/c Duane REALLY liked him in the Big33 and mentioned that he thought he might end up starting later in the season. I wondered if you noticed his play and what your perspective is? Schafer always seemed like a slow defensive player, Downing is consistently beat out by everyone, and Barton, whom the coaches seem to like best, keeps getting hurt. Skinner seems to be a good option, though he has issues with injuries himself. I just really think RT is the key to the season; the difference between 8-3 or 9-2 and 11-0. I think if that position is shored up, we'll run the ball really well this year with this speedier more agile line. What'cha think?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:40:52 PM)
Past performance means little now, honestly. The job will go to the most consistent guy over the next 3 weeks. Then he'll have to keep it with how he plays in the games. This is the single biggest question mark on this team. I agree, that one position could help determine at least how well the offense plays.

buckeyenole (Aug 6, 2004 1:40:55 PM)
Do we send a written offer to Mikell Simpson? Should stay an RB? 6'1", 195, with 4.4 speed and ability to catch the ball sounds like a WR to me. If he can break tackles, that's an even better WR.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:42:04 PM)
That's for the coaches to decide. They said he'd be offered, but never followed up on it (it seems) for some reason. We'll have to see. Sounds to me, that at 6-1, he could carry 205 or 210 and be a dynamite RB too.

redondo (Aug 6, 2004 1:42:09 PM)
Hi Steve - Has R. Schoenhoft expressed any misgivings about the passing game (number of pass attempts per game, when in the down sequence (first versus third down) passes are called, and the offensive scheme generally) and how conversations along that line of questioning were handled by Coach Tressel and staff? Thank you.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:43:24 PM)
No, I have heard no such misgivings. Rob is a real down-to-earth kid, from the times I've talked to him. I have been very impressed with him. I look forward to seeing him this fall. Most kids listen and don't ask when college coaches discuss their plans for them.

buckeyenole (Aug 6, 2004 1:44:28 PM)
Will the Bucknuts staff be able to go to preseason practice? Are any open this year for you guys to go to?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:45:14 PM)
Usually selected periods on selected days are open as well as the jersey and kick scrimmages. That's it usually. But the scrimmages, in particular, are great to gauge what's going on.

ToledoBucknut (Aug 6, 2004 1:45:44 PM)
Just read a quote on the free board from Mike Kudla's dad that he broke another weightroom record with 46 reps of 225lbs on the bench (old record was his @ 42) to go along with his max bench press of 555lbs! Add to that this little tidbit from Mr. Kudla Sr.:

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:46:44 PM)
Wow. The next record I want to hear that he breaks is the sack record (ha ha). But Mike sounds like he is primed to have a monster year. He is such a hard worker. Congratulations to him on another great plateau. 555 in the bench is almost a world class lift. wow

ToledoBucknut (Aug 6, 2004 1:47:07 PM)
"Mikes weight is up to 272 lbs. His playing weight will be more around 265 lbs. Mike will be playing the same position Will Smith did Leo. Some DE some LB depending on the situation. For those speed freaks I will tell you a true story that happened several months ago. The team was doing 40 time testing at the start of summer conditioning. Will Smith was back in town and at the WHAC. He told Mike that he could not beat his 40 time he did at the pro combine. I believe Will ran a 4.50 time. Mike's first attempt was a 4.51. His second time was a 4.49. Will told Mike he was a freak. "

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:47:43 PM)
When Will is telling Mike he is a freak, Mike is a freak. Measurables like this are certainly uncommon. Let's see how it translates on football Saturdays at the 'Shoe.

Susan (Aug 6, 2004 1:53:38 PM)
Do you have dates for the practice scrimmages, yet?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:54:21 PM)
No, I just checked my e-mail and I haven't seen a schedule yet. When I know something I will pass it on.

Guest (Aug 6, 2004 1:54:26 PM)
Has anyone gotten a hold of Robiskie? What are the odds he's offered and will indeed accept, especially with the offer from miami? Are we gonna wait one way or another until Amos decides?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 1:55:26 PM)
They have Hartline and Amos would be 2. I think they will wait on Robiskie until they know about Amos. Amos sounds like he may decide within the next 1-2 months, so we'll see, I guess.

Bellybuck (Aug 6, 2004 1:55:30 PM)
Hey Steve-I have 2 questions/comments -When will Kyle be posting his next edition of A Schott in the arm and I received my Ohio High yesterday and read it cover to cover and it was awesome- However I do have one complaint, It seems that you guys are not very well represented in Central Ohio-There was not much info on players and or teams from the Columbus area- we all know Duane and Gary have a northern slant(ha ha)- Do you need volunteers in Central Ohio to help track players because I would love too plus we have great football here in the capital city.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 2:02:04 PM)
Kyle is going to try and do that every 2 weeks or so right now as he has time. He is not a full-time staff member so sometimes his other duties take precedence. We appreciate everything he is able to do for us. Regarding Ohio High and central Ohio, don't sweat it. There honestly aren't a ton of great prospects in the Columbus area this year. It wasn't our goal to preview every team in the state, just some of the leading contenders in each division. In that vein, we had extended notes on Dublin Scioto, Lancaster, Brookhaven, DeSales, Watterson, Licking Valley, Amanda, Cols. Academy and Newark Valley. That's 9 schools from the central district out of the 60 (10 each division) we spotlighted. That ratio is probably about right. Who did we miss that you'd say is a sure-fire top-10 team in their division in the state? And, please, feel free to post observations on the top players any time you like. Thanks for the comments on the mag.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 2:02:46 PM)
That was Newark Catholic instead of Newark Valley ... my brain is fried.

daytonbuckeye (Aug 6, 2004 2:05:58 PM)
Sorry if this has already been asked, but what do you know about the newest Buckeye player, Malcolm Jenkins?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 2:07:56 PM)
I have never seen him in person, so let's start there. But Coach Tucker has, from being at the camp, and he took him. He was also offered by Va. Tech, Rutgers, Syracuse and Indiana, among others. I think he is around 6-0, 190 and he ran a 4.43 40 time on the notoriously slow OSU track. His time was the second best (from what I've heard) behind only Lenix at that 4-day session. Plus, Tucker must have liked what he saw of Jenkins in coverage drills. Plus, he's qualified with an SAT in the 900s. Add it up and you've got a freshly minted Ohio State Buckeye. He projects as a corner.

Susan (Aug 6, 2004 2:08:50 PM)
A comment on the Bucknuts magazine Football Preview....SUPERB!!!!! I enjoyed the stories on the wide array of players that you covered....well, the ones I've read so far.. not finished yet. Good job to all involved!!

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 2:09:27 PM)
thank you, Susan. Our whole staff did a great job with that mag and we're working hard on the follow up now. That mag you have will be on newsstands and places like Barnes and Noble in Ohio very soon.

buckeyenole (Aug 6, 2004 2:09:35 PM)
Is this THE BEST ALL TIME defensive backfield as a unit that OSU has ever fielded? I'm thinking they might be. I know there are individuals like Janowicz, LeBeau, The Assassin, Springs, Winfield, Clements, Doss, Nickey, Moore, etc., but I don't think we've ever had a group where each position might be a star on a different vintage of the Buckeyes.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 2:12:02 PM)
This is a potentially great secondary. Before you add in Ginn, you have 7 strong players with Fox, Underwood, Youboty at corner and Whitner, Salley, Mitchell and Everett at safety. Those guys all looked good in the spring (well Fox and Everett were hurt, but we know what they can do). This is a great group, no doubt.

voyeurbuck (Aug 6, 2004 2:12:15 PM)
Steve- How important is it for Coach Hazel to make quick in-roads in NJ? Is Jenkins just the beginning?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 2:13:53 PM)
There are some great players in New Jersey year in and year out. Yes, I didn't even think about it, but Jenkins is from right there at Piscataway where Hazell was last year with Rutgers. Kade Weston and Brian Cushing are also from NJ, so I'm sure Hazell will be on them, too.

onemonthaway (Aug 6, 2004 2:13:58 PM)
Steve, anyone you think Tress can grab in this recruiting class that the "common wisdom" says is headed elsewhere? Thanks.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 2:15:13 PM)
Tough question. You hold out hope that maybe they can convince Derrick Williams to come here or bring a Jonathan Stewart in from the left coast. Those would be the big two because they seem to be in good shape on DE Doug Worthington as well as Adam Myers-White.

BuckeyeDave (Aug 6, 2004 2:15:19 PM)
I gotta agree with buckeyenole. As far as LBs and DBs are concerned, has there ever been a more talented and dangerous group, on this team, all at the same time?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 2:16:16 PM)
Their first units at LB and DB were awesome in 1996-98 and 2002. But they were nowhere near this deep in any of those years.

BuckeyeDave (Aug 6, 2004 2:16:49 PM)
I think we all agree that Buckeyes have a few question marks this season. Given that, don't you think that the Buckeyes will be VERY STRONG national title contenders next season? Zwick, Pittman, Ginn et. al. will have a year's experience under their belts. The O-Line and D-Line will be experienced. We'll have strong returning players everywhere but PK!

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 2:18:36 PM)
Strictly on paper, OSU would have 8 starters back on offense, 9 on defense. They would lose Ross, Joe, Kne, Fraser and Fox (as well as Nugent). So, yes, 2005 looks good -- at least on paper. I think most would say let's see if they can make a run like that with the team they have this year and go from there.

voyeurbuck (Aug 6, 2004 2:18:42 PM)
Steve- With the added depth at most positions, do we see fewer and fewer walk ons getting playing time, or does Tressel have a special place in his heart for these kids who walk in and work hard to earn PT?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 2:19:53 PM)
No, the best players will play. I don't think looks down or up at walk-ons. If they are in the 2-deep and deserve to play, they will. I do not think he will retard the growth of Pittman or Haw to get Roshawn Parker carries, although in Chicago he talked about the things guys like Parker and DeMaria have done for this program.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 2:21:41 PM)
My 2-deep shows a few walk-ons like McLaughlin at LT, Winner at C, Antonio Smith (3 deep) at CB, Harley (3 deep) at SS. Kne is a former walk-on. Turano could punt as a walk-on. Doubt Winner would play if something happened to Mangold. Datish might slide over and somebody else would play guard.

buckeyenole (Aug 6, 2004 2:22:19 PM)
Do you think Haw redshirts? With Lydell's penchant for getting hurt and MoHall's knee's, I would think that you'd want both Haw and Pittman ready to go.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 2:23:06 PM)
We won't know the answer to this one, obviously, for a while. No, I think Haw should play, to be honest. It would be great if Ross has that GREAT year. But when games have been won, Pittman and Haw need as much action as they can get.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 2:23:39 PM)
Any last blasts ... I have some magazine work that is calling my name.

daytonbuckeye (Aug 6, 2004 2:23:48 PM)
What is the news about MOHall, is he going to play this year?

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 2:24:18 PM)
I did not ask Coach Tressel specifically about Hall, but he mentioned him in the RB rundown like he'll be in the rotation. If he can help out, that would be fantastic.

voyeurbuck (Aug 6, 2004 2:24:21 PM)
Which Senior do you see having a 'career year'?

voyeurbuck (Aug 6, 2004 2:25:07 PM)
or hopefully 'Seniors'

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 2:25:39 PM)
Ross is the one who absolutely needs it, so I'll say him. Fraser is up to 280. If he retains his agility, he could be a monster. Tressel said Joe will be used as a FB, TB and in some one-back sets. That could be interesting. And, I think, Fox and Nugent have more than done their part too.

BuckeyeDave (Aug 6, 2004 2:25:45 PM)
What about a breakout year for a sleeper Jr or Sr. Kind of like Terry Glenn, Will Allen and Jonathon Wells? My call is Brandon Joe.

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 2:26:17 PM)
Branden Joe would be a great choice. So would John Hollins and Bam Childress.

Guest (Aug 6, 2004 2:26:24 PM)
Thanks, Steve. I love the chats with you guys!

BuckeyeDave (Aug 6, 2004 2:26:45 PM)
How 'bout Joe at TE? (ha ha!)

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 2:27:08 PM)
That would be something. Interestingly, they are only listing him at 235 instead of 245.

daytonbuckeye (Aug 6, 2004 2:27:19 PM)
I absolutely can not wait till I see the Buckeyes running out onto the field on Sept 4th. What a great feeling that is! GO BUCKS!

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 2:27:30 PM)
Anything else today ?

AJ (Aug 6, 2004 2:28:01 PM)
when will the transcript be out? I missed almost the whole chat

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 2:28:17 PM)
Later today. We'll do our best to post it soon.

AJ (Aug 6, 2004 2:28:28 PM)
I had to work =(

BuckeyeDave (Aug 6, 2004 2:28:31 PM)
Get Joe to drop to 237 and Ross to gain to 230 and have tem be interchangeable at TB and FB. Imagine how we could confuse defenses!

AJ (Aug 6, 2004 2:28:35 PM)
Ok thx Steve

SteveHelwagen (Aug 6, 2004 2:29:09 PM)
Thanks again to everybody!!

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