Helwagen Chat: Jan. 28 Archive

Here is the archive of today's Chat session with Bucknuts.com managing editor Steve Helwagen. He conducts these Chat sessions each week for subscribers. In today's Chat, we broke the news of a third expected visitor at OSU this weekend. Enjoy!

stemmshady (Jan 28, 2005 1:04:58 PM)
Steve, Let's say we finish the class with Robiskie, Washington, Gwalney, and Wilson (just my guess, I believe Ashley to USC). What position(s) do you see as a priority area for next year.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:06:42 PM)
I am already studying that. I would say, for starters, they'd have 16 seniors and probably a class of 18-20 before it's all said and done. Obviously they wanted another OL (Bemoll) and another OLB (McCoy or Daniels) in this class, so that's a good starting point. Probably need some more OL help, an RB (Chris Wells???), a QB and they are always after impact game changing DL. Ohio is great at QB and OL next year, so that's good. I see them also getting a QB

djbuck (Jan 28, 2005 1:06:48 PM)
Steve I just noticed that on the other pay board Ashley states that we hold the lead and on this board he states that usc has a slight lead. What do you think is going on?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:07:11 PM)
I spoke to him at 11 p.m. last night. All I can go by is what he told me.

redondo (Jan 28, 2005 1:07:18 PM)
Hi Steve - Doc Tressel and not HC Jim Tressel on the last visit to J. Gwaltney. What do you make of that, especially since Pete C. headed the group the day before? Thank you.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:07:34 PM)
We get that question a lot about the timing of in-home visits. ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:09:24 PM)
There are a ton of variables that must be considered. Sometimes, OSU likes the HC to visit a player right after his visit to reinforce that experience and maybe pop a verbal that way.On Gwaltney, you have to consider that he originally was going to verbal somewhere 2 weeks ago. So maybe JT timed it so he could be there then. Plus, if he can do several in-homes in the same area, that works better for him. You can't make a special flight for every kid. The coach is a busy man, too. All of those variables come into play.

MinnesotaBuckeye (Jan 28, 2005 1:10:16 PM)
Steve...I know you just spoke with Walker Ashley...and since I live in the Twin Cities...and know someone who's son goes to school with Walker...the generally word I have heard is that he is really torn...but leans towards USC...he really likes the Buckeyes...and the Big Ten...but the lure of SoCal has him in a spell. Hopefully he will swing our way...any other thoughts on getting him to CBus?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:11:06 PM)
He is really torn. He told me enjoyed the visit with Doc Tressel and Heacock. He said they were very professional. Sometimes you give out that praise when you're letting that team or its coaches down. I dunno. We'll know for sure on Wed.

Swope (Jan 28, 2005 1:11:25 PM)
Steve, please don't get burned out. It seems, from the forums, like the tensions of running the site might be getting hotter lately. The majority of us love Bucknuts and appreciate all you and the others do for us. Remember that. Keep up the good work!

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:12:43 PM)
Thanks for the comments. I think I've let some things get to me that I normally would not. This is a fact: Bill Conley has been a great addition to Bucknuts. He will be here on Monday to answer questions in this format at 3 p.m. People are entitled to their opinions, but I (obviously) felt some of them were crossing a line. That's OK, everything will subside here in a few days.

Guest (Jan 28, 2005 1:12:58 PM)
There was a rumor that Well decommite on USC chat . Heard anything

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:13:15 PM)
05theyear asks about Maurice Wells decommitting ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:13:23 PM)
Nope, had not heard that.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:14:53 PM)
just a sec

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:17:54 PM)
have an important call

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:18:55 PM)
big scoop coming

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:19:55 PM)
osu has a third visitor this weekend

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:20:10 PM)
Breaking news ... in the Chat (how exciting is that?!?!)

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:21:01 PM)
It is punter Jonathan Thoma from Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas, averaged 48 yards per punt in regular season, also a swimmer

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:22:22 PM)
Coming down to compete for the job, likely starting as a walk-on and would compete for a job. If he calls me back here shortly, I may need another break (sorry in advance if that happens).

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:22:47 PM)
Also looking at Louisville, W.Va. and Y-town State. Canceled WVU visit to come here this weekend.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:23:13 PM)
I'll post a story when it's done. Anyway, back to the Chat.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:23:58 PM)
there he is, need another break

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:30:19 PM)
just one more sec

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:31:59 PM)
ok just got off the phone with him and his coach

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:32:14 PM)
sorry for the interruption, but when you can get them on the phone, you go with it

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:33:00 PM)
He is excited about the visit this weekend and he says he became a big OSU fan when they won the NC. Said it was neat to have Tressel in his school. Will have more details in the article after the Chat ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:33:09 PM)
Now on with the countdown (ha ha)!

Ginn7 (Jan 28, 2005 1:33:14 PM)
what is the rating of this kid and where does he play since i cant find him on the database anywhere

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:33:42 PM)
He is COMPLETELY under the radar. This is his only year of playing football. They'll have to build a database page on the kid.

marksgforce (Jan 28, 2005 1:34:01 PM)
We have a number of *** recruits in this class, including Williams, Laurinitis, Spitler, and now maybe Robiskie, Wilson, and Washington. Who of these guys do you see as the "steal" of the class?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:35:10 PM)
The steal? Probably Laurinaitis. Playing in Minn., he doesn't get much pub. But he had nearly 200 tackles. That's hard to do. Was also Mr. Football in the state. Robiskie and Washington would also be great additions who can do a lot of things. Wilson not highly regarded outside Ohio, but I've seen him in person and on tape. He can play.

stemmshady (Jan 28, 2005 1:35:20 PM)
Steve, I know the Big Ten allows teams to oversign by three, however, what if the staff factors attrition that never occurs? What is the penalty for having more than the max of 85 schollies out

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:36:17 PM)
It's a sticky situation. The staff would go back and have to ask/tell a signee that they are now grayshirting ... or, if that doesn't suit the player, released from their letter. That's about all they can do. That's why Tressel is loathe to over-commit. ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:36:44 PM)
Just got another call in the course of this Chat that there may be some guys to ask the coach about on Wed. (i.e., guys who may not be back next year).

marksgforce (Jan 28, 2005 1:36:52 PM)
As of today, Rivals has dropped our class to #14 even with Worthington; Scout has moved us up to #6. I know your affiliation is with the latter, but which service do you think is closer to reality?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:38:17 PM)
I can't answer that. I only look at Ohio State, so I have no idea who else has what, so it would be a guess. Between now and Wed. I will do research on which schools are doing well. My feeling is I think the No. 6 ranking is deserved. Boone and O'Neal are each in the top 20 and Worthington is top-50, I believe. The lack of numbers (just 15 verbals) may work against them in some formulas that count cumulative points ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:39:57 PM)
To be honest, if I reduced recruiting to a numerical science, I would assign values for top-20 kids, top-50 kids, top-100 kids, top-250 kids and top-500 kids. Then I would assign a value for how the school met its needs. And I might deduct some points somehow for academic at-risk kids (Allen Wallace may be the only one who fully takes that last part into account, and he's right -- that's a real world approach because if a kid never makes it academically, he can't help you).

Swope (Jan 28, 2005 1:40:06 PM)
Is there a Bucknuts TV Hour? Could there be one?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:40:44 PM)
Not at present. We could probably tape something and upload it. We're fighting hard to get the radio show on as many stations as possible around the state.

Guest (Jan 28, 2005 1:41:00 PM)
Steve, where does our class rank at the end assuming we can grab a Gwaltney and maybe a couple other 3 star guys...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:41:19 PM)
Ginn7 asks where this class will rank with Gwaltney and a couple other 3-stars ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:42:02 PM)
My thought is still somewhere between sixth and 15th. Gwaltney should assure them of top10, but until all of the kids have been assigned schools and the notorious late closers (like Bowden at FSU) work their magic we won't really know.

BuckeyeDave (Jan 28, 2005 1:42:16 PM)
Steve - A handful of universities (Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia, Mich. St) were accused of trying to bribe D-Lineman Albert Means and some of the figures discussed were in excess of $150K. How long until ESPN-the Rag does a front page story and shouldn't Trev Alberts et al line up calling for heavy penalties and some coaches and administrators to get fired?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:42:48 PM)
The Means story is really messy, isn't it? And the worst part is the kid never knew any of this "brokering" was going on. ESPN has been on it.

browndawgsteve (Jan 28, 2005 1:42:58 PM)
Just got here. Sorry if asked. Steve do you see Sims moving down to OG next year with the play of Rehring. Someone touched on this before, could have been you. Sounds good. Rehring,Sims,Mangold,Downing,Barton with Boone,Mitchum,Datish,Person,Shafer, and Skinner backing them up.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:44:43 PM)
That is one scenario. I am sure Jim Bollman will mix and match his line combos during the spring and come up with a unit he likes best. There has been talk of Sims moving, but LT is a very important position. I think he's been pretty solid overall there. Boone could also force a move.

stemmshady (Jan 28, 2005 1:45:14 PM)
Steve, not sure how familiar you are with Maurice Wells's game, but do you know how good his hands are out of the backfield? One thing I would love to see OSU utilize is the back in the passing game. I can't remember the last time we picked up any significant yardage on a screen play.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:45:28 PM)
Hey Lydell Ross had some nice season catches (ha ha) ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:45:47 PM)
I can't honestly say on Wells' hands. My feeling is that will have to be a big part of his game.

MinnesotaBuckeye (Jan 28, 2005 1:45:59 PM)
Steve, you guys do a great job...don't let a few negative people get to you...in your humble opinion, how do things end up on Wednesday with the few remaining kids out there that the Buckeyes are in on? Any surprises, decommits (McCoy) that could come our way on signing day?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:47:18 PM)
I know of no decommits coming to OSU. I think they hang on to Worthington, I think they get Wilson (could verbal this weekend), Robiskie, Washington and then they are 50-50 with Gwaltney and Ashley. Gwaltney would be a godsend. He may actually be 55-45 for OSU, I think. Ashley could be leaning the other way.

Swope (Jan 28, 2005 1:47:34 PM)
Much is said of Tressel's closing ability on signing day. Do players who host recruits on official visits brag among themselves on their own ability to convince a recruit they host to sign? I wonder which players have the best reputations for convincing recruits to become Buckeyes.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:49:48 PM)
That is a great question. I know when I first started tracking this a few years ago, Shawn Springs was kind of a go-to guy. He had an electric personality. He helped them get Dave Boston, I know that. Not sure today. Schlegel credited Hawk with bringing him here.

DuluthBuckeye (Jan 28, 2005 1:50:07 PM)
Steve, In your opinion do you think JT is much more of a control "freak" than Cooper. I get the feeling that Coop let his coaches recruit who THEY wanted to recruit while Tressel directs his coaches on who to recruit. Coach Conley obviously was not thrilled with the way JT handled his staff.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:51:49 PM)
Hands on is a better way to say it than control freak. Not all that true on Coop. He gave them autonomy and he trusted their judgment, but he had the final call on offers, just as Coach Tressel does. I think after you've done things a certain way for so long, it probably was different for Conley to do things a new way there at the end. I think he has said as much.

Guest (Jan 28, 2005 1:52:02 PM)
Steve, is this going to be Jim's best closing day in his OSU tenure?(walker, worthington, gwaltney, wilson, robiskie?)

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:52:35 PM)
jperkosu wonders if this could be Tressel's best close yet if he gets ashley, Worthington, Gwaltney, Wilson and Robiskie ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:52:54 PM)
It could well be. The first year, he got Mo Hall, Fox and Lydell Ross on the last day. That was pretty good.

DuluthBuckeye (Jan 28, 2005 1:53:04 PM)
Steve, who in your opinion has been the biggest dissapointment so far, D'Andrea or Roy Hall.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:54:36 PM)
Oh wow, probably D'Andrea. And it's been mostly injuries. He played well early last year before he got hurt. They really missed him in the middle in 2003. Roy Hall is thisclose to putting it all together. The very first catch he ever made against Washington in 2003 would have made Cris Carter proud. he had a bomb late this past year, too, that was spectacular. Consistency of effort is the issue. Hazell will get it out of him ... or they'll just have better guys playing.

BMC (Jan 28, 2005 1:54:47 PM)
Steve, In your opinion, Who do the following sign with on signing day? Walker Ashley, Lawrence Wilson, Jason Gwaltney and Donald Washington. Also, Do you see Donald Washington being any good in college? I know he was not recruited by a lot of schools. How many stars is he? That is a lot of questions, so thanks in advance.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:55:52 PM)
I've answered the who I think they get (all but Ashley, probably). Washington has potential. Good two-way player. Illinois and Indiana wanted him. I know that's not great, but for an Indy kid about right. OSU likes him as a safety.

IMbuckipilot (Jan 28, 2005 1:56:13 PM)
I saw an early preseasn poll some where and had us listed as 12 Texas as 1 Michigan up top five and Iowa was top 10 what are your feelings? I am guessing we open up preseason top 5 and with out any upsets we finish #1

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 1:59:37 PM)
I haven't researched this one fully. USC would be the clear No. 1 with Leinhart et al. The Big Ten should be a great 3-horse race between those 3. OSU hosts Iowa. The Buckeyes have a shot, if they can beat Texas, to be 9-1 or 10-0 when they go to the 2 A's. Then it's how you play.

djbuck (Jan 28, 2005 1:59:43 PM)
Steve- Do you honestly feel that Gwaltney or Wells could actually move ahead of Pitman or Haw next season in the rotation of backs

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:00:26 PM)
No doubt. I would not predict it. But Gwaltney or Wells would be in the running for serious playing time from day one. They would get all the work they could handle and then some during preseason camp and the best players will play.

rdshep07 (Jan 28, 2005 2:00:36 PM)
are you aware of any juniors in nw ohio that may be impact players

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:00:49 PM)
LB Ross Homan from Coldwater probably tops the list. ...

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:01:40 PM)
FS Peris Edwards from Toledo Rogers would be another.

edbuck51 (Jan 28, 2005 2:01:47 PM)
Do you know when spring practice starts and when the spring game is?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:02:31 PM)
The OSU site says April 23 for the spring game. Spring quarter starts March 28. Last year, they started spring practice within 2-3 days of the start of classes.

BuckeyeDave (Jan 28, 2005 2:02:43 PM)
Who would you see declaring for the NFL draft besides Holmes? If he does declare, doesn't that kind of force Ohio St to use Ginn at WR?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:03:47 PM)
The deadline has already passed for this year. Holmes does have 2 years of eligibility left. Had he left this time around, yes, Ginn would have been needed more at WR. The hope has to be that if he leaves after the 2005 season, they will have developed Lyons, Gonzo, Hall, Jordan, whoever else so Ginn could play some or a lot on defense.

crazybuck (Jan 28, 2005 2:03:57 PM)
So with OSU talking with Thoma, what's the scoop with Trapaso?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:04:31 PM)
He's still there. I watched him a lot in warmups before games and he is a big, strong kid. I liked what i saw there. I just think OSU is looking for some competition there.

dorfman (Jan 28, 2005 2:04:45 PM)
Steve,when do you think your dog can come out of hiding,Thursday or a little longer if we don`t get some of these last guys and the posters continue to get under your skin?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:05:03 PM)
Good question (ha ha). I'm going to handle it the best way I can, I guess.

murfinatl (Jan 28, 2005 2:05:07 PM)
Steve, what is your itinerary on Signing Day?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:07:02 PM)
I will be manning the fort here on the site. Gary likes to travel to various places and that gives us some nice perspectives, photos and a few scoops. It's our plan to have a nice story from Duane with his comments on each player. Kirk will provide a page with bios on each kid as they sign with a photo, video link and audio link to when they were on our radio show. That page is quite a resource, actually. I will attend Coach Tressel's press conference, then appear on ONN at 7:30 p.m. and then go to the Schott for OSU-Purdue at 8. It will be a busy but fun day.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:07:17 PM)
I may try and make an announcement if there is one near here.

TexasBuckeye (Jan 28, 2005 2:07:23 PM)
Where do you see Chris Wells ranked among running backs nationally next year? Is he on the inside track for tOSU?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:08:14 PM)
Before the season, he was on a top 20 national list of juniors overall. Then he went out and had a 1900 yard season. He'll be a national top-50 player, probably. It's OSU and Michigan, although you know everybody will be coming after him.

marksgforce (Jan 28, 2005 2:08:21 PM)
There was one chilling comment in the Buckeye Grove about rumors that ESPN is going to drop a bomb on us close to LOID. Has bucknuts staff discussed amongst themselves? Do you think anything else is out there of substance?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:10:01 PM)
The people I talk to (mainly in and around OSU) have no idea what, if anything, could be out there. They seem to be saying, "There's nothing else there." But they worry about what ESPN might "manufacture" and drop in everybody's lap on signing day. As I said, they desecrated and defacated all over their own broadcast of the Alamo Bowl with that horsecrap, so I wouldn't put anything past them.

TimBuck2 (Jan 28, 2005 2:10:21 PM)
Hi Steve, do you think on signing day a suprise player will pop up and sign with the BUCKS, like wow , we all missed on him, in a good way tho , ha ha

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:11:18 PM)
Well, two surprise players came out of the woodwork here this week with Robiskie and Washington and now Thoma. Not sure where else they'd be hiding guys (ha ha).

dorfman (Jan 28, 2005 2:11:21 PM)
Steve,any way you could tape the ONN thing for us up North?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:11:49 PM)
ONN has been great about letting us show some of their stuff here on the site. We'll see what we can do. It may take a few days, but we'll do what we can.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:12:15 PM)
That show will be a mix of talking about Ohio's best players, the OSU class, the classes at UC and the MAC and a quick look at next year.

crazybuck (Jan 28, 2005 2:12:20 PM)
What do you think about the Petrey rumors? Especially now with Thoma

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:13:17 PM)
Pettrey is a kicker and Thoma is a punter. It's my plan to call Pettrey and see where things stand. If the news I heard earlier was true (there could be some spots opening), then I don't know why they would not honor their word and enroll him for spring ball ... unless there is something I am missing.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:13:48 PM)
As Bob Knight would say, does anybody have an intelligent question? (ha ha)

BuckeyeDave (Jan 28, 2005 2:13:59 PM)
Aren't the allegations surrounding Ohio St small potatoe compared the the allegations surrounding Means and Lang? I mean with Clarett the number was something like $10K, with Smith it was $500, with Means its $150K and I'd bet $$ that if a universty spends $150K just to get a player to sign, they ar not going to let a "little" thing like academics stand in the way of eligibility. I just don't get it?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:15:17 PM)
I guess you can look at it like that. The climate and culture OSU needs to have, though, is any indiscretion is major and should not be tolerated. The players need to know what is at stake when they step out of bounds like this.

edbuck51 (Jan 28, 2005 2:15:24 PM)
Do you think Brutus should have won the mascot competition?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:15:32 PM)
No doubt, he's the best. Who won?

BuckeyeDave (Jan 28, 2005 2:15:36 PM)
With ESPN obsessed with Ohio St, why hasn't Herbstreit been asked to comment on his experiences at Ohio St?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:17:06 PM)
I'm not sure what that would serve. Herbstreit was here 12 years ago and times have changed. He has commented and said he never saw anybody get offered or accept anything. Herbstreit is in a tough bind. He has tried to distance himself from the mag guys and the Alberts and Mays and people like that. He wants to be known as a Buckeye ... who happens to work there. Some people can't make that distinction, though.

BMC (Jan 28, 2005 2:17:15 PM)
Have you heard about Norm Chow being offered by the Titans something like 1.5 million a year to be there offensive coordinator? How will this affect recruiting?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:18:06 PM)
I doubt he does anything between now and signing day, so I imagine Sanchez still signs there. Could impact next year, but when USC wins it again next Jan. (hard not to pick them to repeat after that last showing) they'll just keep right on rolling.

BuckeyeDave (Jan 28, 2005 2:18:12 PM)
Aaron Brown - I'm sure he's on Ohio St's list. How bad do they want him?

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:18:58 PM)
I'm sure they like him. They may not be ready to offer yet. OSU has reportedly offered Justin Boren from Pickerington. There are a ton of good to great OLs (and QBs) in Ohio next year. I am sure Bollman will pick and choose the ones he wants.

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:19:17 PM)
Anything else today???

dorfman (Jan 28, 2005 2:22:48 PM)
Thanks,Steve

SteveHelwagen (Jan 28, 2005 2:23:08 PM)
Take care everybody. Bill Conley will be here at 3 Monday!

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Think about it: We just broke the news of a third official visitor this weekend for Ohio State -- right here in this Chat. Nobody else anywhere has the kind of inside sources that we have.

This week alone we were the first to tell you that Brian Robiskie would visit. We told you that Donald Washington was visiting. We clarified what was happening with Alex Daniels, Doug Worthington and Walker Ashley.

In Buckeye Grove, we examined whether Jim Tressel was building a fence around Ohio.

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