Helwagen Chat: Jan. 14 Archive

Here are the excerpts from Friday's two-hour Chat session with Bucknuts.com managing editor Steve Helwagen. He conducts these Chat sessions each week for Bucknuts subscribers. Former OSU assistant coach Bill Conley will have his next Chat Monday at 3:30 p.m.

Palmer (Jan 14, 2005 12:58:10 PM)
Steve, a couple weeks ago Lawrence wilson and Walker Ashley were sure to be Buckeyes, what has changed with them?

OSUBucks22 (Jan 14, 2005 12:58:39 PM)
good day all Bucknuts....

bucks79 (Jan 14, 2005 12:58:48 PM)
Is our backing off Collins all of a sudden be good news in Tressel thinks we have Gwaltney?

OSUBucks22 (Jan 14, 2005 12:58:52 PM)
are we ready for a big day tomorrow or a letdown?

Oxford (Jan 14, 2005 12:59:12 PM)
I'm not so sure Collins would have gotten into tOSU

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 12:59:17 PM)
will turn on moderation now ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 12:59:55 PM)
It's generally not a good idea to start early because then all we get are repeat questions ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:00:26 PM)
So I'm just going to kind of hang loose for a few seconds here I'll look back at what's already been posted ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:02:38 PM)
Palmer asks about Wilson and Ashley. Wilson will take a visit to Michigan next weekend I believe. He has OSU and Florida as co-leaders. Ashley says it's between USC, OSU and Penn State. Hey, things change over time. I don't think there is one defining factor in why these guys previously said OSU was the clear No. 1 until today. Would be great to get one of them, and a coup to get both ... especially to go with Denlinger, Williams and Worthington up front.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:03:01 PM)
bucks79 asks if backing off Collins is an indication they have Gwaltney ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:03:49 PM)
That is a major leap, in my mind. Gwaltney has spoken over and over about his choices. The best news is Ohio State is still in there. USC may be a hard one to beat, though. I think WVU is out of the running.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:04:07 PM)
OSUBucks22 asks if tomorrow will be a big day ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:05:49 PM)
Well, it will be fun to see all these great high school stars on one field. That's the first thing. I will be asked this 20 times, but my feeling is they get Wells. That should make it a good day to start with. Then they're probably a 55-45 edge to also land McCoy. That should make it a great day, if that happens. But, really, just enjoy the game and not take it that seriously (ha ha).

OSUBucks22 (Jan 14, 2005 1:05:59 PM)
Steve, i need some good news on Rico McCoy. got any?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:07:29 PM)
No, I have no "inside information" on who Rico is verbaling to. There have been a lot of rumors he's headed to OSU and a few that it will be Tenn. I think OSU has the slightest of edges. The T-shirt thing was a minor indication, in my mind. Certainly, he could still go to Tenn. despite that.

Oxford (Jan 14, 2005 1:08:06 PM)
Steve, there appear to be rumors out of Youngstown that Manningham is not 100% is anyone from Bucknuts following up on this? I hope Tressel gets the word.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:08:44 PM)
That's weird. Of course, these rumors pop up about every 2-3 weeks and Manningham always seems to debunk them. I would be shocked if he signs with anybody but the University of ...

Palmer (Jan 14, 2005 1:08:56 PM)
Steve, All i have been hearing is how dominate that Boone has been in San Antonio, do you think that he can be as good as Orlando Pace?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:10:00 PM)
No, nobody will ever be as good as Orlando Pace. He was the best who ever lived. His high school coach, Larry Cook, gave me a great quote one day on Orlando. He said, "Steve, if Orlando was 6-2, 200 pounds he would have been an All-American WR. He was just that good of an athlete." Now regarding Boone ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:12:15 PM)
Boone has the potential to be a great OT at Ohio State, no question. It is reassuring to hear he has held his own in San Antonio. If he comes in and plays next year, they could move Sims to guard. Sims said he views himself really as a guard. Maybe he thinks that's where he'd play in the NFL because he is maybe a tad bit small for OT. If Boone gives Ohio State anything in 2005, that's just extra gravy. I liked the way the OSU line finished 2004 and I'm starting to think this could be a strong point of the team in 2005.

Skilly McRailnob (Jan 14, 2005 1:12:23 PM)
When does Gwaltney plan on announcing his decision?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:14:00 PM)
The last I heard was Feb. 2 on ESPN News but it could be any time, I guess. He was originally to do it this weekend, but I think Lemming was recruiting some guys for his network. That's how it was portrayed to me.

Oxford (Jan 14, 2005 1:14:14 PM)
Steve, I've heard from a couple people regarding Glenville that Freddie had the best year, Jamario has the most potential, but that Curtis Smith is an absolute beast, is there any chance he can get eligible?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:14:45 PM)
I think the indication of that is Ohio State never had him in for a visit. If he was any good and had any chance to qualify, he would have been down. Right?

OSUBucks22 (Jan 14, 2005 1:14:50 PM)
Apparantly HH has a good feeling about Eric Sledge. what's your take? is he a Buckeye?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:17:42 PM)
Sledge is a versatile guy maybe on the second rung, just below the real big blue chippers. I take him as a good football player from a winning playoff team. He has some good schools, Louisville, South Carolina with Spurrier and Florida with Meyer, after him. Would be a coup in my mind to add him here. Could play WR or safety at this level. He's 6-3, 200 or so. If HH likes OSU's chances, that's a good indication. I know Jim Heacock has dutifully been down there to Orlando about every week he could be keeping the kid warm for just this scenario (a true late offer). So we'll see.

spuds51 (Jan 14, 2005 1:17:53 PM)
Steve; What's up with Gwaltney ? One time I read he's a done deal for SC the next that we have a chance. What's your gut feeling on this kid ?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:18:56 PM)
I'm just like you. I read the quotes and you feel good about OSU's chances one day and not so good the next. Some believe OSU knows something because they dropped Conredge Collins like a hot potato. Maybe it is that simple. If it is, why is he possibly waiting until 2/2? Hmmm.

ydnah (Jan 14, 2005 1:19:01 PM)
Anything new with biggers?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:19:59 PM)
Biggers is 6-0, 175, played corner and QB for N. Miami Beach, which also had a strong year. He had 8 INTs. OSU looking as a corner. Last visit is next weekend to Iowa. So, unless he verbals this weekend, OSU has time to sort some things out.

Palmer (Jan 14, 2005 1:20:06 PM)
I know its a little early to be talking about Chris Wells, but is he as good as advertised? some say he would be better served as a LineBacker? your thoughts

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:21:58 PM)
Tough question. I think Gary and Duane both see him as a good, big RB that should wear well in the Big Ten, wherever he ends up. He was just shy of 1,000 yards as a soph and just shy of 2,000 as a junior. Every game I read about he drew praise for how solid he was. I think he reminds me of Raymont Harris, perhaps. Maybe does not have that breakaway threat Reecie did early in 2002, but will get you from here to there eventually. I think he'd look awful good dotting the i, as Coach Spencer used to say.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:23:26 PM)
Getting some repeat questions, etc. For those who are new, the concept of the moderated Chat is you submit questions. They go into a queue. I answer them in order as I get to them. To maintain order, I do not post your ? until I'm ready to answer it. If you sent in a question, be patient, I'll do the best I can to get to it. Thanks to all for participating!!

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:23:32 PM)
Now, on with the countdown ...

OSUBucks22 (Jan 14, 2005 1:23:37 PM)
Steve, give me your final 6 for this class...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:23:41 PM)
Egads ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:23:54 PM)
I mentioned 13 names on the board last night for the last 6-7 spots ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:26:26 PM)
Wells, Sledge, Wilson, Ashley, McCoy, Thomas and Gwaltney would be the Super Seven. I think they are in the best shape on Wells, Sledge, Wilson, Ashley. McCoy, Gwaltney and Thomas would be next on the wish list. Then you have people like McCarthy (who I think will end up here maybe sometime next week), Biggers, Kearney and Tucker. Plus, they have to firm up Worthington after this pivotal Florida visit.

bobby (Jan 14, 2005 1:26:39 PM)
Steve, does the fact that osu is late on kearney mean that they know mccoy is slipping away

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:27:19 PM)
No, I would not say that. The timing is such, though, that they'll know where they stand with McCoy by 3 p.m. Sat. (if not already) and then can make the full court press on Kearney if need be.

Swin (Jan 14, 2005 1:27:27 PM)
Steve, I asked this on the board, but it got buried. Why has the Bucknuts radio show gone to taping days in advance instead of being a live up to date radio show?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:29:31 PM)
The show used to air live on a station in Dayton, WHIO, I believe. Well, as they added affiliates (now 20 deep around the state) everybody could not run the show at the same time. So now we tape it on Monday afternoon and try and make it as timeless as possible. It was a tradeoff we had to make to get the show into more markets, etc. We do the best we can to be timely, but it is literally heard anywhere from Tuesday afternoon in Cols. through Sat. morning in some towns. We do the best we can with it. Thanks for asking, but that's some of what went into that.

platinum5 (Jan 14, 2005 1:29:49 PM)
What do you think caused Downing to suddenly emerge at the end of the year?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:30:34 PM)
He got some playing time and became confident. He plays nasty. I like that about him. He brought some attitude to his work, something I thought the OL was lacking for the first 7-8 games.

rbuck (Jan 14, 2005 1:30:38 PM)
Is Gary in San Antone?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:30:44 PM)
He should be there now.

svmusicman (Jan 14, 2005 1:31:08 PM)
Hi Steve, What is the story with Jonathan Wells. I know I read that Tressel had personally contacted him at one point, but I haven't heard anything in awhile.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:31:33 PM)
I'm confused ... do you mean Maurice Wells? Jonathan Wells is in the NFL with the Texans maybe.

BuckeyeDave (Jan 14, 2005 1:31:41 PM)
Conredge Collins said that Ohio St withdrew the offer, stating that we already had the 2 RBs we needed for this class. Your best guess: Who are the two? M. Wells and ?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:32:04 PM)
The obvious inference is Mo Wells and Gwaltney. Whether that turns out to be the case on signing day is another matter.

platinum5 (Jan 14, 2005 1:32:09 PM)
If Fox had been healthy all year, do you think the Bucks go 10-2?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:34:19 PM)
They got chumped at Purdue, in part, because of bad play by the defense. The only loss Fox played in was the Iowa game. Nothing or nobody would have changed that outcome on that day. Tate was in a zone (and the defense had no clue how to get to him). I think Fox playing might have helped change the NW game, too. I'm not sure one guy changes the Wisconsin game much, either. So, yeah, let's say 10-2 instead. Probably all it would have meant was they would have replaced Wisconsin at the Outback Bowl. No big biggie, other than 10-2 sounds better than 8-4.

platinum5 (Jan 14, 2005 1:34:35 PM)
Watching the TV broadcast of the Alamo Bowl, I didn't see Underwood on the sideline. Was he there?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:35:15 PM)
I never saw E.J. Underwood there. An OSU source said, "Oh, yeah, he was there," but I'm not buying it. No idea if E.J. is in school now are not.

mike (Jan 14, 2005 1:35:23 PM)
So whats the lates with Rico McCoy.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:35:43 PM)
No inclination either way. I think OSU has a 55-45 edge on Tenn., based on what I've heard and read.

stemmshady (Jan 14, 2005 1:35:49 PM)
Steve, I know O'brien has filed suit against OSU, any word on whether that will be settled soon, or are they likely to wait on the Salyer's decision?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:37:38 PM)
The two suits are separate and I don't look for either to be settled. The Roslovics, who aren't even married any more, will contest Salyers' claims until the day they die. OSU believes it was on firm ground with O'Brien. I would not settle with him for one dime. I like Obie, but he admitted to paying a player (or his family). I know there were extenuating circumstances and I honestly applaud him for what he tried to do as a human being, but as the head coach at Ohio State it was improper and he paid the correct price with his job.

OSUBucks22 (Jan 14, 2005 1:37:44 PM)
the dispatch article today said that Gwaltney will announce on Wednesday

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:38:43 PM)
Yeah, not sure where they got that. If the kid said it, that's fine. Maybe there was confusion between this Wed. and the Wed. that is signing day. Maybe he has changed his mind (again) and now it's this Wed. The stuff changes as the wind blows.

stemmshady (Jan 14, 2005 1:38:48 PM)
Steve, what is the status of Trepasso and Huston. Anything new? In your opinion who is next years punter/kicker.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:40:18 PM)
They are the favorites for the punter and kicker jobs, respectively. I watched Trapasso in warmups and liked what I saw. A high ball that has to be fair caught and is easy for Sirjo to cover (was that a joy watching him blow up returners or what?). Huston is still one of the most inconsistent kickers I've ever seen. He's far from a sure thing with that job. If he falters. Tressel could go with Pretorious, Skeete or Pettrey.

OSUBucks22 (Jan 14, 2005 1:40:33 PM)
Biggers is reportedly visiting tOSU this weekend according to BK at Rivals

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:41:02 PM)
Yep, I reported that in the Buckeye Grove on Tuesday, I believe. I spoke to his coach today and will post an article by 3 p.m. on his trip.

Palmer (Jan 14, 2005 1:41:13 PM)
I wanna ask you about some current players, In my eyes I see we have a chance to potentially have 4 all americans next year in Carpertar, hawk, Salley, and Ginn....what are your thoughts? Do you think that anyone else could step up?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:43:05 PM)
Those are 4 good ones, no doubt. Hawk is a sure thing if he just survives the year and gets his requisite 120 tackles. He's a household name now. Ginn made some A-A teams this year, including third-team AP, as a return specialist. He is also a household name. Salley needs to stay healthy. He suffered a stinger on a big hit against PSU. Carpenter was up and down, but mostly up. The sky is the limit for him. As far as others ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:44:25 PM)
I'd say Youboty is another awards candidate. Ditto for Holmes if he can put up some numbers and make some big plays. Maybe Sims or Mangold as third-year starters and seniors.

Guest (Jan 14, 2005 1:44:33 PM)
If you got to pick the new AD, who would it be and why?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:44:48 PM)
Buckeye Dave asks about my choice for AD and why ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:47:04 PM)
I wrote in Buckeye Grove that the clear choice, with Archie Griffin out of the running, has to be BGSU's Paul Krebs. He proved himself on the Schottenstein Center project and got the plan in place with Andy Geiger on the stadium renovation before he left here in 1999. He was here 14 years before, had experience in tickets and game management, etc. He knows everybody on staff here. He was No. 2 here for 6 years and now has experience running his own department. He's done a great job at BGSU with new facilities and great coaching hires like Meyer and Brandon. He's the guy. I'm sure they will also interview other luminaries across college athletics, but Paul would be the guy in my book. Hands down.

platinum5 (Jan 14, 2005 1:47:26 PM)
Who starts opposite Youboty at corner?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:48:46 PM)
If E.J. Underwood is around (somehow), I'd say him on experience alone. But Tucker likes reliable guys and that has not been E.J., unfortunately. Maybe O'Neal or Brandon Underwood or Ted Ginn Jr. That's pretty much where they're at unless they go with a real young guy like Malcolm Jenkins or Shaun Lane.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:49:07 PM)
Buckeye Dave asks if anybody will draft Clarett ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:50:34 PM)
My feeling is if Reecie tests well he will, as Tressel would say, "get as his works deserve." The off-the-field baggage takes him down at least one round. My feeling today is Reecie will test reasonably well to be a second round pick, but the baggage will drop him at least until the third. If he tests poorly, he could be a late round pick. But somebody will take a chance. ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:53:31 PM)
Guys, he was the 2003 Heisman Trophy front runner when he was ruled ineligible. You just don't go to suck overnight. There is some talent and ability there. Will take a special coach, a Marvin Lewis or a Denny Green or a Romeo Crennel (look out Browns fans with Reecie and Bron in the same city) or a Lovie Smith (look out for Reecie/Spencer Part 2 in Chicago, no less), to get it out of him.

murfinatl (Jan 14, 2005 1:53:57 PM)
Steve, guys like McCoy seem like naturals to redshirt. Any of the Super Seven that you think could come and see signifcant PT immediately or by mid-season?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:55:06 PM)
Probably Mo Wells because of need, same for Gwaltney. Maybe Lawrence Wilson at DE (ditto with Worthington) because of need. I agree, this team is already so deep, we're just talking about spots 80-85 pretty much now.

Guest (Jan 14, 2005 1:55:19 PM)
Sorry is this has been asked yet Steve, but do we land "RICO SUAVE"

OSUBucks22 (Jan 14, 2005 1:55:50 PM)
that's true about Kearney Steve. i hadn't thought about that. that may be why he's doing his visit from Saturday thru Monday instead of Friday thru Sunday. i hadn't thought about that.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:56:18 PM)
With the holiday on Monday (MLK Day), some kids may do the Sat-Mon visit because of Friday night basketball.

svmusicman (Jan 14, 2005 1:57:39 PM)
Sorry, I meant Jonathan Stewart

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:57:51 PM)
OK, this refers back to the question about Jonathan Wells ....

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:58:13 PM)
Yeah, I don't think OSU ever made any real inroads there. One side did not have interest, eventually. He never visited here.

scribeohio (Jan 14, 2005 1:58:21 PM)
Steve, your thoughts on the AD search - leaders, candidates, final choice? Glad that TBDBITL got over to AG's house!

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 1:59:30 PM)
Agreed, what a nice touch that the band went to his house. I think the search committee is a blue ribbon panel of OSU's best. Good to have Archie on there with his athletics administration experience as well as Ms. Longaberger to provide the de facto approval of the trustees. They should build a nice consensus for Holbrook to choose Geiger's successor ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:00:23 PM)
President Gee once made a pretty bold statement about a coaching search and timing. He said, "I run the university and it's done on my schedule." That explains why things sometimes take a while. They deliberate as long as they can on matters like this ... as well they should.

Palmer (Jan 14, 2005 2:00:43 PM)
Steve, its been a while since we have had a DT like Big Daddy Dan Wilkinson, any chance of one emerging next year or in future years?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:02:09 PM)
Big Daddy was a big, nasty fellow. He had incredible strength and quickness and desire to finish plays. Not a lot of the big guys have all that (obviously). You hear nice splotches every once in a while about guys like Maupin or Cotton or Abdallah, but nobody is comparing anybody present or future to the Large Father.

OSUBucks22 (Jan 14, 2005 2:02:20 PM)
Who's the one guy (aside from Boone, O'Neal, and Worthington) that's really got you excited from this class? for me it's James Laurinaitis. i love his hockey background. makes for a physical, nasty MLB.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:03:25 PM)
That's a good one. Probably Boone. A cornerstone OT that they haven't really had since ... From there, I'm real interested in seeing guys like Worthington and O'Neal work their way into the starting 11 as quickly as possible. I think those two are game changers.

rbuck (Jan 14, 2005 2:03:36 PM)
Couldn't the other running back be Freddie Lenix?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:03:56 PM)
Yeah, but he didn't play much RB at Glenville. I think he is an LB/safety at OSU.

redondo (Jan 14, 2005 2:04:00 PM)
Hi Steve - Any further word on Wilson? Thank you.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:04:17 PM)
Quiet now, will visit Michigan next weekend and then make a decision at some point thereafter.

ydnah (Jan 14, 2005 2:04:24 PM)
Great job so far this recruiting season. You guys have gotten a lot of great interviews and information out before all of the other services. Congrats to you and your team.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:06:21 PM)
Scout.com is starting to hit its stride. We have great people at the network level like Jamie Newberg, Bob Lichtenfels (Pa. and East Coast), Josh Clark (Midlands) and so forth. They love to trade info and numbers and make it easier on us. Then, we have assembled a nice team here. Dave Biddle in the 2 weeks since he became a full-time contributor has already done an outstanding job with updates on OSU athletics and recruiting. Gary, Duane and Kyle are also doing a fabulous job. The baton is in Gary's hand now in San Antonio. We appreciate the kind words.

OSUBucks22 (Jan 14, 2005 2:06:36 PM)
Steve, i saw that Brandon Mitchell had been put on the search committee to find the new AD. do players often get appointed or considered for such things?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:07:14 PM)
Yes, I think that's common. Terence Dials was on the committee to interview candidates for O'Brien's successor. I think that gives the athletes a voice in who they see will do the best job for them.

scribeohio (Jan 14, 2005 2:07:23 PM)
Steve, the Scout relationship with the AA game has been great - lots of pic, stories, arguments (ha, ha). Your impressions of good/bad?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:09:34 PM)
I don't think I could be happier. They have generated over 100 news items (stories, photo essays and videos) for the week. That's outstanding. We've had over 25 links to stuff on the five guys looking at Ohio State. I don't think there is much more they could have done. Steve Ryan did the best he could to give us some OSU-themed coverage. I am sure they will go back and finetune what they did. I'm not sure what more they could have done. This agreement with U.S. Army and NBC has been tremendous. ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:11:05 PM)
I think from our standpoint, we will strongly consider having somebody there most if not all week next year. You have to consider there is a financial standpoint to everything. We have to keep costs down in everything we do, just as any of you have to do with your own business and personal finances. But the rewards this week have been tremendous and I believe Gary will help us hit the ball out of the park this weekend (and for weeks to come with coverage of the juniors at the combine).

thomenator (Jan 14, 2005 2:11:21 PM)
Is there a time table for the NCAA investigation of the football program? Any word on how it's going?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:11:52 PM)
No timetable, no updates on any of that. The academic probe last year ended abruptly after 3-4 months with no indication. Probably the same will happen here.

Behind Enemy Lines (Jan 14, 2005 2:12:00 PM)
Hello Steve :-) Concerning our clear domination of the UofM'ers do you think this is a just a "swing of the pendulum" (as in an anti-cooper era) or...do you think Tress just has simply wants it more than Carr does and it shows in preperation and an ability to convey that to his players? (point being..do you feel Jim has Carr's number and we can expect this joyous "elation in domination" to continue :-) THANKS!

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:12:07 PM)
Great question!

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:15:12 PM)
Since 1998, OSU has won 4 of the last seven and now 3 of the last 4. I think it's still far too early to say Tressel has Carr's number. Four years do not a serious trend make. Now if they're able to win 8 of 10 or something like that from Michigan, then you might be able to say that. But it's clear in everything Tressel says and does that winning that game -- and doing it the right way -- are what the OSU coach values. Even when they won in 2002 to go to the NC game. Tressel said, "Well, the most important thing about today was the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry, the greatest rivalry in all of sports." He puts things in the proper perspective and that rubs off on his players. It's not just another game. It is The Game, and it's a game they now believe they can win every time they play it. That was not the case from 1988-2000.

Guest (Jan 14, 2005 2:15:20 PM)
Steve, how come so many players seem to be getting injured in the practices down in San Antonio?

ydnah (Jan 14, 2005 2:15:49 PM)
Have you spoken to Kearney?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:16:56 PM)
Kyle Lamb talked to him. He still has trips to Ga. and Fla. May be hard to lure him up here, although they may lavish him with much more attention if McCoy slips away.

Guest (Jan 14, 2005 2:17:16 PM)
Any final word on why Javon Ringer wasn't offered? Full class or academics.

Guest (Jan 14, 2005 2:17:24 PM)
Steve - what's the latest with John Kerr?

stemmshady (Jan 14, 2005 2:17:36 PM)
Steve, has the staff asked for a medical redshirt for D'Andrea? I know he was beyond the cutoff, but wouldn't it be great to get a year separation between he and Schlegel! What is the likelihood in your opinion that an extra year will be granted. Thanks!

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:18:05 PM)
Yes, that is the plan. Should be a formality, I understand. We should know more about that between now and when spring ball begins last part of March.

platinum5 (Jan 14, 2005 2:18:14 PM)
Antonio Smith (I believe) and Sirjo Welch seem to be great on special teams. Do you see either one contributing on defense next year?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:18:46 PM)
Welch could get time at safety, although they are stacked there. Maybe if Everett or Whitner helps at CB that will open some reps but Mitchell is there, too.

Oxford (Jan 14, 2005 2:18:58 PM)
Steve is there any indication on what the Buckeye Mens Basketball penatly will be from the NCAA. Seems like the NCAA is the only reservation guys like Conley and Cook have with the current program

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:19:26 PM)
Even if it gets widened to 2 years, which I don't think is likely, that should not affect those guys who would come in after the ban is complete.

Guest (Jan 14, 2005 2:19:37 PM)
Just got here....sorry if this was asked. which in coming recruit do you think makes the biggest splash next year? Do we get another Ginn type performance from any of the freshmen before the end of the year?

Palmer (Jan 14, 2005 2:19:44 PM)
Steve, How would you compare OSU's off season workout programs compared to other schools. Do they rank right up there with the elite

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:20:21 PM)
Yeah, I would say so. I have been impressed with coach Al Johnson's work. He's in his fifth year with the team now and I think his methods are taking hold.

platinum5 (Jan 14, 2005 2:20:30 PM)
In UM's last two games, two running QBs have career days. Will that affect Tressel's choice of starting QB?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:20:55 PM)
Certainly. Coach Conley on his last Chat maintained it is still Troy Smith's job until something (drastic) happens.

stemmshady (Jan 14, 2005 2:21:01 PM)
Hey Steve, Does Doss get a Super Bowl Ring to match his NC Ring this year?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:23:07 PM)
Oh man, these AFC playoffs will be some nut crunchers beginning this week. That Colts-Pats game could set a ratings record for this round of the playoffs. Then the winner probably gets the Steelers next week. And the winner probably gets the Eagles or Falcons in the SB after that. That's 3 tough games in a row. People in NE think the Pats outclass the Colts on experience and bad weather. I think the Colts finally beat them ... but then will they be able to get back up after finally beating the Pats? Hmmm. Nope, the road is too hard for the Colts this year.

Guest (Jan 14, 2005 2:23:16 PM)
Can we call him Maurice?

platinum5 (Jan 14, 2005 2:23:35 PM)
I would have agreed with you about Clarett until recently. If it turns out that Clarett did what I think he did to Troy Smith (his best friend on the team?), I don't think most teams will touch him--although I guess Clarett only needs to trick one team. I think it would be especially unwise for the Browns or Bengals to take him.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:23:56 PM)
Yeah, playing in Ohio may be hard for him. He's not exactly the state's favorite son right now.

trolley (Jan 14, 2005 2:24:02 PM)
Do you think all this recruiting coverage is getting out of hand (national tv announcements, online services, etc.) Reading posts on our board, you would think people equate losing Maurice Wells to the Bucks going 4-8.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:26:00 PM)
There are some OSU fans who enjoy following recruiting more than watching the games. That's a fact. I know because I've talked to them on the phone and read their "sky is falling" posts for 15 years now. One monkey does not stop the show. That's why you will never see me bat an eyelash when they "lose" a kid like a Bemoll or whoever else. Now if they fail to get any of those Super Seven I mentioned earlier, well then you have a discernible trend and some cause for consternation.

homesickbuck (Jan 14, 2005 2:26:14 PM)
Sounds like we missed one in Trey Stross. any reason we didn't offer/pursue him?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:26:42 PM)
The staff had Hartline and liked Amos better, I guess. Stross is a nice player, no question. He should do well for Iowa.

osudrummer (Jan 14, 2005 2:26:48 PM)
and chance at landing mckinny? or is he headed up north

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:28:44 PM)
I think Michigan is in front, but Florida or Oklahoma could swoop in at the last second. I do not see him here.

osudrummer (Jan 14, 2005 2:29:01 PM)
so we get two commits during the game tomorrow, which other teams will get a stockpile of commits tomorrow?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:31:00 PM)
My feeling is they get at least one with Wells. McCoy would make it a banner day. No idea who will get 2-3 or more tomorrow. I have been so focused on the OSU kids. I just glanced at that Commitment Saturday story and Tennessee and USC seem to be in on almost every kid. I'd say they each get 2-3 tomorrow.

Guest (Jan 14, 2005 2:31:10 PM)
who is your prediction for off and def mvp of the game tomorrow

platinum5 (Jan 14, 2005 2:31:22 PM)
Given the shortage of TB (do we really only have two?), do you think Lane might play some TB this spring?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:31:36 PM)
Have not heard that rumor.

Seabus (Jan 14, 2005 2:31:45 PM)
Steve, lay it out now because you know the whole off season we will be speculating on this, who is gonna be the other starting corner opposite Youboty?? I have spread three names out there, Everett, Sirjo Welch, and Lane. Who you got?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:32:52 PM)
They will try everybody there and hope somebody sticks. You hope E.J. Underwood comes through, but you just wonder. Then there is Whitner or Everett moving from safety like Fox had to or Ginn splitting time on offense/defense (not optimum) or a young kid (Brandon Underwood, Lane, O'Neal, Mal Jenkins).

bucks79 (Jan 14, 2005 2:34:16 PM)
What is your projected scholarship spots for next year with us taking, let's say 6 more in this class (I am counting Worthington ).

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:35:02 PM)
I only have them with roughly 15 juniors (not even including D'Andrea if he gets a medical redshirt), so that class could be smaller than this one. Obviously, attrition will drive it toward 18 or 20 before all is said and done.

Guest (Jan 14, 2005 2:35:09 PM)
Steve: Who are the top 5 jr's in Ohio?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:35:25 PM)
buckeyesmutt asks who the top 5 juniors are in Ohio ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:37:50 PM)
I'm not sure Duane has ranked them overall. But RB Chris Wells from Akron Garfield is up there somewhere. Others would be OL Aaron Brown from Cinti. Princeton, LB Ross Homan from Coldwater. Next year is the year of the QB (Schlichter, Hartline, Kirbus, Davis, Glass, Huffman) and OL (Brown, Boren, Tilley, Ballard, Palmer).

platinum5 (Jan 14, 2005 2:38:48 PM)
One nice thing about the televised Alamo Bowl coverage was Corso's statement about next season that went something like this "They do have to play Michigan at Michigan, but they have their number."

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:39:37 PM)
My brother in law got a copy of the game for me. It is my plan to dissect the commentary for what was fair and what crossed a line. Should be interesting.

platinum5 (Jan 14, 2005 2:39:45 PM)
Could Schlegel see some time at DE next year? I don't think he can cover the pass well enough to be a pro linebacker.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:39:59 PM)
There it is, the old move an LB to DE argument ... ha ha.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:40:34 PM)
No, he's a linebacker and at Ohio State they don't seem to do that (move LB to DE), even though everybody on this board wanted D'Andrea moved (ha ha).

platinum5 (Jan 14, 2005 2:40:53 PM)
Given our excellent conditioning program, given that Ginn may go out for track, and given the fact that Olympic medalists tend to be in their 20s, could Ginn be even faster next year?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:41:38 PM)
Wow, that's a scary thought. When he adds weight and adds muscle, will that make him faster? He's the prototype now. I'd hate to see how a larger, stronger TGII might look.

bucks79 (Jan 14, 2005 2:41:44 PM)
Speaking of Bemoll, is he gone?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:42:04 PM)
That was the last indication. We'll keep calling, though, until he says "no chance."

Behind Enemy Lines (Jan 14, 2005 2:42:11 PM)
Are January visits (and the c-c-cold weather) that much of a deterent for a Southern potential recruit? Have you ever done research on the final commitments and their date of visit? It would seem that if a player is serious about the NFL, he knows he will be playing ANYwhere anyway, and it would NOT be that much of an issue, But we always seem to fret those January visits. Have you ever compared, or do you have a gut feeling on just how significant travelling from a 70s temps, to 20s is to a kid? (lets face it, we are dealing with kids who choose a helmet color for their choice of school sometimes) ENJOY you taking your time for these chats!

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:43:31 PM)
I think with about half the guys who come up, they see the weather as a deterrent. Ohio State does most of its recruiting visits that matter in the first two weekends of Dec. and the first weekend after the bowl game in Jan. The rest are just clean-up weekends with "stray" recruits who couldn't make it in those 3 weekends or are "keep warms" until late Jan. ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:45:21 PM)
Here's a good one: Most remember OSU's big home win over Michigan in 1998. They had 7-8 national studs in for official visits for that game ... and didn't sign a one of them. One of them was a big-time OL from Ga. I forget the rest. They all went elsewhere. ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:45:28 PM)
Looking back at the NC year of 2002 ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:47:16 PM)
They had two kids in 9/27 and didn't get either. They had one kid in 11/1 and didn't get him. Had 8 kids in for Michigan and got 5, though they 4 were from Ohio (Boeckman, Hiley, Patterson, Whitner) and the other was Youboty. Had 6 kids in 12/6 and got 4 of them. ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:48:57 PM)
Had 6 kids in 12/13 and got 2 of them. Had 10 kids in 1/10 and only got 2 (some of the misses were Bush, Crable, McClover, Moncur). Had 7 kids in the rest of the month and got one (Frost and he was a late switch from an Iowa verbal).

Seabus (Jan 14, 2005 2:49:12 PM)
Steve, I caught the Bball buckeyes at Wisconsin this week. I like the team, they will play with anyone, they just need to learn to win against the elite teams. Have you seen any players game evolve more than Dials over the past 4 years? He could be a real pro prospect.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:50:47 PM)
Dials has come a long way. He shows you what hard work can do for your game. The key to his success is hard work, grinding for good position, banging on the boards and playing good defense without fouling. OSU's 2 Big Ten losses can be pinned back, in some way, to his foul difficulties. He needs 35 minutes for them to win. He had 15/9 in 24 minutes at Wisconsin. If he plays 37 minutes, that's 24/13 and they win handily.

Behind Enemy Lines (Jan 14, 2005 2:51:06 PM)
Now THAT was a solid schooled answer on the weather. Looks bleak when pulling those stats up, But the alternative is an early visit and the kid forgetting the fun he had here...(sure am glad we have the some dynamite kids in this football factory called Ohio...who have some great common sense :-) THANKS for that great answer.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:51:46 PM)
No problem. I had the data right here and went for it. The key to recruiting is hard work. early identification of the key kids and working them hard. That's how you do it.

Behind Enemy Lines (Jan 14, 2005 2:52:01 PM)
Platinum brought up the subject of Ginn and his track, which brings to mind a question on running style. Teddy is a dancer, but it is painfully evident what a knee injury could do to a darter like him. Does track help, or is it just that his feet are never on the ground long enough to be planted, and the knee never takes a direct hit? :-) What fun 2005 is going to be. Yea Baby!

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:53:03 PM)
He is hard to get a direct hit on because he is so elusive. You hope he never suffers one of those fluke "cutting on the turf and ruins his knee" injuries, like the one that felled Ki-Jana Carter.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:53:33 PM)
That was one hour, 50 minutes of pure fun. Anything else before I go ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:55:15 PM)
I want to welcome so many of the new subscribers we have welcomed in recent weeks. We want to keep all of you yearround. We think our magazine and the partnership with The Sporting News for a free one-year subscription are good enticements. We also want the newbies to become contributors to our special Ask The Insiders message board, the cleanest and best place to debate OSU athletics on the Internet. We'll see you there!

Behind Enemy Lines (Jan 14, 2005 2:55:20 PM)
Have a great 3 day weekend Steve, and thanks for doing these...they are great fun!

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:55:37 PM)
Much appreciated. Enjoy the game and remember that Bill Conley will be here at 3:30 p.m. Monday.

MNBuckeye (Jan 14, 2005 2:55:41 PM)
One last thing, Steve...will you have any updates from San Antonio toinight...since some of the kids are taping tehir commits tonights?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 2:57:38 PM)
Gary may have updates, but we are obligated to obey Scout's agreement with NBC and the game organizers. We got great access to the players all week and the combine this weekend by agreeing to let the kids have their moment in the sun on national TV. You will not see us breaking the embargo on any verbal announcements. They would kick us out and not invite us back next year. We will have full coverage of the events as they unfold on Saturday. The tapings were done with one Scout rep, who was sworn to secrecy. He is writing the stories and presumably they will be posted as kids verbal.

Seabus (Jan 14, 2005 2:58:02 PM)
Steve, predict a winner and who plays well this weekend in San Antone. Who's the Ginn's and Peterson's to come out of this weekend?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 3:00:41 PM)
East all the way ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 3:02:43 PM)
As for the stars? I have no clue. Maybe Rouse or Patrick Turner or Ryan Perrilloux.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 14, 2005 3:02:57 PM)
Good night now!

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