Conley Chat: Dec. 8 Archive

Here are excerpts from Wednesday's Chat session with former OSU assistant Bill Conley. Remember: Gary Housteau will Chat at 1 p.m. Thursday and Steve Helwagen will Chat at 1 p.m. Friday.

37-21 (Dec 8, 2004 3:07:23 PM)
With the explosive T.Ginn on offense, why the rush to move him to D when we will have O'Neal coming on board?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:08:25 PM)
I'm not sure there is a rush to move him to defense, especially if Santonio Holmes decides to turn pro. If that happens, Ginn is too valuable offensively on offense and as a return man. There are a lot of factors involved here.

bucks4fun (Dec 8, 2004 3:08:31 PM)
Hi Bill, is the story about Clarett contacting Andy Geiger accurate?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:09:10 PM)
My sources tell me he attempted to contact Andy Geiger, but was unsuccessful. But anything Clarett would say you need to take with a grain of salt.

kambocan (Dec 8, 2004 3:09:17 PM)
Coach what recruits will make an impact on OSU if they commit?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:10:34 PM)
Of the committed players, you would expect Boone and O'Neal to be immediate impact players. Others on the board that could play quickly would be Maurice Wells, Fred Rouse (if OSU is even in the picture) at wideout, and the best place kicker they can find.

redondo (Dec 8, 2004 3:11:01 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - Mel Kiper said last week that his top three QB's prospectively in the upcoming draft were Leinhart, Rogers, and Charlie Frye, indicating that Frye could go in the top ten of the draft. When Charlie was "in recruiting play" coming out of high school what were your impressions? What qualities made the OSU staff question whether he could start for the Buckeyes? Thank you.

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:11:54 PM)
Charlie was a very good high school player. He may have been a little undersized in high school, but he is one of those guys who was very competitive and a real winner. He got better and matured when he got to Akron. But no big school offered him a scholarship.

ToledoBucknut (Dec 8, 2004 3:12:29 PM)
Are you interested in the Ohio U job as some internet rumors have implied?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:12:54 PM)
It would be an honor to be considered by Ohio U.

buckeyeD (Dec 8, 2004 3:13:03 PM)
Is there any chance of Erik Haw getting a lot of carries next yr, and if not how soon?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:13:45 PM)
I think Erik Haw has a chance of being a very good running back. There will be great competition in the spring between he and Pittman.

rbuck (Dec 8, 2004 3:13:57 PM)
Hi Coach, Do you have any insight as to what our chances are with Wells, Ashley, McCoy, and Mathis? If we land those four does that make us a top 5 class? Thanks.

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:14:38 PM)
I'm feeling better and better about Wells. I think we have a good shot at Ashley. The other two I feel just lukewarm at this point.

rocko (Dec 8, 2004 3:14:54 PM)
Who do you think will end up at ND as the head coach and how will this effect OSU recruiting? Specifically the Ohio kids that have committed there.

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:17:03 PM)
The guy I've been thinking about that would be a good match would be Tom O'Brien at Boston College. They've been successful against ND with the same type of athletes. They've recruited well in the Midwest, especially in Ohio. They would make the Midwest a primary area, unlike the previous staff. The guy who could get the job at the drop of a hat, if he really wants it, is Barry Alvarez. But it would take a lot to get him to leave Wisconsin.

AnotherBuck (Dec 8, 2004 3:17:22 PM)
Coach, do you like our chances with Jason Gwaltney?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:17:41 PM)
I think we have good chances with Gwaltney. If the staff really goes all out for him, they have a good shot.

rocko (Dec 8, 2004 3:17:58 PM)
Do you think that Norm Chow will leave USC and does this have an effect on OSU recruiting? Walker Ashley, Maurice Wells and Mark Sanchez?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:18:59 PM)
Norm Chow has had many opportunities in the past. I think he's very happy where he is and will be very selective if he is to leave. I don't see Stanford necessarily being a good match. Not sure how that would affect Ashley, a defensive player.

wolfbuddy (Dec 8, 2004 3:20:24 PM)
Hey Bill. In 2002 when you recruited D'Andrea, Hawk, Carpenter, and White, which one of those guys did you like the best (at the time). Also, do you see any of the LB's we're recruiting now as having the same potential as the guys from 2002?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:22:01 PM)
I thought Rob Carpenter was the most athletic. A.J. Hawk was the most physical. Mike D'Andrea was a good sideline-to-sideline player. Stan White was just a versatile enough guy to play either side of the ball. I think Freddie Lenix and Rico McCoy may be of the caliber of some of these players, especially athletically.

37-21 (Dec 8, 2004 3:22:15 PM)
Bill, Is there an accurate number on how many spots that are available for this recruiting class?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:22:47 PM)
The final number has yet to be determined because of academics, injuries and sixth year potentials. It will end up being somewhere between 19 and 22.

rocko (Dec 8, 2004 3:22:57 PM)
With all of the coaching changes this year how does this effect OSU. Will we try to "beef" up our staff, lose someone or maintain?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:23:36 PM)
Jim Tressel's MO is to keep all of his coaches when he can. I know some have the aspirations of coaching in the NFL if given the opportunity.

rocko (Dec 8, 2004 3:24:38 PM)
As far as admission standards go, how does OSU compare within the Big Ten, Nationally? Where does ND rank and where does UM rank?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:25:25 PM)
ND is a little bit tougher to get into academically. Ohio State, of the 3, would be second. Michigan is the easiest of those 3 schools to get into. They have a sports management program that helps them take some marginal students.

MiniBus (Dec 8, 2004 3:25:31 PM)
Coach: Which OSU assistants do you see as the top recruiters on the staff?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:26:00 PM)
I think the 2 strongest recruiters on the current staff are Jim Heacock and Mel Tucker. Joe Daniels has done a great job in PA.

loverbuck (Dec 8, 2004 3:26:21 PM)
Coach- what are your impressions of Hart from scUM? is he too small and slow to have sucess now that tOSU showed how to keep him in check?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:26:59 PM)
I would not count Michael Hart out because of one bad game. It's tough for any freshman at any position to play at Ohio Stadium. I think he'll have a good Big Ten career.

jrd (Dec 8, 2004 3:27:11 PM)
hi coach, love the insight.... how does maurice wells stack up to clarret? is wells as talented and is he a punishing runner? thanks

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:27:47 PM)
He is a different type of back. Clarett was more of a power runner. Maurice Wells is more of a Michael Wiley/Pepe Pearson type of back. He has good ball skills and breakaway speed.

redondo (Dec 8, 2004 3:27:55 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - With respect tothe three big recruiting weekends you mentioned in a prior chat, is there a strategy in terms of which kinds of players the coaches try to line up for each weekend - like do they try to evenly spread firm commits with undecideds, or goup in some other way - or is it more of a schedule matching between the player and the number of players Ohio State can accommodate on that given weekend? Thank you.

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:29:46 PM)
It's all of the above. The first 2 weekends in December are primarily in-state committed players and players that may make early decisions and not wait until Feb. All of this is in hope that the committeds will sell the non-commits. The hard to sell out of state players usually aren't scheduled until after the bowl game unless those visits are already filled. Then you take them whenever you can get them.

buckeyeD (Dec 8, 2004 3:29:59 PM)
Any chance at all we land Jonathon Stewart??? Thanks.

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:30:26 PM)
He has not set a visit. I think that's about a long shot as it is from here to Washington.

redondo (Dec 8, 2004 3:30:37 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - If Fred Davis decided to opt out at USC, would he be welcome at OSU, or is that bridge burned? Thank you.

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:31:19 PM)
A lot would depend on how he's doing academically at Southern Cal. Also, I am certain the Ohio State coaches would talk to the Southern Cal coaches about how he has fit in at the Division I level.

redondo (Dec 8, 2004 3:31:31 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - Zook to Illinois; Meyer to UF - what impact if any on OSU recruiting? Thank you.

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:32:17 PM)
I see no major impact at all. Ohio State rarely recruits Illinois. Illinois has only been able to land second level players in Ohio. Florida has enough good players to go around.

scribeohio (Dec 8, 2004 3:33:02 PM)
Coach, what is generally going on this time of year in recruiting in terms of committments (verbal or silent), dropping/adding visits/offers, efforts to get a commit, etc? Thanks Any individual things you can share?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:34:17 PM)
All of the above is taking place. 90 percent of decisions have been made in relation to the abilities of the athletes and whether they deserve a scholarship. Things change as time goes on. For the assistants, it's a lot of travel and a lot of strategic planning.

loverbuck (Dec 8, 2004 3:34:36 PM)
If it takes a coach 4 years to get"his" guys into a program, then how many years does it take a new Recruiting Coodinator to get his guys into the pipeline? As a follow up, is this class still full of your guys or are there a bunch of names you hadn't previously pursued?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:35:32 PM)
There's a mixture of both in the athletes OSU is recruiting. The key in relation to stability is the geographical area, not necessarily who the recruiting coordinator is. Recruiting is still selling and being organized.

dcbuck (Dec 8, 2004 3:35:52 PM)
How would you compare Gwaltney to MoC coming out? And what do you mean all out by the staff? USC style, you're my #1 guy, or Tennessee style (how big a check), just joking

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:37:23 PM)
There is no comparison in terms of athletic ability. Clarett's better. Because he is committed to W.Va., the coaching staff is probably trying to decide how much time and effort to put into recruiting him.

URBANABUCKEYE (Dec 8, 2004 3:37:37 PM)
I read recently Freddie Lennox was offered by OSU and that he had been waiting for awhile for that offer. Yet he says he's in no hurry to commit? Does he just want to make OSU wait like he had to wait for the offer?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:38:00 PM)
I assume that the staff is waiting for semester grades to set up his official visit.

Buckaboo (Dec 8, 2004 3:38:09 PM)
Coach, what are your bowl projections for tOSU vs. OSU and USC vs. Oklahoma?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:39:24 PM)
I like the match-up for Ohio State against Oklahoma State. I think the Buckeye defense is much better than the Okla. State defense. They have very similar types of athletes, however. Oklahoma State will be fired up, but I look for the Buckeyes to win by about 10 points. I think USC will beat Oklahoma a lot easier than most people think.

skeelo (Dec 8, 2004 3:39:42 PM)
javon ringer is he good enough to make an impact at tosu. personally i think he is the best running back on our board or anyone elses for that matter. he makes himself "small" thus making himself very hard to tackle. plus he is tough strong and very quick.

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:40:28 PM)
I think his injury is of concern, being that he missed the last part of the season. I think the numbers game is in his favor however because they're not in on a lot of great backs.

indibuck (Dec 8, 2004 3:40:38 PM)
Hi Coach, joining late. What do you see as the major needs in the next (signing Feb 2006) signing class? Thanks!

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:41:22 PM)
For 2006, there must be a concentration on LBs, WRs, CBs and a couple of rush ends. And let's not forget about a punter.

marksgforce (Dec 8, 2004 3:41:44 PM)
Would you take the N.D. coach if it was offered to you? Why or why not?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:42:36 PM)
I think the Notre Dame job is very intriguing to a lot of people. Whoever gets the job only has one way to go and that's up. But I don't even know Regis Philbin.

loverbuck (Dec 8, 2004 3:42:47 PM)
What is your opinion on oversigning (signing 3 more players than you have spots for) and why doesn't tOSU do it?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:43:47 PM)
That is a topic that comes up a lot. Only within the last 2-3 years has the Big Ten allowed that to take place. If you do oversign, you have the option of grayshirting. Therefore, you'll see more Big Ten schools go this route.

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:44:19 PM)
wolfbuddy asks about Mike Kudla

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:44:55 PM)
I am very impressed with his progress. His mobility has seemed to improve and he's starting to make plays. If he stays healthy, he can be a very good defensive end.

Bison (Dec 8, 2004 3:45:05 PM)
coach: not sure if my question went here it is....What is your opinion of the BCS? Would you like to see playoff? Who is more deserving in your opinion, Texas or Cal?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:47:02 PM)
The only way the BCS can be legitimate is to take the top 8 teams without conference affiliation and have a playoff. Bottom line. I believe what happened to Cal was unfair.

loverbuck (Dec 8, 2004 3:47:44 PM)
What is your opinion of scUM's class so far and which coach was telling recruits that Carr wouldn't be around for long due to health problems? Thanks

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:48:44 PM)
I have no idea what coaches were spreading the rumor. I read the same article on the Internet. I think their recruiting and Ohio State's is about dead even now. The key will be the month of January.

trolley (Dec 8, 2004 3:50:13 PM)
We've all heard the rumors that there is another bombshell out there waiting to drop regarding the ESPN/Clarett sitution -- do you think there is anything there?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:50:33 PM)
I don't know of anything specifically. Rumors tend to be continual in nature. I don't think anybody really knows.

MuratDuke (Dec 8, 2004 3:50:45 PM)
Hi Coach, my key to next year is the OL. Seems we keep making excuses for lack of execution there. What do you really expect out of these guys for next year, meaning do you think they will be awesome, good, ok, horrible, dissapointing. Please elaborate as much as possible for your expecttations of the OL. Thanks

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:51:47 PM)
I think they improved the last couple of games this year, especially the Michigan game. The bowl game will tell a lot. I don't believe they'll ever be as physical as some offensive lines in the past.

darrenconrad (Dec 8, 2004 3:52:12 PM)
Hi Bill thanks for your input, in your opinion who will commit next and how many will we get at the Army A game?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:53:28 PM)
Maybe Anderson Russell, the RB-DB from Georgia. If he has a good visit this weekend, he may commit. That is assuming he has been offered.

vbbuck (Dec 8, 2004 3:54:17 PM)
Coach, who do you feel will be the sleeper (A.K.A. Hawk) in this class?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:54:43 PM)
Denlinger has a chance of being a sleeper.

MuratDuke (Dec 8, 2004 3:55:13 PM)
Coach ... does the Lennix comment about taking visits suprise you ?? My take is we are looking for 2 more LBs and we are close on about 5 studs, if Lennix waits and takes his visits, might he be too late if the others commit first ?? Or does the coaches know he will commit and they told him to hold off so as to not scare off the ohers ???

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:55:33 PM)
I don't think the staff would let him get closed out, being that he is from Glenville.

witter (Dec 8, 2004 3:55:45 PM)
One of your old epuipment managers(Beaker) says good is Marcel Frost and Chad Hobbler?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:57:06 PM)
I think Chad Hoobler is going to be a lot better than most people expected. He runs very well and is physical. We saw this in him early in his career. He just needs to get bigger. Marcel Frost is an amazing athlete. He has the athletic ability to play in the NFL someday. If he really commits himself physically and mentally to the game, he will be a tremendous player. I still like him better as a DE.

buckmark (Dec 8, 2004 3:57:18 PM)
Coach, if you were having to build a gameplan to face Oklahoma St., what would it look like?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:58:15 PM)
Stop the run and contain the QB. The QB is the third leading rusher and you can't let Donovan Woods outside. They need to force him to stay in the pocket and throw. If the Buckeyes do that. they win the game. But they have to stop the run first.

alamobowl (Dec 8, 2004 3:58:23 PM)
Do you see Marcus Freeman getting a lot of playing time in 2005. If so, how would they use him?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 3:59:19 PM)
Unless injuries force the issue, Marcus Freeman will be a backup at LB. But he should be a tremendous special teams player next year and ready to fill a starting spot in 2006. He is a very good athlete who can run and hit. He just needs experience.

steveh (Dec 8, 2004 3:59:31 PM)
Back to the season...did the loss of Irizary change the OSU offense significantly?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 4:00:09 PM)
The loss of Irizarry was a tremendous blow to the offense. he was a big play threat and a good blocker.

buckmark (Dec 8, 2004 4:00:22 PM)
Coach, When you say "recruit, or go after hard", what does that look like? How is it different from not recruiting hard?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 4:01:01 PM)
It's setting your priorities in terms of how much time and effort you spend on one player compared to another, all based on the player's abilities and the chances of getting him.

Smiggers (Dec 8, 2004 4:01:35 PM)
Mike D'Andrea has had a very unfortunate time with all the injuries he has had at OSU. With the short time he has left to make an impression on us and the pro scouts, do you think he would be better off changing positions to to say, defensive line or stick with the MLB position.

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 4:02:06 PM)
I don't see a change of positions being advantageous for Mike. He was really coming into his own when he got hurt at LB. That's his best shot to play at the next level.

Buckaboo (Dec 8, 2004 4:02:16 PM)
Coach, what are your expectations for this team next year? Record? Compete for Big Ten title? What do you think?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 4:03:14 PM)
They should be the favorite going into next season. They have great experience back on defense. Good experience back on offense, plus Ted Ginn Jr. The biggest drop-off will be in special teams, not necessarily the return game but the actual specialists themselves. They lose Andrews, Nugent and Turano.

wolfbuddy (Dec 8, 2004 4:03:36 PM)
Bill, I'm sure you've been asked this question numerous times, but in your years as a recruiting coordinator, what HS play made your jaw drop the most when you saw him on film? In other words, who was the most gifted HS player you ever saw, OSU or not. Thanks

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 4:03:56 PM)
To pick out three kids that were outstanding on film ...

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 4:04:29 PM)
One was Fred Taylor, a RB from Belle Glade, Fla. Another Michael Wiley. And Teddy Ginn.

darrenconrad (Dec 8, 2004 4:04:34 PM)
What do you know about L wilson

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 4:05:06 PM)
He made an unofficial visit to Ohio State again last weekend. I think a lot depends on what happens at Notre Dame.

skeelo (Dec 8, 2004 4:05:28 PM)
malcom jenkins seems to have similiar ball skills like a certain #26 who made great plays against the maize and blue. he doesn't "hurry" when the ball is in the air. what is your take on him?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 4:05:54 PM)
I think Malcolm Jenkins has a chance to be a very good college player. We'll find out how good he is tackling in the open field.

MuratDuke (Dec 8, 2004 4:06:08 PM)
Coach, if Ginn can play WR and CB, why not let Frost play DE and TE ??

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 4:06:51 PM)
The difference between the 2 is that as a TE and DE you're making physical contact on every play. The body can't take that many snaps of punishment.

dcbuck (Dec 8, 2004 4:07:04 PM)
Have there been any recruits in the past that have played OSU like they were going to sign and then not come even though they gave every indication? Do you think they do this purposefully?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 4:07:56 PM)
I think the motives vary. Some kids just aren't sure. Some kids get influenced at the last minute. Some decide not to go as far from home as they initially said they would. Still others like Dwayne Jarrett, you may never know what happened.

warfield (Dec 8, 2004 4:08:02 PM)
How is coach Tressel as a recruiter?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 4:08:18 PM)
I think Coach Tressel is very good in the home with the parents and the recruit.

Atlanta Buckeye (Dec 8, 2004 4:09:37 PM)
How do you feel about Troy Smith's development and will Coach Tressell open the offense up more next season with these dynamic players?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 4:10:15 PM)
I believe the offense you have seen since Troy Smith has been the QB will be the offense for at least next year. We have the skill to run a spread offense.

MuratDuke (Dec 8, 2004 4:10:19 PM)
Anyone going to go pro early this year in your mind ??

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 4:10:54 PM)
Santonio Holmes may still decide to go pro. We should know shortly. Fortunately, A.J. Hawk is coming back.

loverbuck (Dec 8, 2004 4:11:13 PM)
Where you on the staff when Billy Joe Armstrong played and was he as crazy as the stories indicate?

BillConley (Dec 8, 2004 4:11:41 PM)
Billy Joe Armstrong is old enough to be my dad. He was a great Buckeye and a great competitor.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Bill Conley, an OSU assistant coach for 17 years, provides insights through columns and Chat sessions on on a regular basis. Plus, catch Coach Conley on his weekly radio show from 9 a.m. to noon each Sunday morning on WTVN-AM (610).

Coach Conley's next scheduled Chat will be on Mon., Jan. 3. at 3 p.m.

He will also have a column looking at bowl preparation on Wed., Dec. 15.

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