Conley Chat: Jan. 31 Archive

Here are excerpts from Bill Conley's Chat session from Monday.

loverbuck (Jan 31, 2005 3:05:43 PM)
Coach, does tOSU (or any school) send out verbals or silent verbals to visit other schools to find out what the other school is saying about tOSU? ie: sending Teddy Ginn to scUM for a visit to see if scUM is trying to negative recruit?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:06:32 PM)
We never sent a kid anywhere, but one thing we always do is we ask kids when they visit other schools, what was said, what was done differently, what did they like and dislike, that helps us in our recruiting process.

scribeohio (Jan 31, 2005 3:06:42 PM)
Coach, I hear Brian Robiskie just turned 17 and wondered your general thoughts on a kid that age - redshirt, maturity, etc?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:07:18 PM)
First of all, I think Robiskie is one of those kids whose best football is ahead of him. He was a second level take, so he is an obvious redshirt candidate.

bucklance (Jan 31, 2005 3:07:27 PM)
what do think about washington and robiskie,i havent heard much on them until a few days ago

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:08:38 PM)
Both are second level players that we probably won't see as starters until a couple years down the road. Washington is a good athlete. He's got a good vertical. He's a long jump champion. He's a good athlete who will hopefully develop into a good football player.

redondo (Jan 31, 2005 3:08:56 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - In your chat right after the first of the year you were commenting on the opportunity you had to take a position at Tennessee. You said one of the reasons you didnt' do it was because recruiting down there is "different". I thought recruiting is recruiting. How is it "different" there? Thank you.

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:09:54 PM)
I think the SEC recruiting, in general. is a little more negative type recruiting than what I would like to do. I think if you look historically in that conference there have tended to be problems, even in the recent past, just headaches I would not want to deal with.

DaytonMcHugh (Jan 31, 2005 3:10:54 PM)
Bill, could you please comment on the new ruling by the NCAA stating that a school must have a 50% graduation rate. If a player decides to leave early does this count against the graduation rate?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:11:58 PM)
The way I understand the rule, those who leave early and don't graduate count against you. I truly believe that many of the stronger programs will not end up supporting that type of a rule. I'm not saying it won't be passed though, because every school -- weak or strong -- has an equal vote.

bucklance (Jan 31, 2005 3:12:05 PM)
coach,any opinion on nate davis (bellaire),as far as nexts years class?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:13:06 PM)
Nate is a very good athlete like his brother, Jose, was. I think the only way Ohio State would recruit him as a pure QB is if they plan on using the spread as their primary offense in a Troy Smith mold. He could be recruited as an athlete first.

gotedgo (Jan 31, 2005 3:13:52 PM)
looks like Gwaltney to WVU???

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:14:42 PM)
I think the jury is still out on Gwaltney, no matter what the early reports are. He's obviously a young man who is having trouble making up his mind.

WVBuckeye (Jan 31, 2005 3:14:59 PM)
Does it seem that Gwaltney may end up being more trouble than what he is potentially worth? Seems to be an attention seeker i.e. Clarett

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:15:28 PM)
I don't know how anybody could be more trouble than Clarett.

Fatherbuckeye (Jan 31, 2005 3:15:44 PM)
It seems to me that Tressel and staff are really putting a premium on speed. DO you think the staff goes by the "you can't teach speed" philosophy?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:16:23 PM)
Speed should always be a major goal of a recruiting class. But I don't see this class being any faster than other classes. As a matter of fact, it may not be as fast as some other classes.

redondo (Jan 31, 2005 3:16:31 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - Who was/is the Buckeyes' "must have" recruit in this class? Thank you.

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:16:57 PM)
The two premier players are Alex Boone and Jamario O'Neal, great players coming at positions of need.

Guest (Jan 31, 2005 3:17:18 PM)
hello coach thanks for all the great insight -- maybe it's not the fairest question in the world but what do you think of the job that Peterson has done thus far. Also, does JT have more input now into which coaches cover which areas, etc? Thanks

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:17:45 PM)
indibuck asks about Coach Peterson's job as the RC and whether Coach Tressel has more impact in determining recruiting areas ...

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:18:33 PM)
JT is really running the recruiting at this point. John Peterson is a tremendous coach, but has only been on the road a handful of days in Dec. and Jan. in recruiting. There is no doubt JT is calling all the recruiting shots.

Fatherbuckeye (Jan 31, 2005 3:18:41 PM)
Do you think Tennessee was trying to get connections in Ohio through you?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:19:39 PM)
No, not necessarily. I ran into Coach Fulmer so many times in the south recruiting that we got to be friends. I even put on a seminar on recruiting for his coaching staff. So really the connection with Tennessee was in relation primarily to recruiting in Fla.

bucklover (Jan 31, 2005 3:19:54 PM)
Hi Coach-thanks for breaking up the day. It seems as though LWilson is very much looking at all options regarding his recruitment, or he just does not want OSU. Any insights into this and do you see him joining us?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:20:56 PM)
I think he's at 50 percent right now. I think he's having a lot of difficulty making up his mind. I initially thought it was going to be a ND-OSU battle. Don't be shocked if the late surge by Florida hasn't made it a three-way race. I still think, however, it's between the Fighting Irish and Buckeyes.

nwobucknut (Jan 31, 2005 3:21:08 PM)
Bill, what is your opinion of Toledo area/NWOhio area football? What are your thoughts on why we don't supply the Bucks with more players (or D1 schools in general as well)?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:22:25 PM)
I think one of the reasons why that area is not as strong as it used to be is the simple fact the population base has gone down there. Whereas Cinti and Columbus and Cleveland have grown or remained fairly stable, NW Ohio has really gone down. It's simply a numbers game in that area.

loverbuck (Jan 31, 2005 3:22:47 PM)
Coach, what's going on with Pettrey? Was he offred a ship and if so, shouldn't he get it now?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:23:41 PM)
I believe the staff is trying to push Pettrey to next winter to save his eligibility since it looks like Josh Huston is going to get a medical and would be back next year.

redondo (Jan 31, 2005 3:23:54 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - What effect, if any, do you think Mike Nugent kicking an "NFL" ball versus the ones he was using at OSU will have on either distance or accuracy? Thank you.

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:24:23 PM)
Most players in the NFL, especially QBs and kickers, tend to like the NFL football better.

gotedgo (Jan 31, 2005 3:24:38 PM)
are the 40 times correct on Robiskie (4.5) and Washington (4.45)? if so, those are pretty good numbers for tall, physical guys

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:25:12 PM)
I think the numbers may be a little inflated, maybe more like 4.5-4.6. If they were speedsters, they would have been recruited a lot sooner.

bucks4fun (Jan 31, 2005 3:25:21 PM)
Hi Coach, I think the class has 17 verbals with the addition of Robiskie. What will we get to complete the class? Any word on some preferred walk ons?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:26:36 PM)
If I had to rank the possibilities of Ohio State getting the Big Three, it would be Wilson, then Gwaltney then Ashley. Last week, they visited Jon Thoma from Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas in hopes of getting him to walk on as a punter.

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:27:33 PM)
Another very good football player from central Ohio is Will Crall, a big TE from Bexley. He turned down a scholarship to Central Florida to stay in the state of Ohio. He would be a good get for Ohio State or an MAC school, in terms of a walk-on.

fish61 (Jan 31, 2005 3:27:37 PM)
hey coach who makes an impact next year out of this class?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:28:21 PM)
Probably Jamario O'Neal would be my first pick and possibly Maurice Wells. Alex Boone is just as good at his position, but it's just tougher for an OL to break in as a starter early.

MiniBus (Jan 31, 2005 3:28:36 PM)
How does the coaching staff typically respond to rumors such as the Gwaltney ones from today? Also have you heard anything regarding Walker Ashley

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:30:12 PM)
First of all, within the next 24 hours, there will be rumors abounding about non-committed and committed players. As a coach, you try to follow up on all rumors. But not get so concerned that you start worrying over nothing. No holds barred the last 24 hours. A week ago, I really felt Ohio State was out of the Walker Ashley picture. I think we're still somewhat of a long shot, but we're still in the hunt.

pghsensation (Jan 31, 2005 3:30:41 PM)
How does tressel and staff plan for next year's offense in light of the QB controversy/smith's possible suspension? .......meaning, doesnt the structure of the offense significantly change to suite Smith and Ginn in the Ginngun v. what zwick can bring to the table?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:32:11 PM)
The offense has to be designed to meet the needs of all three quarterbacks, at least 60 percent of it. In other words, you have to have enough of a base offense that Smith, Zwick and Boeckman can all run effectively. That's what you practice in the spring. Once it becomes clear who the main guy is going to be, that's when you add and tweak what you have to fit that particular QB's talents.

Fatherbuckeye (Jan 31, 2005 3:32:28 PM)
What do you think is the problem with previously hotbeds McKinley and Massillon are. It has been a while since we seen a blue chip recruit from there came to OSU?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:34:01 PM)
McKinley rebounded this year by playing for the state championship. Massillon still can put out good teams. But the problem in both of those communities is that the numbers aren't the same as they used to be. In Massillon, for example, there are 3 high schools, not just one. In Canton, a number of schools have been shut down because of population loss. Bottom line, neither one of those schools are as large enrollment-wise as they used to be.

wwt (Jan 31, 2005 3:34:49 PM)
you mentioned early on that OSU didn't have as many recruits visit this year as in the past. Was this a conscious effort do you think or did it just sort of got away from the new folks?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:35:56 PM)
I think it probably got away from them a little bit, especially with the early losses. It seemed like the staff was probably putting more time into the daily operation of the team and into game planning instead of calling recruits at the number we normally would. I would be shocked if they let that happen again next year.

gotedgo (Jan 31, 2005 3:36:09 PM)
with all this Gwaltney talk, everyone seems to be forgetting Mo Wells... who would you rather have?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:37:02 PM)
Both, they are 2 different types of running backs, and I think you need both of them, especially if you still plan on having the I formation as part of your offense. They are the perfect FB-TB combination. If you decide, you're going to be a spread team, Wells is the guy.

bucklover (Jan 31, 2005 3:37:36 PM)
Coach, can you give us an analysis of JG vesus Beanie Wells. Something tells me Wells is just a must have for theOSU. I realize you cannot pass on a talent like Mr Gwaltney, but with Wells being an in state kid, and our lack of a bruiser type back, one must think Chris would look at us hard.

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:38:37 PM)
I think, first of all, that Chris Wells is the No. 1 priority of instate players for next year, no doubt. He's not as big as Gwaltney, but is a little more athletic. He is a definite must-have for the Buckeyes.

gotedgo (Jan 31, 2005 3:38:47 PM)
does the loss of Bemoll hurt us at all?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:39:34 PM)
Sure, any time you lose a lineman of that ability, it hurts. But, if you recall, I said from the beginning he would be a tough guy to hold onto because, unlike many of the other out-of-state recruits, there are no Ohio ties.

wwt (Jan 31, 2005 3:39:56 PM)
Do you think the Underwoods are history?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:40:21 PM)
I look for one to survive and one not to survive.

loverbuck (Jan 31, 2005 3:40:42 PM)
Coach, should staff continue to work on guys like Rico McCoy who almost verbaled or spend their time elsewhere?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:41:17 PM)
At this late stage, there is nothing you can do but call anyway. I'm sure they are still talking to him on the phone in hopes he would change his mind.

alabama buckeye (Jan 31, 2005 3:41:37 PM)
Coach - How much contact or information is going on in these last few days before NLOI day? Is this a dead or quiet period?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:42:09 PM)
The only thing you're allowed to do now is talk on the phone. There are no on- or off-campus visits. Only phone calls.

alabama buckeye (Jan 31, 2005 3:42:19 PM)
Coach - What is your impression of why Snyder interviewed with Les Miles?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:43:15 PM)
If you look at his background, Coach Snyder always interviews each year. Some coaches do this because they are truly looking for another job. Others do it to try and get a raise in pay.

pghsensation (Jan 31, 2005 3:43:42 PM)
How does OSU view Western PA for recruiting currently in light of the struggles PSU is having? It appears at least last year we really went after PA kids for the first time in awhile and were very successful. Also on that note, why does Michigan have so much success in W. PA?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:44:55 PM)
Western PA is a pretty good area. Any time that Pitt or Penn State are down, it helps the Big Ten. Obviously, this year the talent seemed to be a little down in that area. The better PA players were in the Philadelphia area.

Buck I (Jan 31, 2005 3:45:09 PM)
Hello Coach, does it look like Turano may also get a med. redshirt or is he off to the pros?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:45:31 PM)
I think that is a long shot for him to get a medical, unless there was a physical problem for when he played for Bowling Green.

alabama buckeye (Jan 31, 2005 3:45:41 PM)
Coach - Do you see AJ Traposso being a 4 year punter or will someone else emerge? Any hope on Turano getting another year?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:46:25 PM)
I think Trapasso's leg strength gives him the potential of being a good punter. He can be an outstanding kickoff man. He needs to keep working on technique and consistency.

Mr. D (Jan 31, 2005 3:46:35 PM)
Bill, does cheating go on in the Big Ten anyway near as much as in the SEC?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:47:05 PM)
Not as much. There have been times, however, that certain programs have stretched the rules in terms of recruiting.

gotedgo (Jan 31, 2005 3:47:14 PM)
Coach, do you see the 05 Bucks going into next years game at m*chigan undefeated?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:48:03 PM)
I think they have an excellent chance of going into the Michigan game undefeated. They have some tough early games, especially Texas. They have Iowa at home and PSU away in two more big games.

djbuck (Jan 31, 2005 3:48:13 PM)
Hi Coach- Since you have been gone from OSU, What aspects of coaching and recruiting do you miss the most and are there any areas that you miss the least

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:49:32 PM)
You miss the coaching and the relationship with the players the most. You miss the camaraderie with your fellow coaches. You miss, for me, going on the road to recruit great players. The thing you miss the least is the 20 phone calls you have to make at night between 10 o'clock and midnight each week.

MinnesotaBuckeye (Jan 31, 2005 3:50:33 PM)
Coach...with the internet being such a big part of the world and now being apart of of our recruits (Walker Asley) coaches said "He joked that he advises a kid in that situation to "destroy your computer" to avoid speculation in Internet chat rooms and recruiting sites." Your thoughts, does the incessant bantering by fans hinder the process and allow these young men to form good/bad opinions about schools that are pursuing them? And your thoughts on what Coach Grant said?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:51:41 PM)
I think all of those factors help confuse a kid. I always told recruits to look for reasons to go to a school, not for reasons not to go to a school. Unfortunately, there is so much negativity on the Internet about certain programs it really confuses the player.

gotedgo (Jan 31, 2005 3:52:04 PM)
do you think warren harding will continue to be a product for um?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:53:00 PM)
The advantage for Ohio State is that Coach McDaniels is a strong Ohio State supporter. The disadvantage for Ohio State is that Michigan has a strong alumni base in Warren.

alabama buckeye (Jan 31, 2005 3:53:13 PM)
Coach - How much good does it do to have current players and recruits to call the ones still deciding as we have heard regarding Laurentitis with Ashley?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:53:54 PM)
I think it can definitely help because the stronger a relationship is, even by telephone, the more advantageous it is for a school. A lot of recruits call others and try to talk them into being their roommate next season.

jowags32 (Jan 31, 2005 3:54:20 PM)
Is the TE position deep enough in the next couple of years and are you aware of any TEs in the state of Ohio for 06.

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:55:38 PM)
I think the TE position is very important. Even if Ohio State goes to more of a spread offense, there are times you need TEs to run the football and throw to on play action passing. Rory Nicol can be a very good blocking TE, but they need to recruit 1-2 speed TEs in the future.

20Buckeye (Jan 31, 2005 3:56:03 PM)
Hi coach, Do you think that Ohio State will be able to recruit the Youngstown/Warren area better in the future. I know there are a lot of hard feeling at Austintown Fitch over Miles Williams.

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:56:51 PM)
I don't think there are a lot of bad feelings in NE Ohio. I think with Jim Tressel's ties to Youngstown and his family ties to Cleveland, it should not be a major issue.

redondo (Jan 31, 2005 3:57:31 PM)
Hi Coach Conley - Could you describe signing day from the coaching staff's point of view, please? What time does the day start, or is it an all-nighter from the day before? Are the coaches on the phone orchestrating the arrival of the faxes? WHo do they contact (the coach, the parents, the recruit directly) if something seems to be unraveling on the recruit end? What time does the day typically end and does it end in a whimper or do the coaches go celebrate? Thank you.

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 3:59:59 PM)
The coaching staff has spent the last few days going over how to sign the scholarship papers, when to fax, what time to fax. It's much like a game plan for signing day. The day starts off about 8 a.m. Usually by noon, 80 percent of the faxes have been received. The afternoon gets really shaky if the remaining faxes don't come in as scheduled. Hopefully, there will be no negative surprises. Usually by 4 p.m. it's over and Coach Tressel has a news conference in the late afternoon. Most of the time, the coaches don't celebrate. They go get some sleep.

pastor daddy (Jan 31, 2005 4:00:23 PM)
Hi Bill - I want to ask you about R.J. Coleman. I had high hopes for him when he signed with us. His measurables were something else. You don't find many as big as him who could move the way he did. Now he seems burried on the depth chart as an offensive guard.

pastor daddy (Jan 31, 2005 4:00:36 PM)
With the lack of depth at TE, is there a chance R.J. Coleman can contribute?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 4:01:05 PM)
I think the staff is still trying to figure out where he can help the team the most. I'd say don't be shocked if he doesn't end up back at TE.

Kdog (Jan 31, 2005 4:01:24 PM)
Bill what were your feelings about, drushawn, the other running back that would have come in with maurice if he had not passed away. How would you have rated him?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 4:02:10 PM)
There is no doubt he had outstanding abilities and seemed to be a very solid young man character wise. We thought he would definitely be an NFL player someday. It's a shame things happened the way they did.

pastor daddy (Jan 31, 2005 4:02:18 PM)
Another TE question: How good could Iriazarry have been? Do you think that Marcel Frost or Rory Nichol will be the better player at the end of their respective careers?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 4:03:20 PM)
First of all, Irizarry was very special. He was a Kellen Winslow-type of TE, but even a better blocker than Winslow. Nicol and Frost are 2 different types of athletes. Nicol is more of a blocker than receiver. Frost is more of a receiver than a blocker.

loverbuck (Jan 31, 2005 4:03:39 PM)
Coach, have you seen Wesley Lyons?, If so how good is he?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 4:04:22 PM)
I saw Wesley Lyons last year. He is a very talented athlete. But he likes basketball maybe more than football. He can be outstanding at either.

pastor daddy (Jan 31, 2005 4:04:30 PM)
What is your take on Redgie Arden? If he is still with the team this year, can he contribute at DE? What is his best position?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 4:05:43 PM)
He is still on the team. He's probably more of an interior DL than an edge player if he wants to put on that much more weight. He's a very physical, tough player. Hopefully he's got a lot of good football in front of him.

Buck I (Jan 31, 2005 4:05:53 PM)
I can think of depth players at all the positions except center. Who is Mangolds back-up/heir to the position in the future?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 4:06:10 PM)
Doug Datish is the guy right now that Jim Bollman thinks will be the next center.

gotedgo (Jan 31, 2005 4:06:34 PM)
which 2006 QB in Ohio do we want the most... there seem to be plenty to choose from

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 4:07:11 PM)
I think it's a tossup between Mike Hartline and Miles Schlichter unless JT wants to be strictly a spread offense. Then you have to look at a guy like Nate Davis from Bellaire.

edbuck51 (Jan 31, 2005 4:07:31 PM)
How far along do you think the staff is on the Class of 2006, and do you expect offers early in the game this year (junior day) given the quality of recruits in state?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 4:08:14 PM)
Junior day is Sat. for the home bkb game with Michigan. I'm sure that there will be 2-3 offers made, if they haven't already. That's typical.

loverbuck (Jan 31, 2005 4:08:35 PM)
Coach- Were there ever any high schools or areas (in or out of state) that would not let tOSU come in and recruit?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 4:09:04 PM)
Not really, you just simply didn't have the time to hit a lot of different areas. You go to the areas where you would have success in the past.

pastor daddy (Jan 31, 2005 4:09:38 PM)
Hi Coach - could you list two or three of the OSU staff that you believe to be exceptional recruiters? Also - could you give us a brief explanation as to why you think they are good, or possibly list their respective strengths in recruiting? Thanks.

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 4:10:23 PM)
I think Jim Heacock, Mel Tucker and Luke Fickell work very hard at recruiting. They put in the time it takes.

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 4:10:54 PM)
Last couple questions coming (thanks for all the great questions) ...

Atlanta Buckeye (Jan 31, 2005 4:11:03 PM)
Coach - Which recruit do you most look back on as the "One that got away"?

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 4:12:41 PM)
The one that sticks out in everybody's mind was Durell Price. He faxed the cover sheet, but not the LOI. Then he changed his mind and signed with UCLA. That was the weirdest scenario. Every year there is a different story. You recruit so many kids that there are hundreds you would have liked to have had. It's always disappointing when they go somewhere else.

BuckeyeDave (Jan 31, 2005 4:13:19 PM)
V Young is Texas's biggest offensive weapon. In your opinion, has he faced a defense as good as Ohio St's defense?

austinNut (Jan 31, 2005 4:13:23 PM)
Hi Coach - How do you think we match up with Texas at the shoe in comparison with the Rosebowl Texas/M-chigan contest? I think we are designed for Texas a little better than M-chigan - hopefully you can ellaborate. Thanks!

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 4:15:05 PM)
I think in order to stop Texas, obviously, you have to stop Young. Ohio State, traditionally, has had a lot of success stopping the opponent's main offensive weapon. Young's first strength is his ability to run the football. With the number of defensive starters coming back, I'm confident Ohio State will do a much better job than Michigan did of stopping Young, in terms of a running threat. He can't beat Ohio State throwing the football.

BillConley (Jan 31, 2005 4:16:06 PM)
Hey everybody, thanks for participating. Great questions as always. Look for my column on the site next week recapping the recruiting class and looking toward next year's class.

BuckeyeDave (Jan 31, 2005 4:16:23 PM)
Thanks Coach! Go Bucks!!!

LV-Buckeye (Jan 31, 2005 4:16:27 PM)
thank you coach

Buck I (Jan 31, 2005 4:16:31 PM)
Thanks coach

EDITOR'S NOTE -- Look for Bill Conley's column on the OSU football recruiting class early next week on

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