Helwagen Chat: Dec. 29 Archive

We look ahead at tonight's Alamo Bowl with our weekly Chat for Bucknuts.com subscribers.

Heater (Dec 29, 2004 4:04:22 PM)
Steve--Given the repeated PR nightmares in the last 18 months, you have to believe this is having an effect on recruiting. But that's not my question...my question involves the current team: How does AJ Hawk or Mike Nugent or Dustin Fox (or whomever) react to someone (Troy Smith in this case) that essentially betrays them? Is it truly "business as usual" as they would have you believe or do the players/team leaders harbor resentment? Thanks!! Go Buckeyes!!

OTC (Dec 29, 2004 4:04:36 PM)
is moderation on?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:04:39 PM)
Hey guys I am just arriving. We will start in just a second.

OTC (Dec 29, 2004 4:04:40 PM)
guess not

ToledoBucknutty (Dec 29, 2004 4:04:47 PM)
look at quentin griffin and barry sanders!!!!

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:04:52 PM)
I saw Heater's question and will respond. Will turn moderation on now.

kl (Dec 29, 2004 4:04:58 PM)
Steve, I had to bump your ten pressing questions thing for the radio show; just wanted to let you know to put it back up there when you were done with the chat

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:05:29 PM)

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:05:41 PM)
Send questions now, will look back at Heater's question

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:07:23 PM)
Regarding resentment of Troy Smith, I don't think you'll see that. For starters, for the seniors they probably won't associate much with him again, since he wasn't at practice this week down here. The returning players may file this away, but Smith earned a lot of respect within the team with the way he played. My guess is this will be a minor bump in the road.

beattheboys (Dec 29, 2004 4:07:34 PM)
Steve, Will Pittman see significant PT tonight?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:08:07 PM)
Coach Tressel mentioned that all the backs will get work. Personally, my pecking order would be Joe, Pittman, Hall and Ross.

BuckGrad (Dec 29, 2004 4:08:13 PM)
Steve, everyone is going to get mad for me saying this, but Tressel has got to straighten these kids out or he has to go and soon. The program is going to get ran right into the ground. You dont think scUM or PSU or USC is pointing at all of these problems and starting to scare recruits?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:09:58 PM)
There is perception and there is reality. The perception is a program out of control. The reality, as Geiger said yesterday, is that there are so many positive signs people don't take note of (400 percent grad rate increase, Academic All-Big Tens, etc.). Geiger does not blame Tressel. He blames the kids and those who are the bad influences. I think we don't give kids enough credit. They're smart enough to see what's really going on.

hondo (Dec 29, 2004 4:10:02 PM)
Steve have you heard anything about Fred Davis transferring here?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:11:02 PM)
Absolutely not. Bill Conley said before anything like that would happen, Coach Tressel would probably contact the USC staff to ask questions whether Davis is a guy they'd want. I didn't know that, but that must be standard practice in the coaching ranks, a common courtesy. Has he still not reported?

Guest (Dec 29, 2004 4:11:12 PM)
before moderation, euclidbuckfan asked "Steve, are there any sleepers out there besides the main 8 or 9 that you know about that we have a good shot at, especially rb"

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:11:34 PM)
euclid buck fan asks if there are any recruiting sleepers ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:11:47 PM)
Nobody I'm aware of.

Guest (Dec 29, 2004 4:11:53 PM)
also, tomwildcat asked "Steve, I don't like Maurice Wells' size, do you see him being too small to be the next great Buckeye running back?"

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:12:16 PM)
tomwildcat asks about Maurice Wells' size and whether he could be the next great OSU running back ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:13:00 PM)
His size is a concern (roughly 5-11, 190). But that's not far from Michael Hart, though. I have not seen many small backs excel in the Big Ten. But he could be used as quite a weapon.

osufan25 (Dec 29, 2004 4:13:15 PM)
Hey Steve, Who will round out this recruiting class and who's the first to come aboard for next year?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:14:46 PM)
This year's class? Probably guys like Wells, Ashley, McCoy, Lenix, those are probably 4 that I feel good about that. Daniels sounds like he wants to be part of the package deal from Brookhaven to Minnesota. Maybe Gwaltney squeezes in there.

ToledoBucknutty (Dec 29, 2004 4:14:50 PM)
I just want to say that i think it is a travesty what is happening to Herbie. The guy is clearly a dedicated Buckeye and to drive him out of his city is just sad. The select few fans who sent threatening emails to him should be ashamed!!! Maybe he can move in with Bill Buckner...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:15:51 PM)
I agree. People go overboard sometimes with these things. Kirk is in a tough spot as an alum and an ESPN personality. He has a job to do and that job is responsible for setting him up for life. So that has to take precedence.

OTC (Dec 29, 2004 4:15:59 PM)
what is the fan raio like down there? are the bucks outnumbered?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:16:30 PM)
I thought 60-40 in favor of Okie State.

BuckGrad (Dec 29, 2004 4:16:36 PM)
Rico Mcoy...yes or no? Walker Ashley...yes or no?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:17:14 PM)
Yes to both today. But something says penn State with Williams on board may now be the team to beat for Walker Ashley. He has told me several times how much he loves OSU, though.

buckindaville (Dec 29, 2004 4:17:18 PM)
Steve: how do you see the game unfolding?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:18:31 PM)
Maybe I'm on crack, but I think Oklahoma State will struggle if it has to drive 80 yards for touchdowns. Ohio State loses if it gives Okie State short fields with bad turnovers. Okie State is No. 1 nationally in TO margin. But I can't see the Cowboys lining up and running consistently all night on Ohio State. My mantra for Ohio State has always been ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:18:53 PM)
Stopping the run -- it's who they are, it's what they do.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:19:31 PM)
The names read like a long list: Zereoue, McGahee, Foster, Hart, Sproles. At the end of the night, the line usually reads 20 carries, 80 yards.

37-21 (Dec 29, 2004 4:19:37 PM)
If Zwick has the game of his life tonight, what do you see happeing next year. My opinion is that Zwick know this is his last shot.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:20:24 PM)
He'd certainly be back in the race. But I think like last year, when Zwick seemed to have the slightest nod, Tressel will flip the other way based on Smith's late-season emergence. He's shown more in the heat of battle (at least so far) than Zwick.

JDT (Dec 29, 2004 4:20:27 PM)
Any new news on the recruiting front?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:21:20 PM)
No, all quiet for the holidays. The staff needs to finish this class strong and I see that happening. They will get 5-6 of the key 8-9 guys they are still tracking, JMHO

beattheboys (Dec 29, 2004 4:21:28 PM)
Steve, Are you in Columbus or SanAntonio?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:21:47 PM)
San Antonio, where it is partly cloudy and 70, they could play outside tonight if they wanted to.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:22:33 PM)
As a reminder, this is a moderated Chat. That means you send questions and I post them as I get to them. That's why you don't see them right away when you send them in. We'll do our best to get to as many as possible.

wolfbuddy (Dec 29, 2004 4:22:38 PM)
Steve, We know the players say all the right things about having Zwick in the line-up, but have you gotten a sense in your time with the team that they have less confidence in Justin? The team going into this game with a lack of confidence at QB is my bigegst fear.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:24:36 PM)
No, the other day the offensive guys stood behind him. The most unintentionally funny moment was when Holmes said, "We have confidence in Justin. He started the first six games and got us three wins ... and three losses." You could see Zwick like, "You're not helping."

euclidbuckfan (Dec 29, 2004 4:24:49 PM)
Steve, I am starting to get worried about the runningback position. Besides the main 3( Wells, Gwaltney, Collins) are there any others we are looking at like Curtis Brinkley that we have a realistic shot at?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:25:48 PM)
Nobody who seems to be an impact player. Maybe that will change. Think back a few years. Nobody really thought Ohio State was a major player for a DE from New York named Will Smith but he came out of nowhere and verbaled to OSU on like Jan. 15. It would be nice to have a guy like that fall out of the sky, huh?

buckmark (Dec 29, 2004 4:25:55 PM)
Steve, what's your prediction for Justin tonight based on what you have seen of practice, etc. out in San Antonio

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:27:15 PM)
Practices were closed. He says he is sharp. I'd be shocked if he throws more than 25 passes. They will want to lean on the run with Joe and Pittman, I imagine, and go from there. Hopefully he ends up around 14 of 25 for 190 with 1 or 2 TDs and 0 INTs. That would be a good line from a guy who hasn't played since Oct. 16 and, really, never had more than 1 or 2 games like that even when he was healthy.

37-21 (Dec 29, 2004 4:27:29 PM)
I keep think that this mess is over with like mc and all and them more keep poping up. This aint good and I am starting to have my doubts myself if Mc was lying (i think he is, I think) Also I must wonder how smart our kids are compared to others For i dont see another schoool out there having the mess that we are having.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:27:52 PM)
Oh, I don't know. You certainly can not dismiss Clarett's claims out of hand, can you?

JDT (Dec 29, 2004 4:28:00 PM)
What has Haw looked like in practice - do you think he will be a running back that gets some playing time next year?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:28:44 PM)
Practices are closed. Haw has been highly regarded. They want him to mature off the field a little bit. He has all the physical tools you could ever hope for with great speed at around 210 pounds. He needs to put it all together.

hondo (Dec 29, 2004 4:28:51 PM)
Davis didn't make the trip to Florida, and he is suppose to meet with the USC coaching staff Jan. 10th to discuss his future there.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:29:07 PM)
Thanks for the update ... this kid is a trainwreck.

BuckGrad (Dec 29, 2004 4:29:14 PM)
Is Javon Ringer a lost cause right for the Buckeyes or is there still a chance? Thanks

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:29:25 PM)
He has verbaled to MSU. I don't see anything changing that.

beattheboys (Dec 29, 2004 4:29:32 PM)
Steve, Will this be Santonio Holmes last game as a Buckeye?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:29:37 PM)
Man, tough question ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:30:45 PM)
When they were in Columbus, he said he would be back. But at the press conference the other day, he had that gleam in his eye I have seen far too many times like, "This is one of the last times I'll be doing this here and I'm going to enjoy it." Can't blame him if he goes (given his personal situation with 1 or maybe 2 kids), but it would be great if he stayed.

briegg (Dec 29, 2004 4:30:54 PM)
Hi Steve - Do you think the recent Troy Smith / Booster development will have an impact on the NCAA MoC investigtion (i.e. the NCAA taking a harder look at these types of relationships)?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:31:20 PM)
No, I think the hope is that this will be shown to be an isolated situation. I understand Mr. Baker made a statement he would cooperate with the NCAA.

Xavier (Dec 29, 2004 4:31:28 PM)
Steve, given the stumbles Zwick has had all year, do you think he is ready to lead us to victory tonight against OSU? He hasn't played in a while, I'm afraid he might be a little rusty, thinking he probably wouldn't play the rest of the year.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:32:23 PM)
You make a great point. His numbers were no great shake when he was healthy with all of the INTs and a 50.6 completion percentage. He says he is sharp. This is the shot of a lifetime, though. You hope he makes the most of it. Would be great to see an early deep ball to Holmes to really help his confidence.

beattheboys (Dec 29, 2004 4:32:26 PM)
Any word on Worthington leaning another direction?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:32:45 PM)
No, last word is he remains solid to OSU ... but will still continue with trips. Stay tuned, I guess.

euclidbuckfan (Dec 29, 2004 4:33:01 PM)
I heard that Carlos Thomas may be an academic concern. Is this true? I feel that we need this kid badly and don't see why he would be looking at us so hard if he couldn't get in. Are the coaches going after him hard?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:34:37 PM)
As far as I know, everything is fine with Thomas. Something like a 2.7 and an 860 SAT. Last I heard OSU was after him hard. He is due in Jan. 7, so we'll know more after that.

hondo (Dec 29, 2004 4:35:13 PM)
Steve what have you heard regarding Gwaltney? It sounds as though you are optimistic regarding him.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:36:09 PM)
I had a source who revealed that he and Wells had been in communication and discussed a package deal as the big and small back combo. That would be great.

BuckGrad (Dec 29, 2004 4:36:15 PM)
Who do think transfers after the season...if any? Thanks

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:37:09 PM)
Zwick is probably the biggest one to watch now, although he repeatedly has said he is staying put. If he plays well tonight, that could help his cause to stick around. Maupin is in some doubt as he's not on the trip for academic reasons, I believe. Nobody else comes to mind.

g0d1am (Dec 29, 2004 4:37:16 PM)
How can a wide receiver sway a defense tackle to another school?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:37:40 PM)

euclidbuckfan (Dec 29, 2004 4:37:51 PM)
Steve how do you feel if Freddie Lenniz or Anderson Russell has to become the second back in this class?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:38:16 PM)
So be it. Not the first option. I just think young RBs look at it and see Pittman and Haw as competition for time.

eastcoastbuck (Dec 29, 2004 4:38:23 PM)
Steve, were you surprised that they are favored after the great game we played against tsun

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:40:06 PM)
Yes, but I have no idea what variables they use in setting lines. Oklahoma State was 1-1/2 point fave before Smith suspension and is now 3-1/2. That original line could account for the bowl site being closer to Okie than Ohio. But OSU won 4 of last 5 and Okie lost 4 of last 6. Okie never beat anybody as remotely close to No. 7 Michigan, either. ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:40:15 PM)
Somebody needs to explain it to me, I guess.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:41:37 PM)

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:42:18 PM)
Real quick, we have 46 people in the room. I don't have time for private conversations. And, the queue of questions is full. Stop sending, please, for a few minutes until I can get caught up. Thanks.

buckeyes 1979 (Dec 29, 2004 4:42:54 PM)
Sorry if already asked but I feel Gwaltney is a USC pick. Does Saban leaving give us a greater shot for Thomas? I am still uneasy about Worthington. Thoughts?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:44:28 PM)
I think Gwaltney has some second thoughts about USC. Thomas should consider OSU strongly now, no doubt. You have my permission to be uneasy about Worthington until he inks (ha ha).

beatcowboys (Dec 29, 2004 4:44:59 PM)
Does Nugent get the record tonight?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:45:31 PM)
No question. With Zwick they may have to settle for some FGs.

Guest (Dec 29, 2004 4:45:40 PM)
Steve, Who might be the next stud from Glenville to make a big impact at OSU?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:45:51 PM)
osufan25 asks about the next stud from Glenville ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:46:23 PM)
Well, O'Neal may get a chance to mix in next year or even start if they need someone desperately at corner. Lenix will also make an impact, I think.

Guest (Dec 29, 2004 4:46:27 PM)
how many yards will J-Z throw for tonight? 150? 175?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:46:39 PM)
JDT asks about Zwick's yardage tonight ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:46:47 PM)
Probably 175, if I had to guess.

euclidbuckfan (Dec 29, 2004 4:46:53 PM)
Steve do you think that Alex Boone is really the #1 tackle in the nation and is only rated #3 tackle by Lemming and #3 OL by insiders and rivals because he committed so early? Also, it doesn't seem like there is a consensus #1 tackle because there is no tackle that is ahead of him in all 3 rankings.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:47:49 PM)
I never look at the rankings that way. I always look at the range. For him to be on anybody's national top-5 OL list, that's great. Narrowing it down to arguing whether he is 1 or 3 is not a big thing for me.

BuckGrad (Dec 29, 2004 4:48:07 PM)
Some people up in Ohio who have seen Spitler have told me he is just like Hawk? Whats your opinion on him, early contributor? Thanks

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:49:16 PM)
The video we posted on him (look for the link on his bio ... and those on free trials, take advantage and go look at stuff like that this week) showed him running down plays and making big hits and sure-handed tackles. The caliber of his competition, overall, was not that strong, though. Probably needs a RS year and some time before he is an impact guy at this level.

aerobuck (Dec 29, 2004 4:49:23 PM)
How many official campus visits is a school allowed to host, and how many prospects have the Buckyes hosted? Do we typically use the full allottment?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:50:29 PM)
The limit, I believe is 56 in a school year. OSU has probably done 20 and will end up around 30 or so to sign 20 or so guys. OSU rarely uses the whole allotment because they usually have 8-10 verbals by the time visits can start at the beginning of the football season/school year.

briegg (Dec 29, 2004 4:50:51 PM)
What do you think our chances are with Carlos Thomas? I saw he added S. Carolina to his favorites after the Nick Saban news. Do you actually see us having a chance with a southern guy like this?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:51:48 PM)
He was quoted a week back saying OSU and LSU were co-No. 1. That's all I can go on. he likes Ohio State and wants to visit, then go from there. Get him in here Jan. 7 and see what happens, I guess.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:51:58 PM)
Regarding g0d1am's question ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:52:36 PM)
The obvious inference is that PSU signing Justin King and Derrick Williams gives Paterno renewed credibility. That will help them close on some kids they desperately want like Ashley.

Guest (Dec 29, 2004 4:52:46 PM)
Any predictions on tonights game?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:52:57 PM)
Jim C asks about a prediction on tonight's game ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:54:06 PM)
I think 27-21 Ohio State. Oklahoma State will have a hard time driving the length of the field running the ball on this defense. If Zwick can avoid bad picks, Ohio State should be all right.

euclidbuckfan (Dec 29, 2004 4:54:18 PM)
Steve, have you heard anything new about Doug Worthington? I am terrified that we lose him because of the allegations and am worried about Urban Meyer luring him to Florida.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:55:29 PM)
It is a situation that bears watching, no doubt. Doug continues to say he is solid, but is hedging against an NCAA hammer between now and Feb. 1.

kirk45 (Dec 29, 2004 4:55:50 PM)
Steve, JT says that Todd Boeckman should be willing/happy to give up a year for this game - do you agree? How much will it affect the play calling knowing that Zwick "can't " get hurt?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:57:10 PM)
That will not affect the play calling. If Boeckman gets a chance to play 3 quarters, that would be worth giving up a year. I'm sure he would tell you that. Look at it this way: He could still redshirt next year (if Zwick sticks) and this one game would be better experience than getting mop-up snaps as the third teamer all next year. Right?

aerobuck (Dec 29, 2004 4:57:15 PM)
Steve, any Buckeyes that won't play tonight due to injury? How is Marcel Frost?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:57:53 PM)
That never came up with Coach Tressel with all the controversy. But have not heard of anybody expected to miss. Frost, I'm not sure. My feeling is he will be in uniform, but he's hardly played all year.

Guest (Dec 29, 2004 4:57:59 PM)
Steve, Any chance we use Ginn on a fake flanker reverse and pass play to Holmes. Wasn't Ginn a QB in high school? Give them something different they haven't seen yet.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:59:25 PM)
Arlin asks about Ginn throwing tonight ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 4:59:54 PM)
That would be the time to bring it out and give everybody they play next year something to be wary of. But do you want to risk a bad pick by doing that?

buckindaville (Dec 29, 2004 5:00:04 PM)
How is our middle linebacker's knee? Who steps up if he gets hurt?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:00:14 PM)
Says he's fine and will play. Have not seen the MRI.

Guest (Dec 29, 2004 5:00:25 PM)
Steve, How do you guys feel about your chances with Carlos Thomas? I work with quite a few loyal Buckey fans over here in Germany. Good luck tonight

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:00:36 PM)
Georgiafan asks about Carlos Thomas ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:01:11 PM)
Thomas is realistically looking at OSU, LSU, Georgia and South Carolina, to my knowledge.

edbuck51 (Dec 29, 2004 5:01:20 PM)
Have the Buckeyes had any Texas recruits over to visit like they did in Arizona last year?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:01:45 PM)
No idea. This is kind of off the beaten path in south Texas. Three hours from Dallas and Houston.

beatthepokes (Dec 29, 2004 5:01:57 PM)
What have the coaches done with Zwick to help him focus on ball security?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:02:20 PM)
I imagine they will call safer pass plays early to get him into a flow and not ask him to force it until he shows he is on.

Sterling Silver Bullet (Dec 29, 2004 5:02:25 PM)
Alex Daniels could always play the role of big tailback as well. Maybe even Freddie Lenix.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:02:42 PM)
The vibe I'm getting now is Daniels may be leaning toward Minn. Could change, though.

Guest (Dec 29, 2004 5:02:46 PM)
What are the chances of Mark Sanchez not going to USC if Norm Chow leaves?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:03:01 PM)
tomwildcat asks about Mark Sanchez not going to USC if Chow leaves ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:03:39 PM)
Have not heard Chow leaving. Maybe he goes with the AD from USC to Syracuse. With 2 Heismans in 3 years, Sanchez will probably go to USC.

Guest (Dec 29, 2004 5:03:47 PM)
is eric haw something special and do you think he breaks out next year

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:04:50 PM)
hart21 asks whether Haw is special ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:05:18 PM)
Yes, to me, he is a special back. Great blend of speed and power. Not a Clarett, but a chance to be a real good one.

buckmark (Dec 29, 2004 5:05:31 PM)
On ESPN Gameday's show that is on right now, they just rehashed all the clarett, smith fiasco and did an interview with Geiger. Afterward, Trev and May both said that Geiger and Tress are either naive or covering things up. They are both idiots on all fronts if you ask me, but I'm curious what you hear outside the Columbus bubble and what you think.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:07:07 PM)
Geiger made a great point yesterday -- if somebody wants to deliberately break NCAA rules, it's hard to stop them. This would not have been reported if the attorney had not blown the whistle. I'm not of the opinion one of them needs to fall on this sword -- yet.

beatthepokes (Dec 29, 2004 5:07:25 PM)
Shouldn't the good guys be able to run with Joe and Pittman? After all, I don't think the Cboys have anyone like Gabe Watson to plug the middle and they play full time nickel.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:08:09 PM)
Their one LB, 99, Lawrence Pinson, is a nice play maker. Not impressed with their line and their DBs seem too small to bring down, say, Joe single-handedly. He could be carrying guys with him.

Sterling Silver Bullet (Dec 29, 2004 5:08:17 PM)
Steve, would the Buckeyes (and Coach Tressel) take back Fred Davis if he wanted to transfer back home from USC? It seems that he's frustrated there, and may want out. Would we take him back? He might add some nice size to the receiver crew.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:08:41 PM)
It would be worth a cursory look. But he obviously has some major issues he needs to work through.

scribeohio (Dec 29, 2004 5:08:45 PM)
How does SA compare to Tempe?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:08:52 PM)
It's been great ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:10:19 PM)
San Antonio is obviously not as warm as Tempe, which was consistently near 80 during the day. The great thing is all the best bars and restaurants and shops are within a 6-block radius as well as the game. Everything is spread out a little more in Phoenix. Really great atmosphere here.

beatthepokes (Dec 29, 2004 5:10:28 PM)
What is your take on the illegal benefits situation at OSU? Is it out of control? Is Ohio State any worse than scUM or Miami or the others? Do you think the worst is behind us?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:12:24 PM)
We have no idea whether there are more or less cases. The way the rules are written the school is practically blameless in these situations. The athlete loses eligibility for some games and that's it. Nobody from the school is connected to this one, it seems. Stuff like this happens everywhere, we just don't know it. A man reported it 2 weeks ago and OSU took a 3-day weekend and reported it. I don't know what else they were supposed to do. Can't predict the future, I'm sorry. The next bad thing could be right around the corner.

scribeohio (Dec 29, 2004 5:12:31 PM)
How has the month off helped OSU, if at all?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:13:08 PM)
I'm sure they are healthier. I'm sure their defense is hungry again. Obviously, the offense was sent into a tizzy in the last week.

edbuck51 (Dec 29, 2004 5:13:13 PM)
Will the Buckeyes have any "fun time" to hang out in San Antonio before heading home?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:13:34 PM)
No, they fly back in the morning. Tressel is supposed to appear in the morning here and canceled it to go home.

euclidbuckfan (Dec 29, 2004 5:13:41 PM)
Steve what kind of prospect was Lebron James. I heard he was excellent and could probably play in the NFL right now but that could be an exaggeration. Was he really an amazing football player to?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:14:20 PM)
Yes, as a sophomore he was all-state, I think, with like 8-10 TDs. A Randy Moss type WR. Yes, he could play in the NFL.

Guest (Dec 29, 2004 5:14:28 PM)
Any word about the players that asked for draft day speculations? Holmes,Hawk,etc.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:14:43 PM)
beattheboys asks about Holmes and Hawk staying put ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:15:07 PM)
I think Hawk is 100 percent back and Holmes likely 80. We'll ask again tonight to see if there is any doubt in his eye.

buckmark (Dec 29, 2004 5:15:22 PM)
Steve, My biggest hope for tonight (besides a victory) is for Nuge to somehow get the scoring record. How do you begin to replace what he has meant to this team?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:18:05 PM)
This is a huge factor for 2005. Between Huston and Skeete and Pettrey and the walk-on Pretorious, you hope they find somebody serviceable.

beatthepokes (Dec 29, 2004 5:18:34 PM)
What is your biggest concern regarding today's game?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:19:44 PM)
Turnovers. If Zwick throws a bad pick -- remember, he had 6 and several fumbles as well in 6 games -- it could be a bad night.

BuckGrad (Dec 29, 2004 5:19:52 PM)
Big Ten seems to be having a great year recruiting as a whole. What is your take? Thanks

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:20:50 PM)
The head coaches in this league are all great. Is there a dud in this bunch? You tell me. And it just got better with Hoeppner and Zook. That's the reason the recruiting is good, plus ND is in a complete shambles.

Guest (Dec 29, 2004 5:21:01 PM)
what is the situation with davis at usc? why do u say he is a trainwreck?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:21:26 PM)
jrd150 asks why I termed Davis a trainwreck ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:22:38 PM)
Probably a harsh term, but he has just been all over the board. He chose USC for all the wrong reasons, it seems. Bright lights, big cities, etc. He got there and they lied to him and moved him to TE. Now he no-shows the bowl trip when they're playing for a national title. This is a me guy all the way. Would not want him in a foxhole with me.

Guest (Dec 29, 2004 5:23:03 PM)
Would Brandon Maupin's situation open up a scholarship for this class?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:23:28 PM)
Silver Bullet asks about Maupin's scholarship ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:23:43 PM)
They will be in no hurry to do anything with him. He is not leaving that I know of.

RobM1013 (Dec 29, 2004 5:24:27 PM)
Steve, maybe you already covered this...but with the recent developments with a "Mr. Such and Such" being named, doesn't this sound like something the NCAA could take a harsher look at with the Buckeyes? At some point, I gotta believe, as much as I don't want to, that the NCAA will say something to the effect..."look you (OSU) gotta get your program together...we hold you accountable for informing/educating your student athletes, therefore we are imposing much more stringent penalties". Maybe make an example of us?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:25:04 PM)
No, don't see Ohio State being made an example. The rules are straightforward. Each case is separate. There must be corroboration to make something stick.

wells20 (Dec 29, 2004 5:25:16 PM)
Steve, Have you gotten any hints as to what offense the Buckeyes will open up in tonight? And in relation, how about the starters?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:25:58 PM)
No clue who will start other than Zwick. Have to think they will be running the ball to take some heat off him. Maybe an early play action pass and rollout to create an easy pitch-and-catch.

BuckGrad (Dec 29, 2004 5:26:06 PM)
Anyone else excited already for the Texas OSU game next year? Any early predictions from you?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:26:47 PM)
The QB situation is a bit disconcerting if Smith has to miss Miami, but that will be a great showdown either way. Probably a night game on ABC after ND-Michigan at 3:30.

Guest (Dec 29, 2004 5:27:09 PM)
Being indoors on a "fast track" will we continue to use our speed Ted and Santonio or because of a rusty QB go back to the old 3 yards and a cloud of astroturf?!

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:27:25 PM)
beattheboys asks about the offense on the fast track tonight ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:27:54 PM)
Good point. They do need Holmes and Ginn involved. Should be a creative mix.

Guest (Dec 29, 2004 5:28:02 PM)
Steve, we're right in the thick of the 2005 recruiting season, but could you list a few rising stars for 2006? Are there any gamebreakers?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:28:14 PM)
swimmerOSU asks about key prospects for 2006 ...

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:29:03 PM)
Chris Wells from Akron Garfield is the obvious No. 1 choice in Ohio. Nearly 2,000 yards as a junior.Great year for QBs in Ohio with Davis, Hartline, Schlichter, Kirbus and others.

buckmark (Dec 29, 2004 5:29:09 PM)
Steve, Predict the first series of plays for Justin tonight.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:33:54 PM)
My first play would be a give to Branden Joe in the I. My second play would be the play action pass, rollout to Ginn or Holmes on a safe crossing pattern. Then you go from there.

bradleybuckeye13 (Dec 29, 2004 5:34:01 PM)
do we have lenix?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:34:08 PM)
Not yet but it will happen.

SouthHighBuck (Dec 29, 2004 5:34:15 PM)
Is this the least anticipated Bowl game for OSU you can remember because of all the crap surrounding the program.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:34:33 PM)
Does put a damper on it. Nothing will be lower than Air Force in the Liberty, though.

edbuck51 (Dec 29, 2004 5:35:02 PM)
You seem to be a little pensive on #12. Don't you think the offense got better overall, and this should help him upon his return?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:35:46 PM)
Great point, edbuck51, the others -- the line, Ginn and Gonzo -- all matured. But they need the running game to take heat off him and make it so he does not have to make hard passes. That's where picks could come in against these ball hawking DBs.

euclidbuckfan (Dec 29, 2004 5:36:28 PM)
Steve, can you tell us anything about some of the recruits we have heard very little about from last years class like Shuan Lane and Vernon Gholston

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:36:58 PM)
Yes, the coaches sound impressed about the redshirts. Lane and Gholston were 2 guys I heard a lot about. Gholston did not redshirt.

Guest (Dec 29, 2004 5:37:02 PM)
How will the Big 10 fare in bowls?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:38:06 PM)
SouthHigh asks about Big Ten in bowls ... I see OSU over Okie State, Alabama over Minnesota, Purdue over Az State, Iowa over LSU, Georgia over Wisconsin and Texas over Michigan (should be a good game). 3-3 I guess.

hondo (Dec 29, 2004 5:38:13 PM)
Steve - I know this has probably been asked before, but what happened to Adam Myers White ? Why did Ohio State pull his offer?

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:39:26 PM)
My interpretation is they wanted Adam to make a decision at midseason. The sooner you get verbals from the guys you want, the more you can focus on the guys you have to go and get. He was hurt and underperforming at the time. I think the injury gave Ohio State the upper hand in the relationship and they decided to pull it if he didn't accept.

jshea (Dec 29, 2004 5:39:46 PM)
Steve, any predictions on our pre-season ranking next year....My guess is between ten and fifteen after the poorer than normal showing this year even though we return so many.

SteveHelwagen (Dec 29, 2004 5:40:07 PM)
Probably between 8 and 13 somewhere. They and Michigan will be co-faves in the Large Ten.

Thanks everybody! Enjoy the game!

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